Type:  Macroblade Point

Location: Ngilipitji, Northern Territory



MoST ID: 5610

Pedestal Link: https://une.pedestal3d.com/r/fkTNpLpvcP

Model Author:  Emma Watt

This large quartzite macroblade spearpoint is from the Ngilipitji stone quarry in the Northern Territory, Australia.  The macroblade was made in the historical period and hafted to a spear shaft with native bees wax, which still adheres to the proximal end.

This macroblade spearpoint, called ngambi, was likely made in the 1940s or 1950s. A master Yolngu flintknapper who worked at the quarry at the time was named Dhutjurru, and this spearpoint may be his work. This macroblade was particularly well-struck, terminating in a point at the distal end.  No further retouch was necessary to create the shape of the point’s tip.  Spearpoints were made at the quarry, wrapped in paperbark bundles, and carried away for trade and personal use.

Macroblades were hafted for use as knives or spearpoints in Australia, and this is an example of a macroblade spearpoint from the Northern Territory. The point was originally hafted onto the end of a long spearshaft using native bees wax.  The point (called larr) is made from pinky-fawn coloured quartzite (called larr djukurr) characteristic of the famous Ngilipitji quarry on Yolngu traditional country in eastern Arnhem Land. The place is of major spiritual significance, and the stone is believed to have special properties.  The artist Djardie Ashley Wodalpa portrayed the dense macroblades at Ngilipitji as triangular shapes in the 1989 bark painting Ngilipitji Stone Spearhead Quarry.