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8850 Fire making tools (2), fire saw, Aboriginal, used by Indigenous Australians for obtaining fire by friction, Quandong wood, made in Australia, before 1885. Click to enlarge.

Fire making tools used by Indigenous Australian people

Made in Australia, Oceania
Set of two wooden tools made from Quandong wood, used by Indigenous Australian people. The first tool is made of two narrow, semi-circular pieces of wood strung together with fibre on both ends. The pieces of wood feature two small grooves on one side. This tool is placed against two pegs in the ground which have been placed a foot apart. A small wedge is tapped lightly into the groove to keep it open . The user places some finely rubbed dry grass or bark fibre in the groove and, sitting down, places his heels against the grooved piece. The pegs holds it firmly in position while the second tool, a knife-like piece of wood, rubs quickly and heavily across the groove where the grass has been placed. The friction generates intense heat and produces fire in a short time. The wedge is then tapped further in to open the groove and the smouldering grass is shaken out into a ball of dry grass. This is waved back and forth until a flame is produced.

Summary

Object No.

8850

Object Statement

Fire making tools (2), fire saw, Aboriginal, used by Indigenous Australians for obtaining fire by friction, Quandong wood, made in Australia, before 1885

Physical Description

Set of two wooden tools made from Quandong wood, used by Indigenous Australian people. The first tool is made of two narrow, semi-circular pieces of wood strung together with fibre on both ends. The pieces of wood feature two small grooves on one side. This tool is placed against two pegs in the ground which have been placed a foot apart. A small wedge is tapped lightly into the groove to keep it open . The user places some finely rubbed dry grass or bark fibre in the groove and, sitting down, places his heels against the grooved piece. The pegs holds it firmly in position while the second tool, a knife-like piece of wood, rubs quickly and heavily across the groove where the grass has been placed. The friction generates intense heat and produces fire in a short time. The wedge is then tapped further in to open the groove and the smouldering grass is shaken out into a ball of dry grass. This is waved back and forth until a flame is produced.

Production

Notes

The fire making tools were made in Australia by Indigenous Australian people. The date of manufacture is unknown but it is before 1885.

History

Notes

The fire making tools were used in Australia by Indigenous Australian people. The date of use is unknown but it was before 1885.

Source

Credit Line

Purchased 1885

Acquisition Date

31 March 1885

Cite this Object

Harvard

Fire making tools used by Indigenous Australian people 2020, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 13 July 2020, <https://ma.as/90046>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/90046 |title=Fire making tools used by Indigenous Australian people |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=13 July 2020 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

Incomplete

This object record is currently incomplete. Other information may exist in a non-digital form. The Museum continues to update and add new research to collection records.

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