On Display: GOMA, Gallery 3.5
This boomerang-like object is, in fact, what early twentieth-century anthropologist Walter E Roth (1861–1933) described as a two-handed sword.
The object originates from the area around Boulia in central western Queensland, where it was known as untitiri. Wielded with both hands, untitiri were potent weapons, which were decorated with fine, rat-tooth-like incisions in bands of parallel lines. The weapons were smoothed, polished and rubbed with charcoal and red ochre, making them valuable items for trade.
1. Objects like this one were made as weapons, but they were also used as items for trade. Looking around the gallery, can you see any other objects that may have been used by Indigenous people in their everyday lives?
2. What materials have been used to make these objects? What types of knowledge and skills do you were needed to create untitiri?
Research some of the different types of tools created by Indigenous people, as well as their various uses. Discuss the materials used to create these objects.