Mee yarr oll from Australia, Oceania. Collected by Harry Stockdale. Given to the Museum by Robert Willkins in 1900.
This 1.38 metre long club comes from the Cobourg Peninsula, which points north-west from the northernmost tip of Northern Territory, approximately 100 miles east of Darwin. It has a string-bound handle and painted figures in red, gold, and black.
It is not certain to which cultural group this weapon belonged, probably the Yaako or the Unalla, but it was known locally as a mee yarr oll. Like many other Aboriginal Australian concavo-convex implements such as the boomerang or the bullroarer (that is, objects with one side convex, the other concave, to produce an arced cross-section), it is has a ceremonial rather than a combat function. It has been suggested that the club-wielding figure incised and painted on the convex face of the club (not visible) indeed depicts a figure participating in a Bora male initiation rite.