Summary

This armband was made directly onto the upper arm and was relatively tight fitting to enable it to stay in place.

Physical Description

A circular interlaced armband made of vine.

Local Name

baku

Significance

During consultation at Gapuwiyak in Arnhem Land during the early 2000s, a group of senior women indicated that they felt this baku may have been made by one of three Ritharngu men. These men had been associated with Donald Thomson during his time in Arnhem Land where he collected it in 1943. This was during the period of Northern Territory Special Reconnaissance Unit, a guerilla force established by Donald Thomson, and intended to defend Australia's northern coastline if the Japanese landed during World War 2. One Ritharngu leader who was a member of Section 1 of the NTSRU was Wuruwul, and this armband may have belonged to him. Wuruwul was a brother of the legendary Yolngu man, Rraywala, who accompanied Donald Thomson across Arnhem Land, and was the only enlisted man in the NTSRU.

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