Australia: The Land Where Time Began

A biography of the Australian continent 

Fish Traps at Brewarrina ngunnhu        See The Stone Fish Trap of Baiame                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

These fish traps consist of stone walls about half a kilometre long in the Barwon River, a tributary of the Darling. The Aboriginal People say they were built in the Dreamtime by Baiame and his 2 sons Boomaoomanowi and Ghindaindamui. They are known to be very old, some even suggest they may be one of the oldest human constructions in the world. The traps were built on a section of the river bed that covers a bedrock outcrop. Their use was first reported by European settlers in the 1850s.                

According to the stories of the Ngemba people, Baiame and his sons built the traps when there was a drought and Gurrungga, the waterhole at Brewarrina, dried up, leading to possible famine. It has been said that the placement and method of construction demonstrated an understanding of fish biology and the hydrology of the river, representing an engineering method no longer practised.

Sources & Further reading


Brewarrina Fish traps

Author: M. H. Monroe
Last updated 30/09/2011

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