Aboriginal Weapons


There were many different Aboriginal weapons.


Australian Aboriginal People were clever making and using tools and weapons. They were the first people in the world to use stone tools to grind seeds, and also to introduce ground edges on cutting tools.

An Aborigine Hafts a Quartzite Spearpoint to a Wooden Shaft with Waxed String
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Aboriginal Weapons Used in Different Parts of Australia
Australia is a large country covering many different regions from tropical rainforests to snowy mountains and dry deserts. So the conditions, food resources, hunting and weapons varied between the different tribes depending on where in Australia they lived. Desert people would use stone tools and wooden weapons while the coastal tribes would often make their tools and weapons of fish bones. But despite the differences in materials they used, they all had similar tools and weapons.

Carved and Decorated Aboriginal Tools
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What Aboriginal Weapons and Tools Were Used

The usual tools included knives, axes, scrapers and digging sticks. The usual weapons were spears, shields, clubs and boomerangs. Knives were made of bones or stones. They were made sharp, and they were used as tools as well as weapons when killing animals. Shields were used to protect themselves, either against the animals they were hunting, or in a battle against other people. Shields were made out of a single piece of timber, and some of them were decorated. Spears were made either of wood or bone, and they were used to kill animals while hunting.

The Aboriginal Inhabitants: from South Australia Illustrated, Published in 1847
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Returning Boomerang and Other Australian Aboriginal Boomerangs

Hunting boomerangs were much larger (up to 2 metres) than the boomerangs we throw for fun today. Aboriginal people did have recreational boomerangs as well, they are the boomerangs that come back to the thrower. Hunting boomerangs won’t come back. They are too heavy, they were thrown at kangaroos and emus to cut their necks or legs, and in the hunting action there was no time to watch the boomerang to come back. It was one throw, then they went and picked the boomerang up later. Boomerangs could also be used as means of communication when far away from each other in the field. Holding up a boomerang in a certain way in the air could have a meaning, and they could also be clapped against each other, making a noise that had a message, just like clapping sticks, that were more commonly used for that purpose.







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