About this objectBefore cool safes and refridgeration became available to people in the "Bush" the beasts killed for household meat were slaughtered and mostly hung up to a tree limb sometimes away from house and sheds. The tree gave some protection and maybe some coolness with light draughts of air before the sun rose and the flies started to attack, it was someone's job to cut the beast down. This with the Cleaver which was made to Leverage and with a long sharp blade. The hooked end allowed the Cleaver to be hung up off the ground and onto a branch. The blade was sharpened as a razor and the weilder cut the carcass downward through the spinal column. A saw
was then used to "quarter" the body. Sometimes Fat,
Kidneys, Etc. were loaded onto a Dray or sometimes
rolled in Hession and all thrown over a horses back and
carried to the homestead. Then all were taken to the fly
proof meat house and cut up. The meat houses were generally built like a birds avairy and covered with fly screen wire .... sometimes a well was dug under the meat house and steps allowed the meat to be stored below
ground and still away from the flies. This procedure mostly applied to hand cured corn beef. The whole was really an underground silo for food storage.
I found this Cleaver in such a place near a forgotten Butchers shop at Merringo between Young and Boorowa. Hours of hard work returned the impliment to reasonable condition.
From the original Viv Kable catalogue exhibit register.