Friday 27 December 2013

Museum & Australian Aboriginal Keeping Place.


Australian Aboriginal's Gorgets. PLEASE NOTE: Aboriginal People's names are mentioned here.

PLEASE NOTE: Aboriginal People's names are mentioned here.

Gorgets given to Australian Aboriginal  people.

18th Century body Armour.

As the threat of firearms increased in the 17th and 18th centuries, body armour was proofed by firing at it with a round ball. The mark left by the round ball was the proof mark.
Armour was worn by military engineers/pioneers, by officers for protection & as a badge of rank. Some body armour was given in trade to Indians and given as a gift to high ranking chiefs. Other body armour was taken from the dead enemy in battle, and so anyone could obtain this body armour if they so wished.

Copy of an 18th century Gorget.

18th century Gorget made in the colonies.

Plain brass Gorget.

Plain brass Gorget.

17th to 18th century trade silver gorget. Measures approximately 6.5 inches across. Hand-engraved with a scene of a Native American and a white man sharing a piece pipe over a fire under a tree and a anthropomorphic sun.

18th century silver gorget.

18th century matching back plate armour.

18th century Northern European shot-proofed breastplate.

Date of origin 18thc.-19th century.

French Cuirass 1865.

Early 18th century Scottish Targe.

Early 18th century wood and leather Scottish Targe.

"they wear a target, composed of leather, wood and brass, and which is so strong, that no ball can penetrate it".  1752.

Monday 23 December 2013

Horn Guns. A Link.

The Bandeirantes

The bandeirantes were composed of Indians (slaves and allies), caboclos (people of Indian mixed with white), and some whites who were the captains of the Bandeiras. Members of the 16th–18th century South American slave-hunting expeditions called bandeiras (Portuguese for "flags"). Though their original purpose was to capture and force amerindians into slavery, the bandeirantes later began to focus their expeditions on finding gold, silver and diamond mines. They ventured into unmapped regions in search of profit and adventure. From 1580–1670 the Bandeirantes focused on slave hunting, then from 1670–1750 they focused on mineral wealth. Through these expeditions, the Bandeirantes also expanded Portuguese America from the small limits of the Tordesilhas Line to roughly the same territory as current Brazil. This expansion discovered mineral wealth that made the fortune of Portugal during the 17th and 18th centuries.

Sunday 22 December 2013

Xmas Message.

May the Great Spirit be with you all over Xmas. Take care and stay safe. 
All the very best.
Regards, Keith.
Warrior's Trail By Robert Griffing.

Fort Dearborn, Illinois. (original, anonymous artist).

Saturday 21 December 2013

The Housewife Sewing Kit and Comfort.

Everything we carry on the trail is for comfort. Different people have different ideas about what was carried by the average woodsman. But with basic items I do not find it hard to make a decision. Take the housewife for instance. We know for a fact that everyone, no matter who they are or what they are sooner or later will need clothing repair. For the woodsrunner it is even more so because of the increased wear and tear involved in the job. Some will say that we can make a needle and the thread when we need it, which is true, but would it be sensible after going to all the trouble to make a bone needle to then not carry it with you so you have to make a new needle each time you need to make new moccasins or repair your present ones?

The answer is no, it would not be sensible, so using the same logic, if you have access to metal sewing needles, why would you not obtain some and carry them with you? The same then applies to the thread, beeswax and maybe spare clothing buttons. It is just plain common sense to carry these items with you.

Here then are some items you may wish to consider carrying with you on the trail. Needles can do double duty used for removing wood splinters. Fine linen thread may be used in an emergency for stitching up wounds. Beeswax used to wax linen thread can also be used to seal tears in your oilcloth after repair.
Plain wood handled awl with wooden sheath.

An antler handled awl made by the author, a waxed linen thread wrapped wooden sheath, and the author's original awl once owned by his Father.

The author's Housewife and contents.

The pin cushion holds a variety of needles and is wrapped in two sizes of linen thread.

More linen thread on a horn thread winder made by the author, and a hand made bone button.

Rolls of animal sinew and rawhide used for repairing moccasins, and a piece of beeswax for waxing linen thread.

Showing the open pocket that holds spare buttons, beeswax and sinew and rawhide.

Showing the housewife rolled up and tied.

Early 18th century case and accessories.

Wooden needle cases.

Sewing items, including needles, straight pins, thimbles, scissors and a bone cap, possibly to a needle case.

Tuesday 10 December 2013


Ammunition You May Not Have Seen Before.

Musket lead round ball joined together in 2s with brass wire. This is to inflict more damage.
17th century. Recovered from the wreck of the Batavia.
17th century lead shot. The small shot looks as though it could have been made with a hole punch.


Thursday 5 December 2013

Aborigines may have farmed eels, built huts.

Australia's Aborigines, long considered a nomadic people, appear to have farmed eels and built stone dwellings in the southeast of the country for 8,000 years, according to an archaeologist.
The claims, centred on the Gunditjmara people around Lake Condah - about 350 km west of what is today Melbourne - are made by archaeologist Dr Heather Builth and will be aired tonight on ABC TV's science programCatalyst.
In the first evidence of a sedentary Aboriginal community, Builth found what she argues is an ancient eel farm in the form of countless channels crisscrossing the landscape at Lake Condah.
"This had to be excavated," said Builth, an honorary research associate with Monash University in Melbourne who is also helping produce a management plan for the nearby Winda-Mara Aboriginal Corporation near Lake Condah.

Bead currency used in Australia's first export industry

Indigenous Australians took European glass beads from Macassan seafarers in return for giving them fishing rights on traditional lands as early as the 18th Century, say archaeologists.
They say the findings could have relevance for native title claims, which rely on this as a precedent for Aboriginal people negotiating access to their lands.
Daryl Wesley and Mirani Litster of the Australian National University reported on the significance of 30 beads they excavated from the Wellington Range in north western Arnhem Land, at this week's Australian Archaeology Association conference in Coffs Harbour.

Tuesday 3 December 2013

Jack of All Trades, Master of None: White Oak Canyon Scout: Testing your kit in foul ...

Jack of All Trades, Master of None: White Oak Canyon Scout: Testing your kit in foul ...: A Virginia Spy makes his way to a cold camp.  In the rain, I keep my lock under my arm, instead of keeping my firing hand on over the ...


Dave's ACT: WEETANGARA BUSHRANGERS: Confused me at first because of the date but this article apparently starts off with a historical reference. This is a tale of an encounte...


Dave's ACT: INCIDENTS IN THE LIFE OF JAMES AINSLIE: Dated 1926 this article about the 1820's pioneer James Ainslie tells the tale of his involvement in the Battle of Waterloo and his settl...

Monday 2 December 2013

Woodland Indian Leggings By Sheryl Hartman.

I did write several reviews on this book many years ago. My copy is now an old one. The new version I believe has a new cover image. I did try many times to contact Ms Hartman, but recieved no reply, so I cannot say if this book is still available or not.
These leggings were also worn by white colonials, woodsrunners, scouts, spies & Rangers.

Author's finger woven wool garters.

Loom woven wool garters.

Author's legging garters tied at the back by the fringe.

When I made my leather leggings, I simply wrapped the leather round my leg & marked where they needed to be sewn. Then I added a little more to allow for the flap. All stitching was done with linen thread.
I finger wove and beaded my own garters. They are a plain olive green wool.