Aboriginal artists in Tasmania draw on themes and images from their culture, country and experience to create new forms of expression. See our Tasmanian aboriginal paintings page for examples.

Wood Crafts

Tasmanian Aboriginal men continue to make spears and waddies from native hardwoods, using skills handed down from their fathers and uncles. Traditional clapsticks are still made and coloured with ochre by both men and women.


Ochre is an important cultural resource for the Tasmanian Aboriginal community. Traditionally, Aboriginal women had the exclusive role of obtaining ochre. Today, many Tasmanian Aboriginal men continue to respect the traditional cultural custom by obtaining ochre from women only.

Tasmanian ochre ranges in colour from white through yellow to red. It has many uses, including ceremonial body marking, colouring wood craft products, tie-dyeing and various other uses in crafts and arts. Tasmanian Aborigines consider ochre to be a special cultural resource.