How Did Aboriginals Make Fire?

Aboriginal people, or the first humans, made fires using the friction method, which consisted of rubbing dry sticks together to create a spark or ember. The spark was used to ignite other materials such as dry leaves or grass.


Fire is produced by a chemical reaction that creates heat, light, and carbon dioxide.

Early humans needed fire to keep themselves warm and to cook with. In time, they learned to carry fire with them, but when they had to start a new fire, they found a dry stick and flat piece of wood to use as a drill and hearth.


First, someone dug a small hole into the hearth and placed one end of the stick, or drill, in it. The person starting the fire twirled the stick in the hole until it produced a spark, then moved the tiny flame to dry tinder.


Another method aboriginals used was the fire saw. This involved running a hardwood stick across a notched softwood stick. The friction caused by rubbing the two pieces of wood together created heat which ignited the sawdust.

About the Author

Rachel Lovejoy has been writing professionally since 1990 and currently writes a weekly column entitled "From the Urban Wilderness" for the Journal Tribune in Biddeford, Maine, as well as short novellas for Amazon Kindle. Lovejoy graduated from the University of Southern Maine in 1996 with a Bachelor of Arts in English.