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boiler shell

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in Uw Oykangand and Uw Olkola
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Bailer shell, Kowanyama Land and Natural Resources Management Office, Sun Mar 16, 1997 (Photo: PH). The Australian fifty cent coin, approximately 32 mm in diameter, allows for an approximation of size.


Bailer shell with sugarbag wax. The interior knot of the shell has been removed allowing it to be used as a cup or bowl. Kowanyama Land and Natural Resources Management Office, Sun Mar 16, 1997 (Photo: PH). The Australian fifty cent coin, approximately 32 mm in diameter, allows for an approximation of size.

The boiler shell is abundant on the beaches of the Gulf of Carpentaria. In traditional times it likely made its way into the interior of the Peninsula by trade.

It is very important in traditional industry. The relatively flat surface near the lip of the shell can be cut into a woomera shell, an important part of the woomera.

It can also be used as a general container, similar to a cup or coolamon, for example for carrying water or sugarbag honey. In the second image below it is being used to carry sugarbag wax.

Water can be boiled in the shell by placing it directly on the hot coals of the fire.

This shell is also used widely for ornamentation, such as pendants and nose bones.

e-mail: Philip Hamilton.
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