Uses of Canoes
Night fishing / S. T. Gill. The Australian Sketchbook, Melbourne, Victoria : Hamel & Ferguson, circa 1864. 1 print : colour lithograph on white paper ; 17.7 x 25.3 cm. on sheet 25.4 x 31.3 cm.Contributors
This artwork shows culturally sensitive material. Permission to publish must be sought from the collection holder, the State Library of Victoria.Copyright
This item is out of copyright.
In Victoria Aboriginal people built canoes out of different types of bark - Stringy Bark or Mountain Ash or Red Gum bark, depending on the region.
Bark was stripped from the tree. It was fired to shape, seal and make it watertight, then moulded into a low-freeboard flat-bottomed craft.
Some canoes were very large, able to seat up to a dozen people. Others were only large enough to hold food. Sometimes canoes were built to last several seasons, other times they were built quickly for just one use. Sometimes, as in this sketch by S.T. Gill, fires would be built inside the canoe.