This series contains restricted material.
This item consists of 14 wax cylinders recorded by Norman B Tindale during the University of Adelaide's Board for Anthropological Research expedition to the north-east of South Australia in 1934. In a report on the expedition, Tindale wrote: 'pitjuri trade routes and the songs chanted during journeys to obtain this narcotic were set down and 15 songs of the Jawurawalka, Ngamani, Wonkanguru, Aranda and Dieri were recorded on the Edison phonograph' (AA 338/1/12, p.201). The 4 pitjuri (Duboisia) songs were not recorded on wax cylinder but transcriptions and additional descriptions are found in Tindale's 'Journal of the Anthropological Expedition to the Diamantina, North-East of South Australia. August 1934' (AA 338/1/12, pp. 87-91). Another song not recorded on wax cylinder, a navel string song, is located at AA 338/1/12, p.191.
Tindale's preferred recording method involved making two recordings of each song, 'the first was played back to the aboriginal, who then again sang it. Such repeats have never been replayed, they are virgin, awaiting some sophisticated system of reproduction' (letter from Tindale to the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies, 6 Feb 1975). Accordingly, cylinder contents listings often contain the letters 'T' and 'R' for 'trial' and 'repeat', respectively.
Documentation relating to the wax cylinders is found in Tindale's Diamantina field journal (AA 338/1/12) and song notebook (AA 338/12/1/6). The S. A. Museum Speech and Sound Collections register offers an incomplete record of songs recorded during the expedition (see AS 250-255). As mentioned, a number of songs were written down but not recorded on wax cylinder.
Transcriptions of songs are found in Tindale's field journal and the expedition song notebook. Note that the transcriptions vary in quality: they are often partial, and may be accompanied by English glosses. Tindale usually provides details on the identity of the singer, the place or places to which the song is associated, and in some cases more detailed contextual notes relating to the ceremonies of which the songs form a part.
According to documentation stored with the cylinders, as well as notes on the canisters, the Diamantina expedition wax cylinders contain the following songs: