This film documents the Board for Anthropological Research (BAR) expedition to Bentinck, Mornington and Forsyth Islands [Wellesley Islands] Queensland during 27 April-12 June 1960.
The method adopted by BAR expeditions to undertake research and record the results involved assigning a unique number to each individual (here called 'individual subject number'). This number was given the expedition symbol as a prefix, and remained consistent throughout the research. This BAR expedition has the symbol 'AI' however, the individuals recorded were assigned the prefix of 'BI' denoting Bentinck Island or 'FI' denoting Forsyth Island; for example , for example: [BI2]. Where possible the 'individual subject number' of those who appear in film have been noted. Individuals subsequently recorded during the BAR expedition to Gulf of Carpentaria, Queensland, 1963, have 'individual subject numbers' of [AM] and may be mentioned in both NB Tindale's journal and this film summary.
The expedition party went via Sydney, Brisbane and Townsville from where they flew to Mornington Island. The expedition party which included NB Tindale (AA 338) and PF Aitken took a boat from Mornington Island Mission across the Appel Channel to Bentinck Island in the company of Reverend DL Belcher (AA 27), Tindale's informant Gully Peters [AM34] and approximately twenty Kaiadilt people from Mornington Island Mission. Individuals mentioned as being part of the Bentinck Island trip include: Darwin [BI3]; Pat [BI4]; Maurice [BI5]; Desmond [BI6]; Jack [BI7]; Paul [BI8]; Pluto [BI9]; Shark [BI10]; Old William [AM13]; Frederic [BI11]; Bobbie [BI12]; Jenny [BI19]; Roland [BI37] Henry, Scotty and Percy.
This film may not necessarily include footage from all places visited by the expedition party but appears to contain footage from Bentinck and Mornington Islands, Queensland.
The cinematographer was Tindale who noted in his journal that 'because of a camera defect all movies taken in 1960 are 'soft' and out of focus.' See: (AA 338/1/23), p.18. This may be the reason the film was not completed. The quality of the footage is fair to poor, and occasionally overexposed. Some of the camera 'stuttering' was corrected in the digitalization process.
This item was previously held in the NB Tindale collection (AA 338) although not
accessioned and was transferred to the BAR Collection (AA 346) in April 2005.
Please note that the time coded summary is in minutes and seconds. Following the summary of this film is a list of references and further notes. Formats Held: 16mm Kodachrome, SP Betacam, Digital Betacam, Access DVDs.
Summary (Time Coded) Taken from Access DVD 3 (AA 346/9/20/6)
00:00 'Bentinck and Mornington Island, QLD. 1960.'
00:00 'Cultural Sensitivity Warning.'
00:00 'The Museum Board of South Australia © 1960.'
01:00 Aerial view of Bentinck Island. See: (AA 338/1/23), p.19.
02:10 Man walking on beach.
02:33 View of bay.
02:56 Close up shot of water on shore.
03:05 Older boy on the beach, harpoon in his left hand, squid in right hand. See: (AA 338/1/23), p.31.
03:27 View of bay.
03:41 Mornington Island Mission Pier. Preparations to launch a boat to take the expedition party and other people to Bentinck Island across Appel Channel. There are several shots of people sitting around the pier and a sequence of close up shots of women one of whom is Old Venus [BI21] of the Kaiadilt people and many children. See: (AA 338/1/23), pp.173-175.
04:25 View of pier and boat; the people sitting down proceed to the boat at the end of the pier.
04:52 The boat leaves the pier.
05:20 Fire on the beach.
05:28 Close up of fire with dugong cooking on it. See: (AA 338/1/23), pp.179-183.
05:45 Group of approximately seven people are sit and stand on the beach.
06:17 Close up of fire.
06:22 An Australian Aboriginal man in the mangroves uses a digging stick to gather roots and sweet potatoes. See: (AA 338/1/23), pp.193-195.
06:36 Close up of hand showing a bunch of jaruba or native sweet potatoes.
06:19 Shot of same man using a digging stick, briefly we see the roots he has gathered. See: (AA 338/1/23), p.193.
07:00 Overexposed film.
07:01 Sideways shot of beach.
07:03 Turtle on the beach. Men walk up and kill the turtle with rock blows to the head. See: (AA 338/1/23), p.223.
08:03 Four women on the beach carry firewood on their head which they then drop next to the turtle.
08:26 Three men turn the turtle over onto its back and proceed to build a fire on the turtle.
09:03 Close up of Frederic [BI11] of the Kaiadilt people sharpening a shell knife with his teeth, he protects his mouth by covering the serrated edge of the shell with paperbark. See: (AA 338/1/23), pp.223-224.
09:08 Maurice [BI4] of the Kaiadilt people uses the baler shell to prepare the turtle for cooking.
10:58 Cooking the turtle.
11:28 Shot of dugong in shallow water off the beach.
11:45 Men around the fire.
11:57 Close up of Frederic [BI11] of the Kaiadilt people sharpening a shell knife with his teeth.
12:20 Close up of turtle cooking.
12:50 Men remove the turtle from the fire and proceeds to portion it with a shell knife.
14:28 Campsite scene on the beach.
14:33 Close up of fire.
14:38 Series of shot with two men cooking.
15:20 Shot of man on the beach.
15:32 Two men with a catch of fish. See: (AA 338/1/23), p.243.
16:01 Close up of the salmon on spear.
16:21 Preparation and cooking of fish.
17:12 Four men roll a dugong out of shallow water onto the beach.
17:43 Portioning up the dugong. See: (AA 338/1/23), pp.243-245.
19:23 Snake with yellow belly on the beach. See: (AA 338/1/23), p.243.
19:56 Old William [AM13] of the Kaiadilt people sits down and begins pressure flaking sequence. See: (AA 338/1/23), pp.269, 281-283.
25:24 End of the film.
Tribal / language groups recorded during this expedition as noted in the Data cards (AA 346/4/24).
Tindale Tribes: Janggal; Kaiadilt; Lardiil.
AIATSIS Tribal / Language Groups: Gananggalinda; Gayardilt; Lardil.