South Central Desert Woomera ( Miru ) Spear Thrower

Item A20 

This Item was Sold on 8 November 2015 for $144

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Historical Pricing information for this item and similar artifacts can be found at: Historical Artifact Prices.

This Woomera ( spear thrower or atlatl ) is from the South Central Desert region of Australia. The Aborigines of the Central Desert traveled on long walkabouts and they had to carry light weight, multipurpose tools. This Woomera is called a Miru by the indigenous Central Desert people. The Miru is a spear thrower and the curved interior section is used much like a coolamon bowl for the preparation of food or for mixing ochre and fat for ceremonial purposes, etc. The central section has a uniform thickness along the entire length. The peg is tightly bound with fine sinew. The handle has a ball of Spinifex resin that is totally intact. This Woomera feels great in the hand and I would not be afraid to use it to cast darts. This Miru was purchased in an auction house in 1988. It was probably made in the 1920s or 1930s, based on the the very dark color of the Mulga wood. The concave surface is hollowed out using an adze, but there is also evidence of some metal tool finishing. The convex surface has kangaroo art. This is unusual. This type of art was generally added to artifacts made in the 1950s and 1960s by Aborigines at the Yalata mission in South Australia. You usually see this art on hunting boomerangs, but not on woomeras. My best guess is that an older woomera was brought to the mission and the manufacturer had to add the kangaroo art at a later date. This woomera is in marvelous condition. There are no cracks or damage and it is a very robust spear thrower.

Length = 89 cm ; Weight = 494 gm

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