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Extract from "Traditional Villages"

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 land." 

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

 

The European slab house and the Traditional Aboriginal house showing that they were identical in size. Numerous accounts and illustrations of the houses imply that the Aboriginal houses were low, small and uncomfortable. While they fail to show a scale they also indicate that the houses were 'primitive' which they were not. They were just different. Suited to a different lifestyle and culture.
 

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