This is the final film production documenting the Board for Anthropological Research (BAR) expedition to Diamantina, South Australia during 10-28 August 1934. The expedition party included numerous BAR members.
The party visited localities including: Quorn, Marree, Hawker, Mernmerna, Nantowarpunna, Dulkaninna Station, Cannuwaukaninna, Etadunna, Kopperamanna, Mulka, Ooroowilanie, Mungeranie Bore, Mirra Mitta, Goyder Lanoon, Pandie Pandie and Minnie Downs.
The cinematographers were NB Tindale (AA 338) and HK Fry (AA 105), the final film production was arranged by FJ Fenner (AA 91). The original master copies of the expedition film was processed in the BAR Film Catalogue as B#30 - B#32. This expedition film was previously held in the HK Fry collection and was transferred into the BAR collection (AA 346) in December 2005.
The South Australian Museum Archives Master Preservation tape consists of (AA 346/9/9/1 - AA 346/9/9/3). Duration: 35 minutes 05 seconds, with intertitles
In this summary all intertitles are italicised and within quotation marks. All spelling within intertitles have been left as originally spelt. Language and terms which reflect the author's attitude or that of the period in which the item was produced may be considered inappropriate today.
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 expedition was assigned the symbol 'J.' All individuals recorded during the expedition were assigned an individual subject number, for example [J5]. Where possible the 'individual subject number' of those who appear in film have been noted.
The time coded summary is in minutes and seconds. Following the summary of this film is a list of references. Formats Held: 16mm, SP Betacam, Digital Betacam, Access DVDs.
Summary (Time Coded): Taken from Access DVD 3 (AA 346/9/9/14)
00:00 'Diamantina, SA, 1934.'
00:00 'Cultural Sensitivity Warning.'
00:00 'The Museum Board of South Australia © 1934.'
01:00 'Diamantina, 1934. Reel One.'
01:02 'Adelaide University Anthropological Expedition, Diamantina, August 1934.'
01:06 'Photography by NB Tindale and HK Fry. Arranged by FJ Fenner.'
01:11 'Journey across the arid Lake Eyre basin.'
01:15 'Skirting the Flinders Range on the Journey to Marree.'
01:19 Footage of the Flinders Ranges.
01:47 Map of South Australia with a progressive dotted line outlining the route taken by the BAR expedition.
02:03 'Marree: Loading Up '
02:07 BAR expedition members load up vehicles with equipment.
02:14 People gather outside the Marree Hotel to watch the expedition party depart. The cars are crank started and the party drives off.
02:43 'Children - white, mixed blood and Afghan - watch the departure.'
02:47 A group of children gather by the side of the road to watch the departure of the expedition party. See: (AA 338/1/12), p.9.
02:57 Close up shot of the children.
03:05 'Travelling northwards over vast "gibber" tableland - Illusion Plains.'
03:10 The expedition vehicles drives through "gibber" tablelands.
03:38 'Camels provide transport across the desert.'
03:42 A camel buggy is driven across the "gibber" tablelands just north of Marree.
03:50 Close up of the two harnessed camels.
03:52 The camel buggy continues across the "gibber" tablelands.
03:58 'Cannuwaukaninna Bore, hot water (170o Fahr.) from the Great Artesian Basin.'
04:03 The expedition party stand and observes the hot water.
04:31 'Recent desiccation has left trail of deserted homes and stations.'
04:35 'Etudunna - an abandoned German Mission Settlement.'
04:40 Expedition members inspect the buildings of the deserted settlement.
05:05 'Moving sandhills invade the lifeless ruins.'
05:09 Sands collect within the buildings.
05:24 'Towards Cooper Creek - waterless since 1917.'
05:29 The expedition vehicles leave the abandoned German Settlement.
05:40 'Screeching cockatoos throng dead trees along Cooper Creek.'
05:45 Crested cockatoos perch in dead trees.
06:04 'Arid belt necessitates driving Queensland fat cattle foodless to Marree.'
06:07 Cattle being driven through arid land just north of Mirra Mitta.
06:54 'At long intervals bore-head oases promise shelter.'
06:58 Buildings in the distance.
07:07 'George Aiston - host at Mulka - a typical desert "caravanserai."'
07:12 George Aiston (AA 3) talks to the camera. See: (AA 338/1/12), pp.17-19.
17:19 'Second day struggling across parallel lines of sand dunes.'
07:25 An expedition vehicle drives with speed at a sand hill where three expedition members wait to push it over the ridge. Series of shots of the difficulties of driving through sandhills.
09:27 'Sand-choked creek-bed causes a breakdown - transferring gear.'
09:32 Expedition members unload the vehicle.
10:00 'Welcome relief - Goyder Lagoon Bore - deepest South Australian (4850 ft.) yields boiling water.'
10:05 Boiling water from the Goyder Lagoon Bore.
10:42 'Sturt's Stony Desert - long continued erosion reduces tent hills to gibbers.'
10:47 Gibber planes.
11:01 'Approaching sandstorm - red dust pall obscures the sun.'
11:05 Dust obscuring the sun.
11:12 'The storm breaks - shrieking wind and blinding dust.'
11:16 Footage of fast moving dust and sand on the ground.
11:44 'After the storm - sand mounds bank the vegetation.'
11:49 Vegetation covered in sand.
12:05 'Approaching Pandi Pandi: a last sandhill bars progress.'
12:08 Expedition members dig their bogged vehicle out of the sand.
13:05 'The Diamantina flood plane - our destination.'
13:08 Shots of the Diamantina flood plane.
13:23 'Diamantina 1934. End of Reel One.'
13:29 'Diamantina 1934. Reel Two.'
13:31 'Life and Work at Pandi Pandi August 1934.'
13:35 'Diamantina flood plane.'
13:39 Diamantina flood plane.
13:46 'After floods native hollyhock (Lavatera) grows everywhere.'
13:51 Hollyhock (Lavatera) shrubs.
14:01 'Marsilia fern spores yield the famed nardoo as food.'
14:07 Marsilia fern spores.
14:16 'The Diamantina river flows in a deeply entrenched meander.'
14:21 The Diamantina river flowing.
14:26 'Birdlife is plentiful - egrets and hawks.'
14:29 Egrets on the Diamantina river. See: (AA 338/1/12), p.117.
15:31 'Native hens (Tribonyx) race to water while hawks soar overhead.'
15:36 Native hens (Tribonyx) running.
15:52 An eagle sores overhead.
16:07 'Emus frequent the flood plain.'
16:10 Emus on the flood plain. See: (AA 338/1/12), pp.43-45.
16:46 'A few natives survive.'
16:46 An older Australian Aboriginal man sits on the bank of the Diamantina river.
16:59 A young Australian Aboriginal child crawls in the sand.
17:19 'The Expedition Camp.'
17:22 The BAR expedition camp buffeted by strong winds.
17:33 The expedition party has lunch with Mrs Bell, wife of pastoralist, Dulkaninna Station. See: (AA 338/1/12), p.12.
17:50 'Leslie Wilkie painting portraits.'
17:53 Three Australian Aboriginal women sit while Leslie Wilkie (AA 369) paints a portrait.
18:01 Close up shot of the Australian Aboriginal woman sitting for her portrait.
18:09 Leslie Wilkie sketching out the portrait of Keidanankara [J5] of the Wongkanguru people.
18:29 Keidanankara [J5] of the Wongkanguru people poses for her portrait.
19:00 'T Harvey Johnston taking palm prints.'
19:04 T Harvey Johnson (AA 161) makes palm prints with an older Australian Aboriginal man.
19:29 'Association with Europeans has demoralised and decimated the natives.'
19:32 A group of Australian Aboriginal people play cards.
20:10 'Attempting to retrieve a forgotten bag making technique.'
20:13 A man starts the beginning stages of a string bag.
21:41 'String games are almost forgotten.'
21:44 An older Australian Aboriginal woman plays string games. See: (AA 338/1/12), pp.171-177.
22:18 Restricted Content Starts.
22:44 Restricted Content Ends.
22:44 'Demonstrating the making of once important ngardu (nardoo) bread.'
22:48 'Gathering spores of the fern Marsilia - nardu.'
22:53 An Australian Aboriginal woman gathers fern spores. See: (AA 338/1/12), p.43.
23:32 'Winnowing and cleaning the spores by rocking in a dish.'
23:37 Preliminary separation of the lighter waste material from the spores.
24:07 Winnowing the spores in a bark dish.
24:35 'Diamantina 1934. End of Reel Two.'
24:40 Diamantina 1934. Reel Three. [No Intertitle]
24:40 'Pounding the nardoo between stones.'
24:44 Pounding the nardoo on a stone. See: (AA 338/1/12), pp.53-55.
25:49 'Separating the meal from the husk.'
25:52 The bark dish is wetted and the nardoo is winnowed to separate the husks from the meal.
26:49 'Kneading meal to form a loaf.'
26:52 Adding water and kneading the meal.
27:24 'Cooked in ashes - the loaf must be cleaned.'
27:27 Cooking the loaf in hot ashes.
27:44 Cleaning ashes from the loaf. The finished loaf if shown to the camera.
28:03 'Yelka: cleaning bulbs of nutgrass (Cyperus rotundus).'
28:07 Cleaning yelka (Cyperus rotundus) bulbs by pounding then with a stone then separating the lighter waste material.
28:32 Winnowing the yelka (Cyperus rotundus) bulbs.
28:49 'Water supplies from Needlebush - Hakea leucoptera.'
28:53 Two women gather water from the roots of the Needlebush (Hakea leucoptera). See: (AA 338/1/12), p.45.
29:06 Digging out the roots of Needlebush (Hakea leucoptera).
29:25 An Australian Aboriginal woman uses a metal tomahawk to remove the bark from the root.
29:32 'By striking she tests the water content.'
29:35 Needlebush root is struck and water droplets fall onto an outstretched hand.
29:41 Two women draining the water content of the Needlebush root into a tin.
30:01 'Preparing native flax for string making.'
30:04 An older Australian Aboriginal man gathers stems from a hibiscus bush. He then strips the foliage from the stems.
30:28 Lying out the hibiscus stems to dry in the sun.
30:35 Close up of flax stems on the ground.
30:40 The Australian Aboriginal man takes the stems to the river where he wets them.
30:54 The bundle of stems is then rolled to extract the water.
31:17 Close up of fibers being stripped from the stems.
31:21 'Preparation of ngarungaru (Polygonum) stems for eating.'
31:25 Ngarungaru (Polygonum) foliage on the ground.
31:35 'Hot ashes cook the stems within a few minutes.'
31:39 Women beside a fire prepare the Ngarungaru (Polygonum) for eating.
31:50 Ngarungaru stems are cooked in hot ash, then removed and beaten clean.
32:23 Young Australian Aboriginal girl eats the cooked Ngarungaru stems.
32:53 'Pitjuri Preparation of the chewing narcotic used along the Diamantina.'
32:57 'Note: Atalaya leaves were used for the first part of demonstration.'
33:00 'Wilting freshly gathered leaves and stems in warm ashes.'
33:06 Wilting leaves in hot ashes. See: (AA 338/1/12), p.89-93.
33:57 'Burning firestick rites - the man sing - "Cook it and pack it into bags."'
34:00 A stick is placed into the hot ashes where the Pitjuri is being wilted.
34:09 'Old Ngaltjagintata preparing a pitjuri (Duboisia Hopwoodii) chewing quid.'
34:11 Ngalrjagintata [J.13] of the Aranda people prepares and chews the quid. See: (AA 338/1/12), p.63.
34:36 'Burning Acacia leaves yield ash to mix with the pitjuri.'
34:41 Covering acacia leaves in hot ash. Collecting the burning acacia ash in a piece of bark.
35:09 'Combining the ash and pitjuri.'
35:23 Rolling the wetted pitjuri quid in acacia ash. Showing the quid before chewing.
36:05 'Diamantina 1934. End of Reel Three.'
Tribal / language groups recorded during this expedition as recorded in the Data Cards (AA 346/4/16)
Tindale Tribes: Antakirinja; Arabana; Aranda; Dieri; Jandruwanta; Kujani; Ngameni; Wadikali; Wongkanguru.
AIATSIS Tribal / Language Groups: Antakarinja; Arabana; Arrernte; Dieri; Kuyani; Ngamini; Wadigali; Wangkangurru; Yandruwandha.