Supplementary to: 'Visits to Ooldea, S.Aust. to study the Aborigines by Norman B. Tindale in 1934 and 1951. Adelaide. S. Australia', AA 338/1/13

This series contains restricted material.

This item consists of 10 wax cylinders recorded by Norman B Tindale during a visit to Ooldea in 1934. Tindale met a number of groups at Ooldea, but the main people studied were Jankundjara (Yankunytjatjara). Most of the recorded songs relate to the Kalaya (or Emu) ceremony which is shared by many cultural groups across the Western Desert, and public access to them is restricted. Also recorded were three rain ceremony songs learned by informants at Rottnest Island in Western Australia, but their ultimate place of origin was not established.

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.

Song transcriptions and contextual details relating to songs and ceremonies can be found in Tindale's expedition field journal 'Visits to Ooldea, S.Aust. to study the Aborigines by Norman B. Tindale in 1934 and 1951. Adelaide. S. Australia' (AA 338/1/13) and the Ooldea song notebooks (in 'Papers relating to Ooldea Journal, 1934', AA 338/2/31). Note that Tindale transcribed a number of songs for which he did not make an accompanying audio recording. In his field journal Tindale noted that 'the language of the songs is archaic and the word for word meaning is 'difficult'' (AA 338/1/13, p.127).

The wax cylinders relating to Ooldea contain the following songs:

AA 338/11/9/

  • Cylinder 1. Inma Kalaia (emu) lak:a. Songs 1T, 1R, 2T, 2R
    [Track 1. Tape No. 9577; TT18; R1; Cyl. Ooldea; Song 1-AS224-225; Song 2-AS226, 249]

  • Cylinder 2. Inma Kalaia (emu) lak:a. Song 3T, 3R
    [Track 2. Tape No. 9577; TT18; R2; Cyl. Ooldea; AS229, 234]

  • Cylinder 3. Inma Kalaia (emu) lak:a. Songs 4T, 4R, 5T
    [Track 3. Tape No. 9577; TT18; R3; Cyl. Ooldea; Song 4-AS227; Song 5-AS239]

  • Cylinder 4. Inma Kalaia (emu) lak:a. Songs 5R, 6T, 6R
    [Track 4. Tape No. 9577; TT18; R4; Cyl. Ooldea 4; Song 5-AS239]

  • Cylinder 5. Inma Kalaia (emu) lak:a. Song 7T, 7R, 7T
    [Track 5. Tape No. 9577; TT18; R5; Cyl. Ooldea 5; Song 7-AS231, 238]

  • Cylinder 6. Inma Kalaia (emu) lak:a. Song 8T, 8R
    [Track 6. Tape No. 9577; TT18; R6; Cyl. Ooldea 6; Song 8-AS228]

  • Cylinder 7. Inma Kawulja (rain ceremony) from Rottnest Island WA. Song 9
    [Track 7. Tape No. 9577; TT18; R7; Cyl. Ooldea 7; AS245-246]

  • Cylinder 8. Inma Kawulja (rain ceremony) from Rottnest Island WA. Song 10
    [Track 8. Tape No. 9577; TT18; R8; Cyl. Ooldea 8; AS247]

  • Cylinder 9. Inma Kawulja (rain ceremony) from Rottnest Island WA. Song 11
    [No audio; AS248]

  • Cylinder 12. Test Reel Ooldea Soak
    [Track 9. Tape No. 9577; TT18; R12; Cyl. Coorong 3]

The S. A. Museum Speech and Sound Collections register lists 24 songs for the Ooldea visit of 1934 (AS 224-249): Inma lak:a Kalaia (Emu) of Waratji (20 songs); Song of many men dancing (1 song); and Inma Kawulja (3 songs). As noted above, not all of these songs were recorded on the gramophone.

  • Inma lak:a Kalaia (Emu) of Waratji
    [AS224-241, 243-244]

  • Song of many men dancing

  • Inma Kawulja

Finally, note that in general the actual language or cultural ownership of a particular song is not necessarily indicated in the catalogue descriptions provided in this series. In many cases, such comment awaits further work upon the collection.

Tindale Tribes: Jangkundjara.

CreatorDr Norman Barnett Tindale
ControlAA 338/11/9/Tracks 1-9
Date Range1934  -  1934
Quantity   10   wax cylinders, 1 access CD
Series AA338/11
Tindale Tribes: