This spearthrower has a very distinctive fringe or tassel of human hair string attached at one end. "Nuliga" is recorded as the Aboriginal word.

Physical Description

A wooden cylindrical spearthrower with a tassel of human hair string attached at the proximal end. A wooden hook or peg is fixed with resin at the distal end.


This spearthrower is perhaps one of the earliest examples collected of this unusual type, and was purchased by the museum in 1888 from the estate of Henry Aaron Smith. Smith had operated a store from his home in Geelong that included a lending library where Australian Aboriginal artefacts were displayed. Walter Baldwin Spencer recorded that this type of spearthrower was made by Wambaya and Gudangi people, whose country lies east of Elliot in the Northern Territory. They were traded to the south and eastwards to the Gulf of Carpentaria.

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