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Portrait of Wonggu
Title : Portrait of Wonggu Portrait of Wonggu
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Creator : Mountford, Charles P., photographer
Source : PRG 1218/34/3319
Date of creation : 1948
Format : Photograph
Dimensions : 60 x 60 mm
Contributor : State Library of South Australia
Catalogue record
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Copyright :

The Library received cultural clearance from the Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Art Centre, Yirrkala to display this image. Reproduction rights are owned by State Library of South Australia.
This image may be printed or saved for personal research or study. Use for any other purpose requires permission from the State Library of South Australia and Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Art Centre, Yirrkala. To request approval, complete the Permission to publish form.

Description :

Portrait of Wonggu taken in Yirrkala in 1948.

Leader of the Djapu clan of Caledon Bay, Wonggu was one of the first traditional owners to settle at the Yirrkala Mission, when he relocated there with his sizable family in 1937-38. (He is reported to have had more than 20 wives and 60 children).

Yirrkala founder T. T. Webb encountered Wonggu on his initial reconnoitre to the Mission site, describing him as "tall, strongly built, dignified of mien, with a strong expressive face, and the bearing of a patriarch."

With a birth date estimated at 1880, Wonggu was 68 years of age when Mountford took this photograph. He passed away in 1959.
Related names :

Wonggu 1880?-1959

Coverage year : 1948
Place : Yirrkala
Region : Northern Territory
Further reading :

American-Australian Scientific Expedition to Arnhem Land, (1948). Records of the American-Australian scientific expedition to Arnhem Land, Melbourne : Melbourne University Press, 1956-1964

Grant, Arch. Aliens in Arnhem Land, Dee Why, N.S.W. : Frontier Publishing Inc, 1995

Hutcherson, Gillian. Djalkiri w nga = The land is my foundation : 50 years of Aboriginal art from Yirrkala, Northeast Arnhem Land, Nedlands, W.A. : The University of W.A. Berndt Museum of Anthropology, c1995

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

McKenzie, Maisie. Mission to Arnhem Land, Adelaide : Rigby, 1976

Morphy, Howard. Ancestral connections : art and an aboriginal system of knowledge, Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1991

Mountford, Charles P. Australian Aboriginal portraits, Carlton, Vic. : Melbourne University Press ; London : Cambridge University Press, 1967

National Geographic Magazine, vol. 96, no. 6, 1949, pp. 745-782, 'Exploring Stone-age Arnhem Land' by Charles P. Mountford.

Internet links :

Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Art Centre - Yirrkala Community

Northern Land Council

Wonggu - Australian Dictionary of Biography

Yirrkala Bark Petitions



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