'Journey to Groote Eylandt. 1921-2.'

Volume II, pages 173-409

This is the second of three volumes. Pages number from 173 to 409 including 400a-z, aA-fF and 409a-c. Diary entries were handwritten.

The Groote Eylandt journals record Tindale's first expedition. He was granted one year's leave of absence from his assistant-entomologist's duties to assist the Church Missionary Society of Australia and Tasmania as an honorary member. The South Australian Museum advanced Tindale £ 50 to purchase specimens. Of the 7,651 specimens and objects Tindale collected on Groote Eylandt, 487 were ethnographic. During this time Tindale formed an association with Maroadunei, a Ngandi tribe song-maker from Arnhem Land who introduced him to the concept of tribal boundaries. At this time the common European perception was that Aboriginal people roamed at will over the countryside as 'free wanderers'.

This journal includes the following:

  • Tindale's observations and interactions with locals, flora and fauna, mission duties, dugong spearing, fighting, sign language, bamboo as a musical instrument, specimen collection, journey down Emerald and Roper Rivers, Groote Eylandt, canoes, Macassar and Malays

  • Tindale's interview with Tim (Maroadunei) from the Arafura tablelands about Ngandi vocabulary, with some Mara words, page 409

  • Tindale listed vocabularies on page 400b, including Mara (approximately 40 words), Malay or suspected Malay words (17 words), Ingura (approximately 380 words) and observations on Groote 'talk', Ngandi (approximately 180 words), Ngalakan (approximately 170 words), and Nungubuyu (approximately 125 words). According to Tindale, the Bickerton Island people spoke the same language as the Groote Eylandters

  • notes on Mara and Ngandi class systems

  • sketches

  • the diary ends with a hand-drawn map of Yetibah or Emerald River

  • notes made in 1922 indicate whether the vocabulary has been checked, copied and whether the map contains errors

Note that Tindale published his collected vocabularies in 'Natives of Groote Eylandt and of the West Coast of the Gulf of Carpentaria: Part III - Languages of Eastern Arnhem Land', Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia, 1928, Vol.52, pages 5-27.

Tindale Tribes: Ingura; Mara; Ngalakan; Ngandi; Nunggubuju.

CreatorDr Norman Barnett Tindale
ControlAA 338/1/1/2
Date Range01 July, 1921  -  31 December, 1921
Quantity 2cm,   1   journal, 13.3x30.2cm, 300 pages
Series AA338/01