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Aboriginal rock-carvings on the north-west coast of Tasmania

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Meston, Archibald Lawrence (1931) Aboriginal rock-carvings on the north-west coast of Tasmania. Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania. pp. 12-19. ISSN 0080-4703

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Abstract

Many descriptions have been given of aboriginal art in various parts of Australia, but accounts of the skill of the Tasmanians in drawing and carving have been extremely meagre. In recent years, however, a number of rock carvings have been discovered in one locality on the North-West Coast,and it is the purpose of this paper to describe them. Before doing this, I intend briefly to review all previous descriptions of the art of the Tasmanian aborigines. Pel'on, who visited Tasmania in 1802 as naturalist on the Geographe, gave us the first account of aboriginal drawings. On the under surface of ·some of the best and largest pieces of bark covering a burial mound discovered by him at Oyster Bay, he found "some characters crudely marked, " similar to those which the aborigines tattooed on their " forearms." In 1857 Daniel Bunce, describing his journey through Middlesex Plains, the Vale of Belvoir, and over the Black Range, makes a reference to aboriginal drawings. "Some "time previously," he writes, "two carts belonging t·o the "V.D.L. Go. had p-assed over this ridge each drawn by six "oxen with their drivers. It appears that some natives had " observed this, and a short time afterwards, one of the " Company's servants ·passing that way, found in one of their " rudely c-onstructed huts, a piece of the bark of a tree with "a rough drawing of the whole scene. The wheels of the " carts, the bullocks drawing them, and .the drivers with their "whips over their shoulders were all distinctly depicted in "their rude but interesting manner." This is obviously a reference to .the taking ·of two carts to the Surrey Hills in 1828 by the V.D.L. Co., the first occasion that wheeled vehicles had ever passed that way.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Royal Society of Tasmania, RST, Van Diemens Land, natural history, science, ecology, taxonomy, botany, zoology, geology, geography, papers & proceedings, Australia, UTAS Library
Journal or Publication Title: Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania
Page Range: pp. 12-19
ISSN: 0080-4703
Additional Information: Copyright Royal Society of Tasmania
Date Deposited: 09 May 2012 08:17
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 04:30
URI: http://eprints.utas.edu.au/id/eprint/13119
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