Aboriginal Hand Drill: Fire Lighting In The Australian Bush

Ray Mears visits aboriginies in northern Australia and learns some of their approach to living off the land.

For aboriginies, fire is an important tool. And for more than just cooking.

These days matches are easy to come by but Michael, an aborigine elder still knows how to make “natures secret fire”, using the hand drill.

First, he flattens the stick which will be the base, or hearth, board.

He then drills in a hollow and carves a notch.

A stick of the same wood, twirled into the hearth creates a hot dust, which begins to spew out of the notch.

It’s hot enough to make fire…

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