Culture and heritage

Aboriginal cultural heritage

Aboriginal scarred trees in NSW - a field manual

Thousands of surviving trees in NSW bear scars resulting from removal of bark or wood by Aboriginal people in the past for the manufacture of canoes, shields and other artefacts. These scarred trees are one of the most common yet least understood items of Aboriginal heritage.

'Aboriginal Scarred Trees in New South Wales' has been written to help those who wish to record Aboriginal scarred trees or who wish to distinguish between Aboriginal scarring and scars that are the result of natural processes such as tree disease and lightning strikes.

In five parts the manual provides:

  • An introduction to scarred trees, including an explanation of how they form, why they are important and what they can tell us about Aboriginal culture
  • An overview of Aboriginal and European scarring practices in New South Wales
  • A review of non-cultural scarring processes
  • A guide to where to find Aboriginal scarred trees in New South Wales
  • Suggested techniques in identifying and recording scarred trees.

Documents to download

The format and structure of this publication may have been adapted for web delivery.

Page last updated: 26 February 2011