A Central Australian ochre mine
An ochre mine still used by Warlpiri men in Central Australia is described, and its relationship to trading networks, mythology and control over access is discussed. The paper also examines the methods of mining and processing the ochre, and describes some task-specific stone tools used in mining. Many similarities are apparent between this mine and two famous large ochre deposits, Parachilna and Wilga mia, neither of which is currently in use.
It is of particular interest for three reasons: there are stone tools used specifically for quarrying the deposits; the entire mine is an underground chamber; and it provides ethnographic evidence on the complexities of the control of such valued resources.