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

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 .

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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
Authors/Creators:Meston, Archibald Lawrence
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
ISSN: 0080-4703
Collections: Royal Society Collection > Papers & Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania
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