Dataset

Aboriginal Watercraft Collection

Museum Metadata Exchange
Museum Victoria (Managed by)
Viewed: [[ro.stat.viewed]] Cited: [[ro.stat.cited]] Accessed: [[ro.stat.accessed]]
ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&rft_val_fmt=info%3Aofi%2Ffmt%3Akev%3Amtx%3Adc&rfr_id=info%3Asid%2FANDS&rft_id=http://museumex.maas.museum/oai/mv/2787.html&rft.title=Aboriginal Watercraft Collection&rft.identifier=4486&rft.publisher=Museum Metadata Exchange&rft.description=A collection of over 60 Aboriginal items of watercraft comprising of canoes, paddles, pandanus sails, canoe thwarts and a double raft. There are two types of canoes: dugouts and bark canoes. A key piece in this collection is a 19th century bark canoe from the Melbourne region. The only remaining canoe from this area, and possibly the oldest surviving example of Indigenous watercraft in Australia, it was collected in the 1850s by Scottish immigrant John Buchan.Significance: The Australian coastline, river systems and swamps afforded a wealth of resources for food and raw materials, and watercraft enabled the Aboriginal people to exploit these. Aboriginal watercraft varies across the regions. In northern Australia, dug-out canoes are used to travel across open water. Carved from a single log, they are propelled by a square, pandanus sail. In northern Queensland, outriggers are attached to canoes to improve stability. The exterior of most wooden canoes are decorated with incised motifs of local flora and fauna and painted with ochres. Occasionally, the interior is also painting with wide, solid bands of colour. Paddles are wooden with oblong shaped heads and tapered shafts and handles. The practice of making dug-out canoes is thought to be the result of contact with the Macassans from Indonesia and influence from Papua New Guinea. Bark canoes are used in both the north and south of Australia. They are constructed from either one or multiple pieces of bark. River red gum is used in the south and stringy bark is preferred in northern Australia. Bark canoes are sewn together with rope, caulked and the interiors are reinforced by rods of wood. In some instances, wooden pegs are used to maintain the structure. Primarily, they are used for river travel or for reaching nearby islands. Bark canoes are usually undecorated. Rafts can be made from wood, bark or reeds. In Western Australia, balsa wood rafts are used to reach outlying islands and reefs, while wooden rafts are used in the Gulf of Carpentaria and in north eastern Arnhem Land. A highlight of the Watercraft Collection is a 19th century canoe, known as the Yarra Canoe, collected in the 1950s by Scottish immigrant John Buchan. As the only remaining canoe of this period, and possibly the oldest Aboriginal example in existence, this piece serves as an important link to the Aboriginal people who occupied the land on which Melbourne now stands.A collection of over 60 Aboriginal items of watercraft comprising of canoes, paddles, pandanus sails, canoe thwarts and a double raft. There are two types of canoes: dugouts and bark canoes. A key piece in this collection is a 19th century bark canoe from the Melbourne region. The only remaining canoe from this area, and possibly the oldest surviving example of Indigenous watercraft in Australia, it was collected in the 1850s by Scottish immigrant John Buchan.&rft.creator=Anonymous&rft.date=2017&rft.coverage=Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, Australia&rft.coverage=Victoria, Australia&rft.coverage=Melbourne, Victoria, Australia&rft.coverage=Gulf of Carpentaria, Queensland, Australia&rft_subject=1850-1990&rft_subject=Canoes&rft_subject=Fishing&rft_subject=John Buchan&rft_subject=Rafts&rft_subject=Sails&rft_subject=Watercraft&rft_subject=Yarra Canoe&rft.type=dataset&rft.language=English Access the data

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Brief description

A collection of over 60 Aboriginal items of watercraft comprising of canoes, paddles, pandanus sails, canoe thwarts and a double raft. There are two types of canoes: dugouts and bark canoes. A key piece in this collection is a 19th century bark canoe from the Melbourne region. The only remaining canoe from this area, and possibly the oldest surviving example of Indigenous watercraft in Australia, it was collected in the 1850s by Scottish immigrant John Buchan.

Full description

A collection of over 60 Aboriginal items of watercraft comprising of canoes, paddles, pandanus sails, canoe thwarts and a double raft. There are two types of canoes: dugouts and bark canoes. A key piece in this collection is a 19th century bark canoe from the Melbourne region. The only remaining canoe from this area, and possibly the oldest surviving example of Indigenous watercraft in Australia, it was collected in the 1850s by Scottish immigrant John Buchan.Significance: The Australian coastline, river systems and swamps afforded a wealth of resources for food and raw materials, and watercraft enabled the Aboriginal people to exploit these. Aboriginal watercraft varies across the regions. In northern Australia, dug-out canoes are used to travel across open water. Carved from a single log, they are propelled by a square, pandanus sail. In northern Queensland, outriggers are attached to canoes to improve stability. The exterior of most wooden canoes are decorated with incised motifs of local flora and fauna and painted with ochres. Occasionally, the interior is also painting with wide, solid bands of colour. Paddles are wooden with oblong shaped heads and tapered shafts and handles. The practice of making dug-out canoes is thought to be the result of contact with the Macassans from Indonesia and influence from Papua New Guinea. Bark canoes are used in both the north and south of Australia. They are constructed from either one or multiple pieces of bark. River red gum is used in the south and stringy bark is preferred in northern Australia. Bark canoes are sewn together with rope, caulked and the interiors are reinforced by rods of wood. In some instances, wooden pegs are used to maintain the structure. Primarily, they are used for river travel or for reaching nearby islands. Bark canoes are usually undecorated. Rafts can be made from wood, bark or reeds. In Western Australia, balsa wood rafts are used to reach outlying islands and reefs, while wooden rafts are used in the Gulf of Carpentaria and in north eastern Arnhem Land. A highlight of the Watercraft Collection is a 19th century canoe, known as the Yarra Canoe, collected in the 1950s by Scottish immigrant John Buchan. As the only remaining canoe of this period, and possibly the oldest Aboriginal example in existence, this piece serves as an important link to the Aboriginal people who occupied the land on which Melbourne now stands.
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Spatial Coverage And Location

text: Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, Australia

text: Victoria, Australia

text: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

text: Gulf of Carpentaria, Queensland, Australia

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Identifiers
  • Local : 4486