We acknowledge Australia’s First Nations Peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the land and give respect to Elders – past and present – and through them to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
87/111 Club (Aboriginal nulla nulla), wood, made by the Simms Family, La Perouse, New South Wales, Australia, 1952. Click to enlarge.

Aboriginal club from La Perouse made by the Simms family

Made
Club, (Aboriginal nulla nulla), wood, made by the Simms Family, La Perouse, New South Wales, Australia, 1952

Hand carved wooden club with rounded handle and a broad head. Decorated with pokerwork fauna images and designs. The handle features scorch marks, crosses and horizontal lines as well as vertical nicks. Images of a kangaroo and an emu are both bordered by leaf and flora designs. The head of the club features a pattern of wavy lines burnt into wood in a vertical fashion and bordered either side by abstract leaf motifs. A band of vertical nicks occur at the top and base of the head.

Summary

Object No.

87/111

Object Statement

Club (Aboriginal nulla nulla), wood, made by the Simms Family, La Perouse, New South Wales, Australia, 1952

Physical Description

Club, (Aboriginal nulla nulla), wood, made by the Simms Family, La Perouse, New South Wales, Australia, 1952

Hand carved wooden club with rounded handle and a broad head. Decorated with pokerwork fauna images and designs. The handle features scorch marks, crosses and horizontal lines as well as vertical nicks. Images of a kangaroo and an emu are both bordered by leaf and flora designs. The head of the club features a pattern of wavy lines burnt into wood in a vertical fashion and bordered either side by abstract leaf motifs. A band of vertical nicks occur at the top and base of the head.

Dimensions

Height

48 mm

Width

100 mm

Depth

45 mm

History

Notes

In the 1880s La Perouse became a regular camp site for displaced South Coast Aborigines. Some of these people had been expelled from the city of Sydney to the north; others had travelled north from traditional lands alienated by farming and grazing. Initially their occupation of this northern headland of Botany Bay was deemed illegal, however their camp was officially recognised as an Aboriginal Reserve in 1895. The establishment of a nearby Methodist Mission - soon to become the headquarters for the United Aborigines Mission - may well have influenced this decision.

Although La Perouse at this time was still beyond the southern perimeter of suburban development, it was already a popular seaside resort for the white inhabitants of Sydney. The Joseph Banks Hotel, with its renowned pleasure gardens and menagerie, was built there in the 1830s. By the 1880s the establishment was reaching its peak of popularity.

With very few other means of income and provision, the Aboriginal community of La Perouse were quick to engage with this new developing tourism market. They sold shell artefacts, shields, boomerangs and other items, and demonstrated boomerang throwing to the day trippers. What developed was a 'transitional culture' of production with traditional skills being employed to create 'non-traditional' artefacts for the new market. The production of souvenirs, such as decorated boomerangs, nulla nullas and shields, intricately designed shellwork patterns on cardboard baby slippers, jewellery boxes and other items grew in the 20th century with the establishment of a tram line to La Perouse in 1902, making the La Perouse Indigenous community one of the first to be involved with the tourism industry at the time.

Source

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs J R Jordan, 1987

Acquisition Date

19 February 1987

Cite this Object

Harvard

Aboriginal club from La Perouse made by the Simms family 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 2 March 2021, <https://ma.as/70235>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/70235 |title=Aboriginal club from La Perouse made by the Simms family |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=2 March 2021 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

Incomplete

This object record is currently incomplete. Other information may exist in a non-digital form. The Museum continues to update and add new research to collection records.