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Mungo, Avoca Station, Darling River Indigenous Bark Canoe

Vessel Number: HV000161
Previous Owner: D H Cudmore ,
Dimensions:
Vessel Dimensions: 4.88 m × 1 m (16 ft × 3.28 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
Significance
The DARLING RIVER BARK CANOE from Mungo, Avoca Station in NSW is a rare Indigenous craft from the early 1900s used on inland rivers.
DescriptionThis Indigenous bark canoe is a broad open canoe cut as a single sheet from a mature River Red Gum. This style was typically used on wider and faster flowing river systems such as the Murray and Darling Rivers. It was capable of transporting more than one or two people and their goods.

The canoe has two branches placed across the canoe towards each end to help prevent the bark hull from collapsing inwards. The bark has been formed as a wide, almost flat section with sharply raised side panels with quite low freeboard or height. The ends are also rounded up, and the overall flat shape suggests it was best suited to calm water conditions which would be common on these river systems.

The canoe is exhibited with a plaster cast of a fireplace most likely made by museum preparators in the early 20th century for display purposes. The idea for such a fireplace may have been based on a well known watercolour by colonial artist George French Angas. The use of fireplaces aboard indigenous canoes in other areas of Australia is well is documented.

This vessel was donated to the South Australian Museum in 1904 by Mr. D.H. Cudmore and is currently on display in the Australian Aboriginal Cultures Gallery.


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: A6443

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