West Arnhem Land Fish Tail Large Decorated Club Port Essington Style (AC041)
Description of item:
Hardwood, superb fine cross-hatched red, yellow & white ochre decorated club with rarrk design on both sides of blade & extending along shaft; in very good condition; mid-20th century.
Height: 129 cm (51 inches)
Width (of blade): 15 cm (6 inches)
Traditional, old hardwood Port Essington style fighting club used in close combat as well as in ceremonial dancing. Old trade cloth & bush cord bound handle. Carved fishtail handgrip and ochre decoration to blade. Clubs like these are given clan-specific totemic names and are symbols of ancestral power. Club is from the West Arnhem Land part of Northern Territory.
Arthur Palmer, Brisbane, Australia