Aboriginal Cultural Heritage

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Tasmania’s Aboriginal cultural heritage provides a spiritual connection for Tasmanian Aboriginal people today and valuable information about one of the oldest living cultures in the world.​

​Aboriginal cultural heritage is the tangible and intangible legacy of Tasmania’s Aboriginal people. It refers to those places, objects and traditions that have been passed down to us from past generations. It also includes intangible places where there may be no physical evidence of past cultural activities. These include places of spiritual or ceremonial significance or trade and travel routes.​

In this Topic

  • Aboriginal Shell Middens
    Aboriginal shell middens are distinct concentrations of shell that contain evidence of past Aboriginal hunting, gathering and food processing activities within a particular area.
  • Aboriginal Rock Markings
    Rock marking is the term used in Tasmania to describe the deliberate creation of marks or images on a rock surface by Aboriginal people in the past.
  • Aboriginal Rock Shelters
    An Aboriginal rockshelter is a cave, overhang or rock arch that contains evidence of use and occupation by Aboriginal people.
  • Aboriginal Cultural Burning
    Tasmanian Aboriginal people used fire as a tool for several purposes. Fire was used as a heat source for cooking and keeping warm. Fire also played an important role in travel, hunting, communication, burial practices and land management.
  • Aboriginal Stone Artefacts
    Stone artefacts are evidence of stone modified or used by Tasmanian Aboriginal people in the past. Aboriginal people quarried particular stone outcrops or collected stones from river beds and coastal zones to create a sophisticated set of tools.
  • Aboriginal Diet
    Tasmanian Aboriginal people caught and collected a variety of food from the land and water. Seasonal changes to plants provided different nutrients. Some of the food eaten by ancestors continues to be eaten today.
  • Aboriginal Burials
    In pre-colonial times Aboriginal people had different practices in dealing with a person's body after they died. Burials were in softer ground. Cremations were more common.
  • Aboriginal Cultural Practices
    Cultural practices include shell necklaces, grass baskets, kelp carriers and bark canoes.
  • Aboriginal Historical Places Introduction
    Aboriginal historical places are significant to Tasmanian Aboriginal people. Different laws and regulations apply to different places.
  • Aboriginal Historical Places Hobart Orphan School
    About forty Aboriginal children lived at the Orphan School at different times from the 1820s to the 1850s.
  • Aboriginal Historical Places Wybalenna
    Wybalenna is one of the most important historical places in Tasmania
  • Aboriginal Historical Places putalina / Oyster Cove
    Putalina / Oyster Cove was the government settlement after Wybalenna closed. It was reclaimed by the Aboriginal community in 1984.
  • Aboriginal Languages and Trade
    Several languages were spoken around lutruwita / Tasmania before colonisation. Today the palawa kani program recommends dual names to the Nomenclature Board.