Waddies made by the Aranda people

A waddy, nulla nulla or hunting stick is an Aboriginal Australian club for use in hunting and fighting. The first of these names comes from the Dharuk Aborigines of Port Jackson, Sydney.[1]

A waddy is a heavy, pointed club constructed of carved timber. Waddies have been used in hand-to-hand combat, and were capable of splitting a shield, and killing or stunning prey. In addition to this they could be employed as a projectile as well as used to make fire and make ochre. They found further use in punishing those who broke Aboriginal law, which often involved settling a conflict between individuals, or between an individual and a group, in a 'Trial by Ordeal' in which fighters gave and suffered heavy blows resulting in skull and bone fractures and much blood.[2].

They were made by both men and women and could be painted or left unpainted. Their construction varied from tribe to tribe, but they were generally about one metre in length and sometimes had a stone head attached with bees wax and string. They were made from where a branch met the tree, or from a young tree pulled up with its roots from the ground.

Waddy has also been spelled as wadi, wady, and waddie. The spelling stabilised around the mid-nineteenth century, partly to help distinguish it from the Arabic word wadi, a dry water course.[1]


  1. ^ a b Peters, Pam, The Cambridge Australian English Style Guide, Cambridge University Press, 1995, ISBN 0-521-43401-7
  2. ^ Pardoe, Colin (2014). Violence and Warfare Among Hunter Gathers, M.A. Allen & T.L Jones Ed. Routledge. p. 117-118.

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