Miru (Spearthrower)
Miru (Spearthrower)
Miru (Spearthrower)
Miru (Spearthrower)
Miru (Spearthrower)

Robert Woods Profile & Artworks

Miru (Spearthrower)

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"Watingku ankula wanari kataningi miru palyantjaku.....A man goes out to cut a piece of mulga wood to make a spearthrower. They cut out a good straight piece and in the old days, without access to axes, this was done with stone, or a club fitted with a quartz stone knife. The outside bark is then scraped off and discarded and the miru worked on through the morning. The inside is hollowed and scraped out, the back cleaned and smoothed. At a certain stage kiti or spinifex resin is placed on the end and a mulga wood tip (to hook into the end of the spear) is bound on with kangaroo sinew. Kanti or a sharp blade stone is set into the kiti to be used to cut the meat when hunted. The miru is then ready the next day to be loaded with the spear ready for the hunt.”

The miru is one of men’s most important possessions for not only does it launch the spear with increased force and speed in the hunt and act as a carving tool, its concave shape is a useful receptacle and it is also the main fire lighting tool of the area.

“Miru nyanga palula miringku, matji wiyangka, tjanampangka Tjukurpa tjanampangka nyangatja, waru palyaningi miru nyanga palula, rungkara tililpai. Munu waru tjangilta katipai iritinguru.”      Wati Tjilpi

With a miru like this, according to their Law, they made fire in the days before matches, using it as a fire saw. Then they always travelled with a fire stick, ever since ancient times.”    Senior Western Desert man


Artist: Robert Woods
Location: Mantamaru (Jameison), Ngaanyatjarra Lands, WA (Gibson Desert)
Medium: 'wanari' - Desert Mulga, Acacia aneura, 'pulku' (kangaroo sinew) & 'kiti' (spinifex resin)
Dimensions (mm):723x91x29 mm
Weight: 0.4kg

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