, Volume 67, Issue 3, pp 210-224

Indigenous Use of Spinifex Resin for Hafting in North-Eastern Australia

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Indigenous Use of Spinifex Resin for Hafting in North-Eastern Australia

Resins and gums were an important resource for Indigenous Australians and were commonly used to haft stone blades to timber handles in the manufacture of axes, spears, knives, and adzes. Based on archival research, analysis of museum records and in situ field trials, we reconstruct the geography of historic spinifex resin use as well as other plant exudates in Queensland, eastern Australia. Results indicated that spinifex resin use was probably restricted to the semi-arid zone and north of the Tropic of Capricorn. Toward the coast and in subhumid and tropical areas, a variety of tree exudates were used. By adopting an interdisciplinary approach coupling archival research with field data, this study contributes to a better understanding of traditional plant use in Australia.

1Received 18 September 2012; accepted 16 June 2013; published online_______.