Spear Thrower

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"The woomera, a type of spear thrower, is a well-known hunting tool. When attached to a spear the woomera propels the spear quickly over distance."[1] The spear was attached to the spear thrower by a hook made of bone or tooth attached to the timber by resin and bindings of animal sinew or grass string.[2]

The spear thrower was normally used with light and specially balanced spears with a reed or wooden shaft. By using the spear thrower the spear could cover a greater distance than without it, effectively increasing the 'killing range' andgiving a greater chance of catching larger and mor timd prey such as kangaroos and emus.[3]


Until the invention of the self-loading rifle in the 1800s, the woomera with spear was the fastest weapon in the world." [4]


Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Register

Aboriginal objects and heritage places are irreplaceable, non-renewable resources and can include traditional and spiritual sites of significance. The Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Register (VAHR) was established by the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 is an important administrative tool and holds the details of all known Aboriginal cultural heritage places and objects within Victoria, including their location and a detailed description. Places or objects are recorded by cultural heritage advisors on forms which are approved under the Act. The Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Register is not a publicly accessible register because it contains culturally sensitive information. Registered Aboriginal Parties (RAPs) play a key role in the protection and management of Aboriginal cultural heritage. The Register holds information of each Registered Aboriginal party, their area of responsibility and contact details. [5]

The Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 requires that the discovery of Aboriginal cultural heritage places or objects on any public or private land in Victoria be reported to Aboriginal Affairs Victoria - see http://www.dpcd.vic.gov.au/indigenous/aboriginal-cultural-heritage/information-for-landowners/reporting-a-possible-aboriginal-place-or-object

If you are the custodian of a Victorian Aboriginal object or place you are encouraged to document it on the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Register by contacting Aboriginal Affairs Victoria to arrange to complete the form located at http://www.dpcd.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/35607/Victroian_Aboriginal_Heritage_Register_Form_Sept_2008.pdf.

How to care for and register Aboriginal objects and heritage places is further explained via an 11 minute video available at http://cv.vic.gov.au/stories/the-aboriginal-object-collection-at-dunkeld-museum/

Recommended Reading


  1. http://australia.gov.au/about-australia/australian-story/austn-inventions
  2. Sibtain, Nancy (Ed) Aboriginal Australia, Australian Gallery Directors Council Ltd, Sydney, New South Wales, p100.
  3. Coutts, P.J.F., Readings in Victorian Prehistory Vol 2: The Victorian Aboriginals 1800 to 1860, Victorian Archaeological Survey, 1981
  4. http://australia.gov.au/about-australia/australian-story/austn-inventions
  5. http://www.dpcd.vic.gov.au/indigenous/aboriginal-cultural-heritage/Victorian-aboriginal-heritage-register

Further Reading

Sibtain, Nancy (Ed) Aboriginal Australia, Australian Gallery Directors Council Ltd, Sydney, New South Wales.

External Links




--C.K.Gervasoni 14:35, 14 August 2012 (EST)

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