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Adnyamathanha wet weather shelter
Title : Adnyamathanha wet weather shelter Adnyamathanha wet weather shelter
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Creator : Mountford, Charles P., photographer
Source : PRG 1218/34/734b
Date of creation : ca. 1937
Format : Photograph
Dimensions : 60 x 60 mm
Contributor : State Library of South Australia
Catalogue record
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Description :

The 'skeleton' of an Adnyamathanha wet weather shelter near Nepabunna, Northern Flinders Ranges, South Australia.

The book Artefacts of the Flinders Ranges given an excellent account of the construction of a widlya, or wurley.

'A suitable piece of ground was chosen and cleared of rocks. With a digging stick (atha) two holes were made in the ground for the front fork (wirti vara). The front was always away from the prevailing wind. These holes could be about 2 m apart, depending on the size of the widlya. Two strong sticks (trunks) of approximately equal length were chosen for the front fork. These were placed in the holes, then crossed over each other, one leaning on the other, to form the open doorway (yayarta) to the widlya. Another hole was dug at the back, and a pole, called yardnu was placed from the fork down to it. This pole could be slightly curved.

Now, leaning up against this
yardnu were placed many more yardnu, to form the roof-cum-wall of the widlya. These could also be dug into the ground for a more secure structure. Next, brush (uldha) was placed on top.

This was a basic
widlya.' (Tunbridge and Coulthard, p. 59)

Mountford wrote that when the shelter is made, 'dirt is thrown on and plastered, this makes the shelter somewhat watertight.' (PRG 1218/8/12 p. 39)

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

Bonney, Neville. Adnyamathanha and beyond : useful plants of an ancient land, Unley, S. Aust. : Australian Plants Society, South Australian Region, 2007.

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.

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

Memmott, Paul. Gunyah, Goondie and Wurley : the Aboriginal architecture of Australia, St Lucia, Qld. : University of Queensland Press, 2007

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 :

Australian Government. Culture portal. Australia's Indigenous architecture

Iga Warta - Accommodation and Cultural education on Adnyamathanha land

Nepabunna tourism



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