Hunters and Trackers of the Australian Desert
Author(s): Pat Lowe
J. Whittaker: Personal accounts of tracking-related natural history, nice photos. Lowe married Jimmy Pike and learned from him and relatives in Walmajarri people. Female perspective, lots mention women hunting, including with spears and other weapons. Central desert depopulated since 1960s, nobody living old life now, but many hunt and visit and know old ways. Hunter’s tools: digging stick, coolamon wood dish, kana probe or spear (kularta), spear thrower (ngalpiliny), hunting sticks. Male carried 1 or more spear, woomera, pair hunting sticks (throwing clubs, not boomerangs). Different spears - some of wood, some of bamboo. Hunting spear just sharp point, if weapon, add quartz point, barbed spears used in public punishment, spearing legs. Spear-thrower used with running start, “artificially lengthens arm and gives greater thrust.” Only men used in Walmajarri, but women said to have used in past elsewhere. [Jimmy shown in two pics with atlatl. On cover using flat northern type with bamboo spear with “shovel” metal point. P 19 with long bamboo spear, very long northern type thrower. Not the desert “woomera” types.]
Casual and intentional use of fire, creates burnt off mosaic of niches, removes spiny spinifex grass, promotes plant growth and game.
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Cite this Record
Hunters and Trackers of the Australian Desert. Pat Lowe. Singapore: Rosenberg Publishing. 2002 ( tDAR id: 423429)
min long: 112.952; min lat: -43.648 ; max long: 153.606; max lat: -10.71 ;
Individual & Institutional Roles
ExArc Id(s): 10241
Rights & Attribution: The information in this record was originally compiled by Dr. Roeland Paardekooper, EXARC Director.