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Bessie Mountford on a camel
Title : Bessie Mountford on a camel Bessie Mountford on a camel
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Creator : Mountford, Charles P. (Charles Pearcy), 1890-1976
Source : PRG 1218/34/1256A
Place Of Creation : Ernabella
Date of creation : 1940
Format : Photograph
Catalogue record
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Copyright : This item is reproduced courtesy of the Pitjantjatjara Council. It may be printed or saved for research or study. Use for any other purpose requires written permission from the Pitjantjatjara Council and the State Library of South Australia. To request approval, complete the Permission to publish form.
Description :

Mrs Bessie Mountford, wife of Charles Mountford, sitting on a packed, kneeling camel, ready for a trip out from Ernabella Mission. An Aboriginal man stands nearby. Mountford took this photograph on a University of Adelaide expedition to Central Australia in 1940.

Mountford wrote about such a camel ride which took place for a school picnic early in their visit to the area:

The camels were fully laden. On the leader was my wife, with one child before and another behind her, and everywhere they could be tied were slabs of raw meat, billycans, and small bags of flour...Neidi, a boy of about twelve, appointed himself my wife's escort. He helped her over the rough, tumbled boulders, offered her his hand in the steepest places, and pointed out the best footholds, watching carefully lest she should slip. It was an incongruous yet pleasing sight; the lithe, naked aboriginal boy attending my wife with all the courtesy that one would accord a of the many examples of courtesy we later experienced while living with those native people. (Brown Men and Red Sand, pp. 33-34)

During the Expedition, Bessie Mountford spent time with the local Aboriginal women and children of the Ernabella Mission Station. She took photographs and recorded her experiences and interactions in a diary kept during her visit (see PRG 487/1/6).

Related names :

Mountford, Bessie Ilma, 1890-1996

Coverage year : 1940
Place : Ernabella
Further reading :

Lamshed, Max. 'Monty' : the biography of C.P. Mountford, [Adelaide] : Rigby, 1972

Mountford, Bessie Ilma. Manuscript diary, Ernabella, dated June 13 - July 14, 1940, PRG 487/1/6

Mountford, Charles, P. Brown men and red sand : journeyings in wild Australia, London ; Sydney : Angus & Robertson, 1981, c1948



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