Page:The aborigines of Australia.djvu/99

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86 THE ABORIGINES OF AUSTRALIA.

a greater extent than those used by Europeans, which is, no doubt, intended to supply the place of the barb by rendering the hold on the fish, once obtained, more secure. The hook has a knob at the end, to which the line is fastened, to render the fastening more secure and less difficult. The line is in general of two strands, made from a peculiar kind of bark, and twisted with considerable neatness and skill. Fishing with hooks and lines is altogether confined to the females, who sometimes relieve the dulness of the employment by singing, in chorus or singly. Nothing, perhaps, illustrates the industry and patience of which the New Hollander appears to be capable more fully than the formation of the fishing-hook just described. The material of which it is formed, as is well known, is only to be found in a state and in a shape the most unfavourable to being transformed into a hook, and nothing but a most wearisome and tedious course of grinding and cutting could succeed in producing the perfect instrument with which aboriginal anglers hook their prey.