Food hunting and gathering

Women line-fish from small canoes while the men fish with spears and usually on shore. Early colonists and later anthropologists agree that most of the food is gathered by women. Fish and shellfish from the waters, small animals and lizards, and the winter food of fern roots from the ground cleared by summertime burning. For men, the procuring of food really seems to observers, to be of secondary importance to the real business of the day, fighting and contests. Women generally cook the food and share it with small children and babies aboard their canoes. (Karskens, pp. 405-406)

  • A woman of NSW by Augustus Earle 1793-1838, courtesy of National Library of Australia