the axe project
About the Aboriginal
Axehead Display Project
When we first took on this project we approached it from a scientific point of view. We measured them, took sketches, identified the type of rock and looked at them under a microscope.
As the project went on, the cultural side of them became more and more important. We realised that these axeheads were necessary and of critical economic resources just two hundred years ago. We discovered that stone tool production was a precise and refined, highly technical skill using rare and unique materials. Yidinji elder Nungbana put the project into perspective and restored an axe to functional condition using traditional methods shown to him by his grandfather as he lived as a child in the bush of the Atherton Tablelands.
The main thing we discovered is that scientific investigation has much less value than first hand knowledge when it comes to axeheads.
Our plan is to use the photos and data we have collected, together with plaster casts of the axeheads for a public display that will travel around the schools, libraries and shire offices of Far North Queenland. Display materials and photos were donated to the permanent collection of Irvinebank Museum in 2001.
Nungbana (George Davis) -Yidinji elder
Courtney Bethel, Ryan Burnell, Rachel Cameron,
Samantha Chapman, William Cockrell,Cassie Gabiola,
Daniel Hogan, Vanessa Lee Cheu, Nicole Mcphee,
Noel Missingham, Guy Moulang Alesha Pearson,
in association with the
Mt. St. Bernard College
the Cairns Catholic Education Office
display materials and pbotographs through an Education Grant from BP Amoco Australia
website courtesy Earth Science Australia