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08. Paperbark Trees
Title : 08. Paperbark Trees 08. Paperbark Trees
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Creator : Mountford, Charles P. (Charles Pearcy), 1890-1976 photographer
Source : PRG 1218/34/1568E
Date of creation : 1948
Format : Photograph
Dimensions : 60 x 60 mm
Catalogue record
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Description :

Paperbark trees growing next to Arua Creek, Groote Eylandt. An Aboriginal man sits on the bank of the creek.

The Aboriginal people of Groote Eylandt used the paperbark tree (Melaleuca leucadendron. Sp.) to carve dug-out canoes, to make rafts, construct roofs for wet-weather shelters and also to make wrappings for the deceased.

The very young leaves of the paperbark tree are also used as a medicine for coughs and colds; the leaves are crushed by hand and the oil inhaled, or the leaves are soaked in hot water over a fire and the steam is inhaled. An infusion made from the leaves is drunk in very small quantities to help with coughs (Isaacs, 1987).

During his many trips throughout Australia, Mountford photographed hundreds of Australian native tree species, which culminated in the publication of Australian Tree Portraits in 1956. The portraits show a true appreciation for the form, grandeur and sometimes sparseness of Australian trees, many of which had a spiritual significance to the Aboriginal people he worked with. 'Trees are the people of the landscape', Mountford wrote. 'Some are upright and stately, others drooping and graceful; some are small and sparse of foliage, others distorted, ugly and sinister...each filling it's niche in the pattern of nature.'

Related names :

American-Australian Scientific Expedition to Arnhem Land, (1948)

Coverage year : 1948
Place : Arnhem Land
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.

Isaacs, Jennifer, Bush food : Aboriginal food and herbal medicine, McMahons Point, N.S.W. : Weldons, c1987

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

Mountford, Charles P., Australian Tree Portraits, [Victoria] ; Melbourne University Press, [1956]
Internet links :

Web Links:

Angurugu Community Government Council - Groote Eylandt Community



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