Kali Walkatjara ~ Etched Boomerang by Phillip West

Kali Walkatjara ~ Etched Boomerang


Known collectively as punu, the carvings of Anangu (Central and Western Desert Aboriginal people) have their beginnings in the Tjukurpa when the Creation Ancestors fashioned the first weapons and tools, setting down the laws and conventions of their design.

The Central and Western Desert kali or boomerang is a non-returning one and usually crafted from wanari, mulga wood. It is used for hunting and fighting and in pairs as a percussive instrument for inma or ceremony. Size and shape differ according to the individual craftsman and sometimes traditional, finely fluted incision work is done on the convex surface. Where this is the case the design work is personal to the artist, his country and his Tjukurpa and cannot usually be publicly revealed.

This kali is unusual for the burnt etching on the wood replicating traditional incision work.