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People under a bough shelter
Title : People under a bough shelter People under a bough shelter
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Creator : Mountford, Charles P., photographer
Source : PRG 1218/34/815a
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 :

A shelter made from tree boughs at Nepabunna, possibly set up for the distribution of rations. Under the shelter are four Aboriginal and two non-Aboriginal people who appear to be scooping something from a bowl.

Government rations were distributed to Aboriginal people by pastoralists, missions, schools and police stations. This was both an early form of welfare, and a measure to protect pastoralists from the efforts of Aboriginal people trying to hunt and gather on their traditional lands. The rations usually consisted of flour, tea and sugar - with no meat or vegetables - and were supplied to women, children and the elderly, that is, only those who could not 'earn' a living for themselves.

By the late nineteenth century there were five ration stations in the northern Flinders Ranges on pastoral properties and a police station. Once Nepabunna was established in 1931, residents received their rations from the Mission. The average diet was made up of rations, foods hunted and gathered from the land, items bought from the local store, and, for those working on pastoral properties, whatever they were fed by their employers. Some people grew their own fruit and vegetables, and at one point Missionary Fred Eaton was growing his own vegetables to distribute along with the meagre Government rations.

During Mountford's visits to Nepabunna, he mentions eating a lot of boiled goat, along with the occasional piece of wallaby that someone had caught and cooked.  

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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