Toy bows and arrows
During the 1948 American-Australian Scientific Expedition to Arnhem Land, Frederick McCarthy collected two bows from Yirrkala, and a bow and two arrows from Oenpelli. The bows are made from a 'u' shaped or bent piece of wood. A piece of fibre twine has been tied around each end, and stretched across the centre.
Our collection also includes more contemporary examples collected by Dr Betty Meehan in 1986 from Ngalijibama, in the Northern Territory. A bow and arrow (bunerra) was made by Betty Ngurraba Ngurraba for her son from a curved length of ‘minga’ wood with nylon fishing line string. Saralyn Anajilwa, then aged ten, made a bow and arrow from a length of Gomphrena canescens.