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Marks used by the tools to shape the craft are clearly visible on the interior and exterior of this canoe.

Groote Eylandt Indigenous Dug-Out Canoe

Vessel Number: HV000160
Previous Owner: Norman B Tindale ,
Vessel Dimensions: 1.71 m x 0.32 m (5.61 ft x 1.05 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
The GROOTE EYLANDT DUG-OUT CANOE is an Indigenous craft from the 1920s made from a single log or tree.
DescriptionThis Indigenous canoe was collected by Norman B. Tindale for the South Australian Museum during an expedition to Groote Eylandt and eastern Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory by SAM staff and researchers in 1921.

The canoe is hollowed out from single log or tree trunk, and both the inside and outside show distinct markings from the tools used to hollow the log and finish the outside.

The shape is quite interesting as it seems to closely replicate the shape and features of a bark canoe with sewn or lashed ends, such as the canoe from Bathurst Island (HV000159). It has a square bow and stern and long parallel sides. The raised stem and stern endings also pose a question, are they a reflection of details seen on craft belonging to the Macassan people or even European explorers when contact was made with these other civilizations.

This vessel is currently on display in the Australian Aboriginal Cultures Gallery, South Australian Museum.

Vessel Details
Current status:inside building
Current status:on public display
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:paddle
Hull material and construction:indigenous materialsnative materials
Hull shape:monohull
Alternate Numbers

External identification number: A12814

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