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Pintupi spearthrower

Spearthrowers were commonly used by Aboriginal people in Central Australia. This example has special historical significance as it was collected by anthropologist Donald Thomson during an expedition to a remote corner of Central Australia in 1957.

Thomson wished to locate the Pintupi people, an Aboriginal group who had experienced little if any contact with Europeans. This spearthrower was given to Thomson by one of the Pintupi men he encountered during the trip. Carved into the spearthrower is a series of concentric circles and lines depicting significant waterholes, creeks and claypans in Pintupi country.

Spearthrower (1957)
 Spearthrower (1957)

 Detail of spearthrower (1957)

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Spearthrower (1957), mulga wood, Donald Thomson Collection, on loan from the University of Melbourne
Dimensions L 77 x W 12 cm
Registration No. DT 4563
Image source: Museum Victoria

© Museum Victoria Australia