CHAPTER XIX - WEAPONS  pp. 87-88

WEAPONS

By James Dawson

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The spear is the chief and most formidable weapon amongst the aborigines. There are seven kinds of spears, each of which is used for a special purpose. The longest and heaviest are the war spears, which are about nine feet long, and made of ironbark saplings reduced to a uniform thickness. They are variously named from the way in which they are pointed. The ‘tuulowarn’ has a smooth point. The ‘tungung'gil’ is barbed on one side for six inches from the point. The ‘wurokiigil’ is jagged for six inches on each side of the point, with sharp splinters of flint or volcanic glass, fixed in grooves with the same kind of cement which is employed to fix the handles of stone axes. The hunting spear, ‘narmall,’ is about seven feet long, and is made of a peeled ti-tree sapling, with a smooth, sharp point; to balance the weapon it has a fixed buttpiece formed of the stalk of the grass tree, about two feet long, and with a hole in the pith in its end to receive the hook of the spear-thrower; but, as the hook of the spear-thrower would soon destroy the light grass tree, a piece of hard wood is inserted in the end, and secured with a lashing of kangaroo sinew. Although the narmall is chiefly used for killing game, it is the first spear thrown in fighting, as it can be sent to a greater distance than the heavy war spears, which are only used in close quarters.