This film documents the Board for Anthropological Research (BAR) expedition to the Gulf of Carpentaria Queensland during 19-30 July 1963.
The expedition party travelled via Sydney, Brisbane, Cloncurry and visited Doomadgee, Mornington, Bentinck and Palm Islands, Queensland. This film may not necessarily include footage from all places visited by the expedition party, but appears to consists of footage from Bentinck Island.
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, for example: [AM2]. Where possible the 'individual subject number' of those who appear in the film have been noted. Individuals previously recorded during the BAR expedition to Bentinck, Mornington and Forsyth Islands [Wellesley Islands] Queensland during 27 April-12 June 1960, retain their 'individual subject number' of [BI], those recorded during this expedition are represented by the expedition symbol [AM]
NB Tindale records that on 28 May 1963 the party set off from Mornington Island Mission to Bentinck Island. The expedition party included NB Tindale, PF Aitken, Tindale's informant Gully Peters [AM34] Jack Tadulkiŋati [BI7]; Jenny [BI19] with a child Grant; Pat [BI14]; Sally [BI30]; Darwin [BI3]; May [BI29]; Roger [AM26]; Desmond [BI6], Arthur [AM75], Paul [BI8], Elsie [BI41] and Sylvia [BI43], as well as four boat boys. Other individuals are discussed in the journal as being filmed performing particular include Maurice [BI4]; Old William [AM13]; Frederic [BI11]; Venus [BI21]. A listing of individuals can be found in Tindale's index to the 'Journal of Visit to The Gulf of Carpentaria by NB Tindale, 1963.' (AA 338/1/25), pp.179-182.
The quality of the footage ranges from excellent to poor. Some of the camera 'stuttering' was corrected during the digitalization process.
This film 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.
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 (AA346/9/22/6)
00:00 'Gulf of Carpentaria, QLD. 1963.'
00:00 'Cultural Sensitivity Warning.'
00:00 'The Museum Board of South Australia © 1963.'
01:00 Group of women and children on the beach gathering oysters.
01:18 Two men lash together logs for a walpu or raft, watched on by a woman and two children. See: (AA 338/1/25), pp.271-273.
01:49 Shot of two women and a child.
01:58 Sequence of shots of the walpu or raft making process.
04:02 A woman carries a bunch of grasses to where the men are making the raft.
04:21 Water is pored onto the lashings, and grass is packed between and on top of the logs.
04:58 Two men lift up the finished raft, then sit in it with a child.
05:14 Maurice [BI4] of the Kaiadilt people sharpens a shell with his teeth and proceeds to carve an paddle. SA Museum Registry No. A55675. See: (AA 338/1/25), p.272-273.
06:19 Two men take the raft into the sea. See: (AA 338/1/25), p.273.
06:34 Shot of a man paddling the raft in the sea; he then paddles into shore and drags the raft up the beach.
07:32 Man walks along the coast.
07:50 Shot of man standing out to sea.
08:05 Shot of turtle on the beach.
08:12 A large group of men and women one of whom is Venus [BI21] of the Kaiadilt people, gather around the turtle, they begin to dance and shout excitedly. See: (AA 338/1/25), p.337. See also: NB Tindale's lecture, Tape 5. (AA 346/9/27)
09:01 A fire is lit on top of the turtle.
09:34 Shot of baler shell knives on the sand.
09:40 Close up of a man sharpening a baler shell with his teeth, he protects his mouth by covering the serrated edge of the shell with paperbark.
09:58 Cutting up the turtle.
11:21 Women wash the entrails of the turtle in the sea.
11:31 Cooking the turtle.
11:55 Men sharpens baler shell with teeth.
12:04 Men using shell to prepare the logs for the raft [This appears to be the beginning of the raft making sequence.]
12:25 Shot of three men lashing logs for a raft.
13:16 Men place grass on the raft.
13:24 Shot of a man paddling a raft in the sea.
14:13 Footage of a man packing grass and oars into the raft.
14:23 Close up of oars and the lashings around the logs.
14:41 Pressure flaking sequence, Old William [AM13] of the Lardiil people demonstrates the making mariwu. SA Museum Specimens. A.52186- A.52193. See: (AA 338/1/25), pp.461-463.
18:59 Man collects oysters using a tjilka stick and mariwu.
20:10 Jack [BI7] walks towards the camera sits next to Old William [AM13] of the Lardiil people demonstrates the making of a mariwu / pressure flaking sequence. See: (AA 338/1/25), pp.473-476.
23:42 Over exposed film.
23:45 Paul [BI8] of the Kaiadilt people creates a small hole in a baler shell to make a water carrier. See: (AA 338/1/25), p.483.
24:32 Frederic [BI11] of the Kaiadilt people in the mangroves uses his weigh to remove a tree which he then carries out to a clearing and cuts with a mariwu to the length of an oar. See: (AA 338/1/25), p.483.
26:13 Frederic [BI11] of the Kaiadilt people picks up a baler shell, tree and an oar and walks to the sea. See: (AA 338/1/25), pp.483-5.
27:05 Frederic [BI11] of the Kaiadilt people then gathers oysters using a tjilka stick and mariwu. See: (AA 338/1/25), p.483-485.
28:21 Sequence of shots where Frederic [BI11] of the Kaiadilt people shapes the oar with a nara shell. See: (AA 338/1/25), p.483.
29:54 Shot of ngorowari or fish traps build by Bentinck Islander women. See: (AA 338/1/25), pp.483-485.
30:10 Close up of meat on fire.
30:45 Frederic [BI11] of the Kaiadilt people straightens an oar.
31:33 Man walks along beach carrying small logs on his shoulder.
31:53 Cooking sequence and man eating.
32:44 Shot of beach.
32:54 Venus [BI21] of the Kaiadilt people and another woman make rope from Tilia bark and red ochre for the raft's lashings. See: (AA 338/1/25), p.361.
33:44 Frederic [BI11] of the Kaiadilt people sharpening the rafts logs to a point with a nara shell. (AA 338/1/25), pp.365-367.
35:02 Man measures even lengths of the rope around his foot.
35:24 A shallow pit is made in the sand so as to pass the lashings under the raft.
35:38 End of footage.
Tribal / language groups recorded during this expedition as recorded in the Data Cards (AA 346/4/24)
Tindale Tribes: Janggal; Janjula; Jokula; Kaiadilt; Karawa; Lardiil; Maikudunu; Wanji.
AIATSIS Tribal / Language Groups: Gananggalinda; Ganggalida; Garawa; Gayardilt; Lardil; Mayi-Kutuna; Waanyi; Yanuwa..