Spinifex resin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Spinifex (Triodia) plant

Spinifex resin is the gum traditionally made by Australian Aborigines by burning the Spinifex plant and extracting its resin.

Making the gum[edit]

The spinifex is threshed until the resin particles fall free. These particles are heated until they fuse together to form a moldable black tar which is worked while warm. When set, this gum is quite strong.

Uses[edit]

Most hunting and working implements benefited from the use of spinifex gum, or resin.

Spinifex resin was a crucial ingredient in spear-making, as the head was often fastened onto the shaft using this resin.

The traditional Aboriginal axe also made strong use of spinifex resin.

Woomera, at left. Note clump of spinifex resin at base of handle.

The base of the woomera has a clump of this resin attached to it.

A man would always carry at least one spear, and normally a clump of resin. In the evenings, repairs were carried out on spears and other utensils, and the resin was re-softened using the fire and some moisture.

Many species of spinifex are extremely resinous, to the extent that resin may drip down the stems and leaves on hot days, and large residual lumps of resin often may be seen at the bases of hummocks which have burned.[1]

The resin was also used as a binder when making paint with ochre.[2]

The gum was trationally used for mending breaks in stone and wooden implements. In more modern times, in true Bush Mechanics spirit, spinifex resin can be melted to repair things like jerry cans for carrying water and fuel.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Spinifex
  2. ^ a b http://www.global.greens.org.au/spinifex-4.pdf