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Afghan Camel Drivers Beltana
Title : Afghan Camel Drivers Beltana Afghan Camel Drivers Beltana
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Creator : Mitchell, Robert, photographer
Date of creation : ca. 1897
Format : Photograph
Dimensions : 185 x 241mm
Contributor : State Library catalogue
Catalogue record
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Description :

A group of five Afghan camel drivers thought to be at Beltana

The first Afghans arrived in South Australia in 1838. More came in small groups over subsequent decades, but there were no more than a few thousand of them in total. The name Afghan came to apply to all cameleers. In fact they came from a wide range of countries across the Middle East and India.

They were brought in, as were the camels, to deliver supplies to isolated communities - mines, missions and sheep stations. In addition, they worked on the railways and the Overland Telegraph Line from Port Augusta to Darwin. Most cameleers returned to their home countries, as there was little official encouragement for them to stay.


Period : 1884-1913
Region : Flinders Ranges and Far North - Outback
Further reading :

From many places : the history and cultural traditions of South Australian people / Migration Museum Kent Town, S. Aust. : Migration Museum (History Trust of S.A.) in association with Wakefield Press, 1995

Rajkowski, Pamela. In the tracks of the camelmen: outback Australia's most exotic pioneers. Henley Beach, S. Aust. : Seaview Press, 2005

Stevens, Christine Tin mosques & ghantowns: a history of Afghan cameldrivers in Australia. Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1989

Internet links :
The first Afghans in Australia. [BBC: Media Report]
Exhibitions and events :



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