Pair of pointing bones, Central Australia, c 1870-1920.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
The bones (posibly from a kangaroo) are attached by a twisted band of human hair, glued on with plant resin. They were used by the Kurdaitcha (executioner) of the Kaitish tribe to cause death. Someone wishing to kill an enemy would build a fire secretly and pas the bones through the flames while uttering ritual curses. The bones were then buried so the magic matured, after which they were dug up and pointed at the sleeping enemy.