A humpy or gunyah was a small, temporary shelter made from bark and tree branches, traditionally used by Australian Aborigines, with a standing tree usually used as the main support. The word humpy comes from the Jagera language (a Murri people from Coorparoo in Brisbane); other language groups would have different names for the structure.
Both names were adopted by early white settlers, and now form part of the Australian lexicon. Small impermanent dwellings, made of branches and bark (particularly paperbark) were built prior to the construction of more permanent buildings, and were referred to as humpies.
It is sometimes called a lean-to, since it can rely on the tree for support.
- State Library of Victoria photo of Aboriginal people and humpy
- article on early white settlers making humpies
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