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Buildings of the Fur Trade: An Introduction to Tasmanian Skin Sheds and Snaring Huts


Cubit, S, Buildings of the Fur Trade: An Introduction to Tasmanian Skin Sheds and Snaring Huts, Historic Environment, 14, (1) pp. 10-18. ISSN 0726-6715 (1998) [Non Refereed Article]


From the late 1880s to the 1950s, Australia was an active participant in the international fur trade, placing large volumes of marsupial and other skins on world markets. While nearly all states participated in the trade, Tasmania played a particularly important role. Due to the colder climate, Tasmania produced many of the better quality skins that were exported from Australian shores. With such skins receiving premium prices, many rural Tasmanians became transhumant hunters, travelling up into the higher, colder regions of the state each winter to hunt. One of the artefacts of this nationally distinctive practice was the development of a special type of building used to dry skins in wet, relatively cold conditions. These buildings, known as skin sheds, have never been formally described. Once ubiquitous features of the Tasmanian high country, they are now quite rare. It is the objective of this discussion to develop an understanding of the structure and function of these buildings by reference to those skin sheds built in and around the upper reaches of the Mersey Valley in northern Tasmania from early this century to the 1970s. It is hoped that this brief introduction to the subject will prompt further work on these interesting but rare buildings.

Item Details

Item Type:Non Refereed Article
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Human geography
Research Field:Social geography
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Other culture and society
Objective Field:Other culture and society not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Cubit, S (Mr Simon Cubit)
ID Code:13790
Year Published:1998
Deposited By:Geography and Environmental Studies
Deposited On:1998-08-01
Last Modified:2011-09-06

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