Contrary to most
published sketches and drawings the houses were not insubstantial lean-to's
but huge one roomed houses.
The best documentation of a house was that
recorded of a house at Adventure Bay on Bruny Island in the eighteenth
century. One of the houses described "was so large, long and high
that it was used for a mess hall for his officers while they were on
This reference clearly indicates quite
a solid and presentable
structure, as no English ships captain would have inflicted his officers
to use substandard dwellings for a mess hall. This record alone reveals
just how much of the village settings and house descriptions were never
recorded for unfathomable reasons.
Villages were common
It is also telling in other ways,
perhaps as mentioned before, houses and villages were so common that
they were an accepted aspect of Aboriginal life and inadvertently overlooked
in the historical accounts. The discovery of houses was not something
new or unexpected. There is no surprise in the account of the size or
style of the house on Bruny Island, just a plain statement of facts
in a journal along with ordinary mundane entries.
European vs Aboriginal Houses