Prior to European settlement the district around Bridgewater and Herdsmans Cove was inhabited by the Paredarerme Aborigines, the largest indigenous tribe in Tasmania. Geographical locations associated with this group include the Derwent estuary, Jordan River and New Norfolk and much further afield along the east coast and into central Tasmania. ‘Oyster Bay Tasmanian’ or ‘Paritarami’ is the aboriginal language of these people.
From http://www.heritage.tas.gov.au/media/pdf/September%202011.pdf , “the history of the Paredarerme (Oyster Bay) tribe, estimated to be the largest Tasmanian tribe at the time of European settlement with 10 bands totalling 700 to 800 people. Theirs was a nomadic, but complex society, with strong cultural traditions. The Paredarerme people constructed uniquely Tasmanian reed and bark boats. It is believed these vessels date back at least 4,000 years and were used to access offshore islands and traversing inland waterways.” The site, http://www.museumsaustralia.org.au/admin/email_templates_archive_message.php?id=428 continues with additional information: “Collecting the plant materials would have involved the whole tribe, with men collecting large pieces of bark and being responsible for the canoe’s construction. It would take considerable strength to lash the plant materials to form a strong and robust vessel. These would have been used to collect shellfish, crayfish, and to hunt seals along the coast. They were also used to cross the stretch of water now known as Mercury Passage to Toarra-Marra-Monah (Maria Island), choosing good weather to cross from Rheban to Lachlan Island, then across to Maria Island.”
Paredarerme Tasmanian Aboriginals are now collectively referred to as Pungenna Culture. On http://pungennaart.wikifoundry.com/page/bush+tucker, I found photographs of traditional foods. I should not have been surprised to see pigface as one of the foods – in earlier postings I have included photos of this gorgeous pink flowering plant which grew by the Derwent River.