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Hanover Bay, Kimberley

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Encounters. Indigenous contact and culture: a classroom resource

Caution: This website includes images and names of deceased people that may cause distress to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.


Worrorra country

Hanover Bay, Kimberley, Western Australia

The Worrorra people of the Kimberley were familiar with visiting outsiders. Explore how an early encounter with a British exploration party broke down, the tradition of making spearpoints, and the adaptability of Kimberley culture.

  • A map of Australia indicating the location of Hanover Bay, Western Australia.
    Hanover Bay, Kimberley, WA
  • Worrorra country,  Hanover Bay, Kimberley, Western Australia
    Setting the scene
  • Stone spearhead flaked on both sides with serrated edges, rounded base and a sharp point at the opposite end.
    Yalga (spearpoint)
  • A collection of spearheads made from various materials including glass.
    Kimberley points
  • A metal spearhead attached to a wooden shaft.
    Galamba (spear)
  • Image compile showing a seated man holding a spear, on the left, and a close up of the man attaching the spear to the shaft, at right.
    Spear maker Nuggit Gooditt

Activities

Match the text to the pictures

What do you know about Hanover Bay?

More activities

Yalga (spearpoint)

Activity: Create a poster about a significant object, inspired by this quote from Worrorra Traditional Owner Warren Barunga:

I can’t describe the feeling – to see something so ancient and a sacred item to the individuals who made them – they put their heart and soul into making these tools. 

Why do you think seeing the yalga (spearpoint) is so significant for Warren? Have you ever put your heart and soul into the making of something? Do you own something that shows the heart and soul of the maker? Can you think of objects that your community values as precious? Create a poster that shows one object and describes the ways it is significant.

Activity: Traditionally, Worrorra people used stone to make yalga, pictured above. Once pastoralists moved to the Kimberley, bringing new materials with them, Worrorra people began to use glass, porcelain and metal. They made spearheads for ceremonial exchange and as tourist objects. What does this tell you about Worrorra culture?

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