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sword club, killing club

elember in Uw Oykangand and Uw Olkola


Sword club, Kowanyama Land and Natural Resources Management Office, March 16 1997 [PH]. The Australian 50 cent coin, roughly 32 mm in diameter, allows for an estimation of size.


Sword club, Kowanyama Land and Natural Resources Management Office, March 16 1997 [PH].


Sword club, Kowanyama Land and Natural Resources Management Office, March 16 1997 [PH]. The Australian 50 cent coin, roughly 32 mm in diameter, allows for an estimation of size.

The sword club or killing club, called elember in Uw Oykangand and Uw Olkola, is a long flat piece of hard wood used as a weapon. The specimens observed at Kowanyama were 55 to 60 cm in length.

In traditional times the sword club was used in ritual executions. Executions with this weapon were carried out by striking the offender on the throat as he slept, or striking the offender on the head or neck while he was being held down. Ritual executions are no longer practiced.

Lofty Yam:

They look la him, "Where you come from?"

"I come from long way, Top End."

"All right, come in to the humpy." Take him to humpy, where he bin there.

Next one come, might be come from thataway, [south] come now, come in the same place, landed, they look, "Where you come from?"

"I'm a Kokobera."

"Oh yeah, you not my friend," All right, they get that stick, a sword, a big sword, a wooden one, cut his neck here, kill him. Throw him over there in a big hole, ready to bury him, over there. All right, next one come, might be from top side here, this side [east]. All different people everywhere, they'd ask him, what's your name, where you come from, what tribe you. He might say "I'm from Kukatja tribe", along that side somewhere.

"Oh, you not my friend," go get that sword, cut his neck, take him over there now, in that hole.

e-mail: Philip Hamilton.
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