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14. Charles Mountford on a camel
Title : 14. Charles Mountford on a camel 14. Charles Mountford on a camel
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Creator : Mountford, Charles P. (Charles Pearcy), 1890-1976, photographer
Source : PRG 1218/34/73
Date of creation : 1935
Format : Photograph
Dimensions : 60 x 60 mm
Catalogue record
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Description :

Charles Mountford riding a camel near Ayers Rock (Uluru). The camel is objecting to being ridden by rearing its head.

This trip was Mountford's first experience of riding a camel for cross country transport. Vehicles could not operate over the terrain, horses were not robust enough for the conditions, and so camels were employed to transport the people and their supplies.

Mountford recorded the experience in his diary:

'A double saddle fits over the hump. Usually the traveller's bedding and other impedimenta is piled on the front section, while the victim himself is accommodated right over the tail, in a picturesque if not comfortable position. The motion of the camel is a series of short gentle lunges, by no means unpleasant, and in time no more tiring than the action of any other animal. At first I felt I was far too high up, but the infrequency of accidents quickly restored confidence. Personally I suffered neither inconvenience nor discomfort, and, I think, for a long journey, with time to spare, I would choose a camel in preference to a horse. When dismounting the animal kneels in a devout and obliging manner, but thrills are apt to accompany the preliminary performances. As the order "Hooshta" is given, the obedient beast lurches forward on its front knees, threatening to project its rider into the future. Just as this accident seems about to happen the motion is reversed, as the camel settles down on its haunches. A few backward and forward 'oscillations' as the knees and haunches slide outward bring the performance to a close'.

Related names :

Mountford, Charles P, (Charles Pearcy), 1890-1976

Commonwealth Board of Enquiry into the alleged ill-treatment of Aborigines near Ayers Rock, 1935

Coverage year : 1935
Period : 1927-1939
Place : Central Australia
Region : Northern Territory
Further reading :

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

Mountford, Charles P., Manuscript diary, Journey to Ayers Rock, 1935, PRG 1218/5/3, pages 19-21.

Warden, James. 'T.G.H. Strehlow and the 1935 Board of Inquiry into the alleged ill-treatment of Aborigines' in Traditions in the midst of change : communities, cultures and the Strehlow legacy in Central Australia : proceedings of the Strehlow Conference, Alice Springs 18-20 September 2002, Alice Springs, N.T. : Strehlow Research Centre, 2004, pp. 89-100



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