The Settlement At Port Jackson, By Watkin Tench

 -   The canoes,
fish-gigs, swords, shields, spears, throwing sticks, clubs, and hatchets,
are made by the men.  To the women - Page 220
The Settlement At Port Jackson, By Watkin Tench - Page 220 of 247 - First - Home

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The Canoes, Fish-Gigs, Swords, Shields, Spears, Throwing Sticks, Clubs, And Hatchets, Are Made By The Men.

To the women are committed the fishing-lines, hooks and nets.

As very ample collections of all these articles are to be found in many museums in England, I shall only briefly describe the way in which the most remarkable of them are made. The fish-gigs and spears are commonly (but not universally) made of the long spiral shoot which arises from the top of the yellow gum-tree, and bears the flower. The former have several prongs, barbed with the bone of kangaroo. The latter are sometimes barbed with the same substance, or with the prickle of the sting-ray, or with stone or hardened gum, and sometimes simply pointed. Dexterity in throwing and parrying the spear is considered as the highest acquirement. The children of both sexes practice from the time that they are able to throw a rush; their first essay. It forms their constant recreation. They afterwards heave at each other with pointed twigs. He who acts on the defensive holds a piece of new soft bark in the left hand, to represent a shield, in which he receives the darts of the assailant, the points sticking in it. Now commences his turn. He extracts the twigs and darts them back at the first thrower, who catches them similarly. In warding off the spear they never present their front, but always turn their side, their head at the same time just clear of the shield, to watch the flight of the weapon; and the body covered.

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