Women’s tools were mainly for collecting food. These traditional implements are now made for sale as decorative artefacts. You can buy traditional wooden tools at the Cultural Centre.
Women use three types of wooden bowls:
- Wira is a small bowl, also used as a drinking cup.
- Kanilpa is a larger bowl.
- Piti is the largest dish, also carries water.
Women’s digging stick (Wana)
Made from a length of Mulga wood with a sharp point, the wana was used to dig the ground for Bush Tukka.
Woman’s head ring (Manguri)
A Manguri is a head ring made of twisted piece of grass or cloth. It was used to help carry loads (like a bowl of water) on the head.
Round grinding stone (Tjungari and Tjiwa)
The base rock is named Tjiwa and the handheld grindstone is Tjungari. They are used to process seeds into flour and grind fruit.
Men’s tools are mostly used for hunting (or creating / repairing other tools). You can also find a range of Men’s Tools made available at the Cultural Centre.
Adhesive gum (Kiti)
Men collect resin from the base of spinifex grass stems. The resin is mixed with sand and heated up to make a sticky paste. When it cools down it sets really hard, just like modern superglue. Kiti is used for repairing, waterproofing and assembling parts of tools and artefacts.
Kali are made from mulga wood. They do not return when thrown, and are most often used in pairs as musical instruments during ceremonies.
Other types of boomerang are used to hunt.
Central and Western Desert people have always made hunting, fighting and ceremonial clubs out of wood. Tjutinypa is the most common type used for hunting. It is a long, narrow club often with a quartz cutting edge in the handle.
Kulata is a hunting spear around 3 metres long, made from the long, flexible branches of Spearwood (Tecoma Vine). The shaft is prepared by passing it through flames, making it straight and smooth. The flat, hardwood spearhead and barb are secured to the shaft with spinifex resin and lashed together with kangaroo or emu sinew.
Spear thrower (Miru)
Spear throwers had many uses besides just throwing spears, including spear-sharpening, shielding from other spears, cutting meat, mixing ochre and more.
Thanks to Parks Australia for information to the benefit of all visitors.
Find out more:
You can find out about bush foods and tools, including the different roles that men and women play, by visiting the Cultural Centre. Our Guides share Aboriginal Creation Stories and other really engaging facts about culture during our Tours. You might also like to visit;