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Christmas at Nepabunna
Title : Christmas at Nepabunna Christmas at Nepabunna

Second image PRG 1218/34/724g

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Creator : Mountford, Charles P., photographer
Source : PRG 1218/34/724d
Date of creation : ca. 1937
Format : Photograph
Dimensions : 60 x 60 mm
Contributor : State Library of South Australia
Catalogue record
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Copyright :
Description :

Christmas at Nepabunna, 1937. Children receiving presents around the Christmas tree.

Keen to include the Nepabunna community in the full Christmas experience, Missionary Fred Eaton prepared a Christmas tree and presents on 30 December, 1937. It was an experience that Mountford found joyful, yet slightly odd.

Mr Eaton has been working for several days sorting out and labelling presents for the Christmas tree and today he has erected a pine tree out in an open space, placed all the presents on it and called all together, both old and young.

The whole setting was incongruous...The home of the Christmas tree is in Europe, by the lights of candles in front of the blazing Yule log fire... Now picture if you can, midday in the Northern Flinders, not a cloud in the sky the sun blazing down upon a bare red plane and an isolated pine tree... planted in the middle of the same red plane.The tree was gay with paper streamers and balloons of all colours and hung with presents of many kinds...

Then the distribution of presents begins. Rows of youngsters with anxious faces stand around the tree gazing with wondering eyes on the biggest collection of toys they have ever seen - toys bought with the collected pennies from country Sunday schools; cast-off, but still good toys from the homes of wealthier children; toys, too, that came from the missionaries' very meagre income. (PRG 1218/8/2 pp. 111-119)

Related names :

Nepabunna Mission (S. Aust.)

Period : 1927-1939
Region : Flinders Ranges and Far North - Outback
Further reading :

Brock, Peggy. Yura and Udnyu : a history of the Adnyamathanha of the North Flinders Ranges. Adelaide: Wakefield Press in association with the Aboriginal Heritage Branch, Dept. of Environment and Planning, South Australia, 1985.

The Flinders Ranges : an Aboriginal view. 2nd ed. compiled by Christine Davis, Clifford Coulthard and Desmond Coulthard. Adelaide: Aboriginal Heritage Branch, Dept. of Environment and Planning, 1986.

Gerard, A. E. United Aborigines' Mission (of Australia) : an outline of the history of the mission particularly in South Australia, Adelaide : The Mission, [1950?] (Adelaide : Hunkin Ellis & King)

Lamshed, Max. 'Monty': the biography of C.P. Mountford. Adelaide: Rigby, 1972. Ch. 10.

Survival in our own land : 'Aboriginal' experiences in 'South Australia' since 1836. told by Nungas and others ; edited and researched by Christobel Mattingley, co-edited by Ken Hampton. Adelaide: ALDAA in association with Hodder & Stoughton, 1988.

Tunbridge, Dorothy and Coulthard, Annie. Artefacts of the Flinders Ranges : an illustrated dictionary of artefacts used by the Adnyamathanha, Port Augusta, S. Aust. : Pipa Wangka, c1985.

Internet links :

Iga Warta - Accommodation and Cultural education on Adnyamathanha land

Nepabunna tourism

UAM Ministry (formerly United Aborigines' Mission)



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