Image Gallery: Morrison Collection: Canoes, Spears and Shields

The Morrison collection includes two canoes from the Hunter region of New South Wales. Canoes from South-Eastern Australia were usually made from a single sheet of bark, often stringy bark. The bark was made malleable using fire and then shaped to form the vessel. Canoes like these were used for navigating relatively quiet inland waters rather than for use in rough ocean conditions. Punting poles were generally used to propel the vessel through the water.

There are two spears and one spear thrower in the Morrison Collection. They are all from the Hunter region of New South Wales. Spears were used in hunting and fishing as well as in ceremonial events and as fighting implements. Spears were often used in conjunction with spear throwers. The spear thrower acted as an extension of the thrower’s arm allowing the thrower to get more power behind a single throw and achieve a throw of greater distance.

The shields in the Morrison Collection from the Hunter Valley region in New South Wales are typical of a style of shield that was only produced in South-Eastern Australia. They are long and narrow tapering to a point at both ends. The shields narrow frame and extra depth made them useful for parrying in defence from heavy blows.