This skirt was worn by youths during initiation ceremonies. It was collected by Baldwin Spencer who was hosted on Bathurst and Melville Islands in 1911 by the legendary buffalo shooter, Joe Cooper. The two men had met the year before in Darwin, and their collaboration resulted in over a thousand objects being collected, mainly from Tiwi people on the islands, but also from mainlanders, in particular Iwadja people who worked directly for Cooper on his lugger and in his camp. Spencer is known to have purposely purchased a bolt of coloured cloth in Darwin to take with him on this trip to use as a commodity of exchange. No doubt he also traded for important artefacts with sticks of tobacco.

Physical Description

A skirt made of vegetable fibre string painted with natural pigments. Human hair string is stitched into the band and Abrus seeds added at each end. The fringe of multiple strands of vegetable fibre string is attached along the length of the band.

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