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Kempsey Indigenous Paper Bark Canoe

Vessel Number: HV000162
Previous Owner:
Vessel Dimensions: 2.85 m x 0.46 m (9.35 ft x 1.51 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
The PAPER BARK CANOE from Kempsey NSW is a rare example of an Indigenous craft used on inland waterways and is made from a single sheet of paper bark.
DescriptionThe more pliable nature of the paper bark used to construct this Indigenous canoe has allowed both ends of the vessel to be gathered in a series of folds and then pulled tight with a bark twine. There also appears to be a thin branch pierced through the folds as a peg to help secure the ends, which are then creased across the hull and raised upwards, to form a bow and stern. The crease is also secured with a branch across the canoe holding the parallel sides apart.

The inside has a smooth finish while the outside remains very fibrous. There are no reinforcing branches along the sides. The shallow depth of this vessel restricts its movement to lakes and calmer waters on river systems.

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: A27252

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