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OF SPEARS AND SHIELDS

June 10, 2020

Wikimedia Commons, CC by SA 3.0

Dear Editor,

When it comes to reasonable discussions of violence and/or racism between/within various peoples, I often ask young (and not-so-young) impressionable people objecting to white settlement of Australia to view the earliest rock paintings and carvings, along with all the earliest art of Aboriginals depicting themselves and/or other Aboriginals. And I also ask the same groups to view the earliest sketchings, drawings, paintings and photos of Aboriginals by earlier white arrivals to Australia. Then, I ask of all said viewers, “What are at least 65%-75% of all the warriors always carrying besides spears (many so cruelly barbed), woomeras (spear-throwers), nulla-nullas (war clubs) and the occasional boomerang or two?

Very often my not-unreasonable question is greeted with surly responses of, “Suppose you’re going to tell us?”

To which I respond, “Why, shields, of course! And it wasn’t the koalas and kangaroos…throwing the spears back!”

Yours,

Howard Hutchins
Victoria, Australia

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