This netted head band is made from hand spun string, possibly of animal fur and human hair, both of which were skilfully spun into string of varying thicknesses. Traditional techniques of string-making developed by men and women across Australia involved various types of spindles, including a single piece of wood with a hooked end and others shaped like a cross, using two pieces of wood.
Spindles were used while sitting on the ground, usually with one leg extended. The spindle was often rotated backwards and forwards across the thigh with the right hand, while the left held the raw material being spun. The string could be coloured during the spinning process by coating the palm of the left hand with animal fat and ochre. Ornaments made from human hair string that was coated in red ochre were often used in dances and ceremonies, as was likely with this headband.

Physical Description

String, net, head band.


This head ornament comes from the Kati Thanda (Lake Eyre) region of South Australia which is the traditional lands of the Arabana peoples. The Arabana people have lived at Kati Thanda for countless generations and continue to celebrate, preserve and hand down their culture and way of life to future generations.
In 2012, after a 14-year fight, the Federal Court recognised the Arabana people as the Traditional Owners of Kati Thanda, granting Native Title rights to over 68,000sqm of land.

More Information