Page:The aborigines of Australia.djvu/98

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.


UTENSILS. 85

Baskets are formed from long pieces of bark brought together at the ends, and tied by cords formed from strings of bark, the handle being formed of similar material. Another description of basket, called a "migit," is formed of rushes, woven with a degree of taste and skill which have excited the admiration of Europeans. The rushes used in the construction of these baskets are of various colours — green, white, and pink predominating — arranged so as to produce by the various figures, and by the contrast of colours, a highly ornamental effect. The hatchet, or tomahawk, is an implement of universal necessity among the aborigines. Since the commencement of intercourse with Europeans iron tomahawks are much sought after, and have become plentiful among the aborigines throughout the greater part of the territory. The tomahawk of the aboriginal is, however, altogether a different article; this latter is formed of a piece of stone or flint, ground to an edge at one end. A handle is formed by two pieces of wood of a flat shape, between which, towards one end, the head is placed; the strips of wood are then bound firmly together by ligatures of bark or other description of twine on each side of the stone and at intervals along the handle, and the head is secured more firmly by means of gum, which is melted into the interstices where the stone and wood are joined. Besides the fizgig before described, the aborigines use hooks and lines in catching fish. The hooks are formed of mother-of-pearl, and are not barbed, but are curved to