Robert Hamilton Mathews works with Aboriginal people

1893 to 1896 Robert Hamilton Mathews works with Aboriginal people, and especially senior Darkinjung men, to record their language and culture. He publishes many works including “Rock paintings by the Aborigines in caves on Bulgar Creek, near Singleton” (1893), “Rock paintings and carvings of the Aborigines of New South Wales focusing on paintings located at Ballys Arm, Cutta Muttan, St Albans Road, Lockyer County, Mogo Creek, and Wollombi Brook among others (1895), “The Rock paintings and carvings of the Australian Aborigines” [part 1] focusing on stencils at Wollombi, drawings on the ground, trees, bark among others (1895), “Rock Carving by the Australian Aborigines (Plate VIII)” (1896) (see pictures below). This last work focuses on a carving of a “white man going to cut timber carrying an axe over his shoulder” done by “Hiram” in around 1855 in Wilberforce on the Hawkesbury River. Hiram uses the tool of the “white man”, an iron tomahawk and the height of the man with the axe is life size (five feet seven inches and a half). Mathew uses this as evidence that Darkinjung are introducing new symbols into ancient cultural practices to challenge the view that local Aboriginal culture belongs to the past. (Mathews 1896)