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Northern NSW Aboriginal Bark Canoe

Vessel Number: HV000037
Date: c 1938
Previous Owner:
Vessel Dimensions: 3 m x 0.4 m (9.85 ft. x 1.3 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
The Northern NSW Aboriginal Bark Canoe is an example of a tied bark canoe, common to communities along the eastern Australian coatsline. It was built around 1938 near Kempsey in NSW. It is an example of the specific construction of the tied-bark canoes used on rivers in Northern NSW and is now in the collection of the Australian Museum.
DescriptionThe northern NSW coast has many rivers, and this Aboriginal canoe is an example of a craft that were used on local rivers for transport, fishing and food gathering activities by the Indigenous inhabitants. It was made in the Kempsey region by Albert Woodlands, an Indigenous community member from the local area, as a commissioned item for the Australian Museum and acquired around 1938.

The construction is a single piece of bark, most likley to be a stringybark eucalypt. To form a bow and stern it is folded at each end after the bark has been thinned down, and then this is lashed together and secured with a spike. The ends are creased across the hull at the end of the folds to give the bow and stern some rise, and this crease has been identified as a feature of northern rivers tied bark canoes . It has very shallow depth or freeboard and this would have restricted the craft to relatively calm water use on rivers or lakes.
Vessel Details
Current status:covered
Current status:inside building
Current status:non-operational
Deck layout:open
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:pole
Hull material and construction:indigenous materialsnative materials
Hull shape:displacement
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:round bottom
Alternate Numbers

: EO45964

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