Letters to Hale, Tindale and Cleland

This sub-series comprises eight letters to HM Hale (see AA 124), NB Tindale (AA 338) and JB Cleland (see AA 60) written by Daisy Bates between 1930 and 1935, when she was living at Ooldea. These letters provide information on the Aboriginal people who had gathered at Ooldea after the construction of the East-West Railway, completed in 1917. The people who had gathered there came from the Nullarbor Plain and west coast to the south, from the Great Victoria Desert to the north and from the mountain ranges of central Australia. Bates provides details on many aspects of traditional Aboriginal culture, including language, totemic ceremonies, tribal boundaries and movements, mythology, trade, material culture, kinship and social organisation. Bates' letters include references to places on the Nullarbor Plain such as Eucla, Ilgamba (Head of Bight) and Kaldilyerra (Wilson Bluff flint mine) and places in the Great Victoria Desert including Ooldea, Wandunya (Waldana), Murgaru (Muckera), Boundary Dam and other locations in far west South Australia including Barton, Immarna and Tarcoola. In these letters Bates also refers to tribal/language groups from the Nullarbor/Fowlers Bay area such as the 'Yirkla Minning' (Mirning), 'Werungu' (Wirangu) and Wanmaring Wongga (Head of Bight) and desert groups such as Ngallia Wongga (Ngalia) and Jiwin Wongga (from the Ooldea area). There are also occasional references to the Aboriginal people of the Kimberley region of Western Australia, the Bibbulman people of south-west Western Australia and the 'Arrunda' (Arrernte) from Central Australia. Bates' letters also provide some information on the tjuringa and other items that she was sending to the South Australian Museum at that time.

These items include references to the following regions of South Australia: Nullarbor - Great Victoria Desert; North West.

This series includes references to: Western Australia; Northern Territory.

This series includes references to the following named groups: Werungu; Wanmaring Wongga; Ngallia Wongga; Jiwin Wongga; Bibbulman; Arrunda.

Tindale Tribes: Aranda; Mirning; Ngalea; Pibelmen; Wirangu.

These correspond to AIATSIS Language Groups: Arrernte; Bibbulman; Ngalea; Wirangu.

CreatorDaisy May Bates
Date Range1930  -  1935
Quantity 1cm,     Filed in archive folder with AA 23/1/1-4
FormatsGeneral Correspondence
Series AA23/01