Australian Aboriginal use of Spinifex resin technology

Spinifex resin is a thermoplastic bio-molecule used extensively throughout Australia by Aboriginal people. Both men and women are involved in the processing of the resin.

In addition to its more common use as an adhesive for repair and hafting purposes, spinifex resin is also used as cladding in shelter construction and it can be shaped into objects and ornaments for sorcery, ceremony or for personal adornment.

While the processing and use of the spinifex resin by Aboriginal people is falling, scientific interest in the resin is growing among university academics and industry groups due to the unique physical and chemical properties of the resin.

Here you can see the processing of the spinifex plant, the collection of the tiny resin beads, its heating and compaction into a solid lump of resin with a hot stone, and finally its use in hafting a stone tool.

Now that you have a little insight into Australian Aboriginal science and technology, how would you boil water without a kettle, stove top, electricity or a metal container? Comment and be in the running to win some cool prizes!

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