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Port Essington Indigenous Bark Canoe

Vessel Number: HV000163
Previous Owner: D M Sayers ,
Vessel Dimensions: 4.74 m x 0.65 m (15.55 ft x 2.13 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
The PORT ESSINGTON BARK CANOE from Arnhem Land, Northern Territory was collected in 1912. At almost five metres long it is a rare example of a large Indigenous craft.
DescriptionThis Indigenous canoe is constructed as a single piece of unidentified bark which is formed into a relatively deep and rounded cross section shape. The parallel sides are supported on the top edges with branches secured to the bark, and held apart with
four branches to form beams. These beams are secured to the side branches with bark string and have further woven material around them for additional reinforcement. The ends are sewn together with bark string. One end is higher than the other, and it shows a distinct rake to the profile as well.

The depth and length of this craft suggests it was capable of carrying a modest load and was also able to be used in choppy water on the bay at Port Essington or around the adjacent coastline.

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: A16595

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