Summary

Armbands and armlets were worn by men, women and children with very small ones being made for babies in particular circumstances. Nganybak is a generic name for this type of armband, which is made from two ply string wound around a section of Flagellaria cane. These were worn by the ancestors or wangarr who created the Arnhem Land landscape during their travels in the long ago. Animal fur is called bulka, and is spun into string like feathered string, is made for ceremonial purposes. The fur is spun into string using a spindle. The ceremonial importance of possum fur is evident in its use to make tassels that were attached to sacred objects. These may afterwards be incorporated into other objects; for example, attached to nganybak to make ceremonial armbands, or attached to men's sacred baskets called bathi mindirr, bathi mindjalpi or bathi giwilirr.

Physical Description

Two bundles of circular armbands, one with eight armbands and the other with ten, tied together with vegetable fibre string. The armbands are made of cane (possibly Flagellaria sp) overwound with string made of possum fur. Remnants of coloured parrot feathers originally spun into the string are evident.

Local Name

ngambak

More Information