The Australian Rock Art Archive

BARB SPEARMEN
A specific form of small figures in the north-west Kimberley appear to be regional variations of the Clothes Peg Figures. At times they are depicted in group scenes, involved in definite aggressive activities, throwing Multi Barb Spears. This battle scene panel shows an upper group of seven figures, and a lower group of eight. A solitary figure conspicuously positioned between the opposing factions appears to be the lower group's unfortunate ninth member, struck by a Multi Barb Spear and a boomerang. The extended arm on all figures presumably indicates missile launching actions, with their spears and boomerangs shown passing to the rear of the opposing group. Earlier Kimberley art appears passive, with aggressive stances and obvious conflict appearing only in the Clothes Peg Figure Period. This may reflect inevitable conflict resulting from increased competition for diminishing resources, leading to the apparent lengthy period of discontinuity following this late Erudite Epoch.
Bradshaw Period
Clothes Peg Figures / Barb Spearmen Sub-Group
Size (Length)
620x320mm (24x12ins)
Click photograph for enlarged image
Bradshaw Paintings / Gwion Gwion Gallery Index
The Australian Rock Art Archive
Australia Rock Art Bradshaw Paintings Kimberley Gwion Gwion