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Kangaroo hunting
Title : Kangaroo hunting Kangaroo hunting
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Creator : Snell, Edward John, 1820-1880
Source : B 55781
Place Of Creation : South Australia
Date of creation : 1850
Format : Artwork
Dimensions : 180 mm x 268 mm
Contributor : State Library catalogue
Catalogue record
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Description :

A watercolour illustration of dingoes giving chase to kangaroos in the bush, in the Yorke Peninsula area. Aboriginal hunters are pictured far in the background. The artwork is in typical style of accomplished watercolour illustrator, Edward John Snell.

Edward John Snell was an engineer, artist and adventurer and he recorded his travels in South Australia and Victoria in his diary, with candid, humorous descriptions and sketches.

Snell worked as a surveyor on Yorke Peninsula between June and September 1850. In that time he recorded encounters including numerous kangaroo sightings and several kangaroo hunts with Aboriginal men, including the use of dogs to help run down the animals. He wrote:

'...we startled a young buck which we killed after a sharp run of about 2 miles-the kangaroo and dogs were soon out of sight but the blacks (sic) followed up their tracks nearly as fast as I could run and when we got to the kangaroo he was laying dead with the dogs panting by the side of him.'

Another kangaroo was killed later. The surveyors skinned the kangaroos, kept the tails and gave the rest of the kangaroos to their Aboriginal helpers.

On 18 August he recorded the hunt again, where five kangaroos we killed. Again they kept only the skins and tails giving the rest to the Aboriginal people. He also described the cooking methods used. On other occasions the surveyors lent their hunting dogs, and were rewarded with the tails, which they used to make 'a glorious supper of soup...'

Later in 1852 Snell travelled to the Victorian goldfields to try his luck, and recorded daily life at the diggings.

Related names :

Snell, Edward John, 1820-1880

Coverage year : 1850
Period : 1836-1851
Place : South Australia
Region : Yorke Peninsula
Further reading :

Snell, Edward, The life and adventures of Edward Snell: the illustrated diary of an artist, engineer and adventurer in the Australian colonies 1849 to 1859 edited and introduced by Tom Griffiths with assistance from Alan Platt North Ryde, N.S.W.: Angus & Robertson and The Library Council of Victoria, 1988

Kangaroos, wallabies and rat-kangaroos edited by Gordon Grigg, Peter Jarman and Ian Hume Chipping Norton, N.S.W.: Surrey Beatty & Sons, 1989

Gould, John, Kangaroos; With modern commentaries by Joan M. Dixon South Melbourne, Vic.: Macmillan, 1973

Strahan, Ronald, ed. The mammals of Australia : the national photographic index of Australian wildlife, Chatswood, N.S.W. : Reed Books : The Australian Museum, 1995

Dawson, Terence J. Kangaroos : the biology of the largest marsupials, Ithaca, N.Y. : Comstock Pub. Associates, 1995

Kangaroos in Australia : conservation status and management , Canberra : Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service, 1988

Kwan, Elizabeth. Living in South Australia: a social history, Netley, S. Aust.: South Australian Government Printer, 1987

Radford, R, Hylton, J. Australian colonial art : 1800-1900 Adelaide : Art Gallery Board of South Australia, 1995

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