Desert Pokerwork

Desert - Hot wire impressed objects


WAM 14

Offline Only


A small collection of carved wooden objects from the Western Australian Deserts decorated using hot wire.

Drawing on the animals and plants that were traditional food, Desert people produce a range of hot wire impressed models. They serve not only to delight visitors who purchase them, but for local children, they confirm which animals are good eating. Work with Desert copmmunities reveals that the patterns are not random, but drawn from careful observation of the animals and reptiles that are reproduced, to the extent that species can be identified from scale patterns. This collection highlights the ongoing importance of knowledge to Aboriginal people as well as the innovative responses that people make to outside influences. The production of these animals keeps country alive whilst providing an opporunity to participate in the wider economy. The collection includes pieces produced by signficant desert artists.

Available by appointment –


20th century; Aboriginal culture; Country; Desert; Traditional life

Aboriginal artefacts; Aboriginal culture; Aboriginal peoples (Australians); Animals; Woodcarvings

Aboriginal peoples; Animal art; Artefacts; Carving; Decorative arts; Indigenous Australian peoples

Animal figures; Carvings; Models

Coverage Spatial

Western Australian Deserts; Western Australia

Coverage Temporal



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