State Library of NSW
OF GEORGES ISLAND, MANNERS & CUSTOMS.
one side neatly inclosed with log Pallisades &tc ~
Their Canoes or Proes are built of[.] of them very narrow & some of the largest are 60 or 70 feet long these consist of several Peices the bottom is round & made of large logs hollow'd out to the thickness of about 3 Inches & may consist of 3 or 4 Pieces the sides are of Plank of nearly the same thickness & are built nearly perpendicular rounding in a little towards the Gun wall, the Peices on which they are built are well fitted and fastned or sewed together with strong platting something in the same manner as old China, Wooden Bowls &tc. are mended the greatest breadth is at the Afterpart which is generally about l8 or 20 Inches & the fore part about 1/3 Narrower, the height from the bottom of the Gunwale seldom exceeds 21/2 or 3 feet they build them with high curv'd sterns which are generally ornamented with carved work the head or forepart curves little or nothing the smaller Canoes are built after the same plan some out of one, 2, or More trees according to their size or the use they are for in order to prevent them from oversetting when in the water, all those that go single both great & small have what is called Outriggers which are peices of wood fastned to the Gun wall & project out on one side about 6:8 or 10 feet according to the size of the Boat and the end is fastned in a parrellel direction to the Canoe along logg of wood simply or some have it shaped into the form of a small Boat but this is not common, this lays in the Water & Ballances the Boat have that are for sailing have Outriggers only for the [?] side abreast of the Mast these serves to fasten the shrouds to & are of use in trimmg the Boat when it blows fresh the sailing proes have some one & some 2 Masts, the sails are of Matting are made narrow at the head & square at the foot something like a Shoulder of Mutton Sail such as are generally used in Man of War Barges &d I have mentioned above that the single Canoes have Outriggers for those that go double that is 2 together which is very common have no need of any & it is done in this manner 2 Canoes are places in a parralleld direction to each other about 3 or 4 feet asunder securing them together by small logs of wood laid also [?] & lashed to each of their Gunwales thus the boat supports the other & are not in the least danger of oversetting & I believe that ir is in this manner that all their large Proes are used some of which will carry a great number of Men by means of a platform made of Bamboos or other light wood & the whole length of the Proes & considerably broader, but I never saw but one fitted in this manner upon the whole Island, upon the Forepart of all these larger double Proes was placed an Oblong Platform about 10 or 12 Feet in length & 6 or 8 in Breadth & supported about 4 feet above the Gunwale by stout Carved Pillars the use of these platforms as we were told are for the Club Men to stand & fight upon in time of Battle for the large Canoes from what we could learn are built most of it wholly for war & their on other of fighting is to Graple one another & fight it out with Clubs spears & stones I never saw but one of these sort of Canoes in the Water the rest was all hauled ashore & found to be going to decay neither were there very many of them upon the Island The Knife & butter sort of people generally go from one place of the Island to another in small double Canoes which carry a little moveable house, this not only screens them from the Sun by day but serves them to Sleep in in the Night
This page has its status set to Ready for review and is no longer transcribable.