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Film negative - Group of people, Mount Currie, Northern Territory, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1926

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Group of people, seated, 1926


This is a photograph by Herbert Basedow of a group of around 22 people sitting at a campsite at the foot of a grassy hill. Men and children are in the foreground, where the remains of a fire can be seen. Women are further back, behind a row of what looks like low bushes.

Educational value

Basedow photographed this group of people at Mount Currie, to the north-west of the Olgas (Kuta Tjuta), in 1926. On this trip Basedow's party were travelling by camel. The two groups camped near one another and the next day Basedow took this photograph. Two signs indicate that it was probably taken at the Aboriginal camp: the remains of a fire, and the row of bushes between the men and women, which appears to be a (constructed) windbreak.

This photograph was taken in late June. In colder weather in this region people slept out in the open (unless it was raining) with a windbreak at their head and a small fire either side of them.

Herbert Basedow was a doctor, anthropologist and explorer. From 1903 to 1928 he ventured to remote regions of central and northern Australia - places rarely seen by Australians even today. Aboriginal people often feature in his photographs. Basedow wanted to document Aboriginal cultures as they had been before British colonisation, and often went to some lengths to craft his photographs to appear as such.

This photograph was taken during a four-month expedition to explore central Australia sponsored by pastoralist Donald Mackay.

© Education Services Australia Limited and the National Museum of Australia 2010

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