Topics: Culture

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Before Cook - North Coastal - view

The Cameraigal were considered by the first fleet author Collins  as “by far the most numerous tribe of any within our knowledge” (Collins 1975, p. 453). Richard Hill of the Aborigines Protection Board wrote that the “Cammera” people extended from the northern part of Sydney Harbour, “say from North Head to Lane Cove River or estuary, right away north to the Hawkesbury, and away east to the sea coast” (Hill and Thornton 1892). Cammeragal, therefore, seems to have been a collective name for a strong alliance of clans on the north harbour of Port Jackson. In the harbour area of Port Jackson, people may have called themselves Eora and the name for man or people was ‘mulla’ . This was recorded in vocabularies by Phillip Gidley King, William Dawes, John Hunter and Daniel Southwell. Recent research suggests that ‘Eora’ did not signify a definite clan or group. The consensus among linguists is to describe the language spoken in this region as the Sydney language as suggested by Dr Jakelin Troy. (Troy 1994)

1775 - South West - view

they ate mangrove (toredo) worms called 'Cah-bro'

1776 - West - view

suffix (gal)

1776 - West - view


1776 - West - view

silcrete stone tool

1776 - West - view

Dreaming hero, Garangatch the giant eel

1776 - West - view

tool sites

1776 - West - view

habitation sites

1788 - North Coastal - view

The Cannalgal clan (Camaraigal, Ga-mariagal) are the first Indigenous peoples to meet the English settlers in Sydney Harbour. The clan are coastal people living between Manly Beach to Dee Why in the north.

1788 - West - view


1789 - North West - view

Aborigines harvesting yams, banks that are “ploughed” and other signs of occupancy: the setting of animal traps

1789 - North Coastal - view

In talking about Arabanoo, Marine Captain Watkin Tench writes “Indeed the gentleness and humanity of his disposition frequently displayed themselves … When our children … used to flock around him, he never failed to fondle them.” (Tench 1996, p. 95)

1789 - Central - view

male initiation ceremonies

1790 - Central - view

fights or dances

1790 - Central - view

men fish with spears

1790 - Central - view

food is gathered by women

1790 - Central - view

fighting and contests

1790 - North Coastal - view

Phillip notes “the weather now being very dry, the natives were employed in burning the grass on the north shore opposite Sydney, in order to catch rats and other animals, whilst the woman were employed in fishing: this is their constant practice in dry weather.”

1790 - Central - view

language vocabulary

1791 - North West - view

“inland language” is different to the “coastal language”