From Another View – Laverton and Ngaanyatjarra Lands 6 – 10 August 2018

Users are warned there may be words and descriptions (from historical texts) that may be culturally sensitive and which might not normally be used in certain public or community contexts.

Given the success of the Storylines session  the From Another View project team undertook on our previous visit, a follow up session at the Laverton Community Resource Centre was held. The session was another success with new insights into ways Aboriginal peoples lived, worked and moved throughout the Goldfields and Western Desert regions.

People attending the session were able to identify a number of  previously unidentified people in photographs on Storylines. For example, the image below had only identified Mr Lapten in the foreground. However, during the session Mr Noel Green in the background was identified.

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Mr Lapten with hose near windmill at Cosmo Newbery Mission. https://storylines.slwa.wa.gov.au/archive-store/view/6/7594

Previous to the From Another View project there were no known photographs of Noel in the State Library collections but as a result of this engagement there are two images, which are now easily accessible to his family.

The image below, a  grindstone photographed in Warburton in the 1960s, started discussion about its traditional use. Community members informed us that grindstones are  used to grind seeds from plants like Mulga trees, wildflowers, grass and others to make flour for damper.

Ngaanyatjarra Lands 8 – 10 August

Warburton

John Forrest and the expedition team travelled north of where the Warburton Community is now located. During the travel they had interactions with Yarnangu people:

“11th [August]. Continued on to the water found ahead, and on our way saw some clay-holes with water and satisfied the horses. When near the spring, saw natives’ tracks, and shortly afterwards a fire with a whole kangaroo roasting in it. The natives had made off when they saw us, leaving their game cooking. Continuing on, and passing the native well, we reached the granite rocks, two miles from the spring, and camped. While having dinner we saw two natives about a quarter of a mile from us, watching us; we beckoned to them, and Windich and I approached them. As we neared them they began talking and moving off slowly; we could not get close to them, although they did not appear to be afraid of us. Some fine ranges are visible from here South-East.East.” 

– Forrest, J. Explorations in Australia. 1875 online at Project Gutenberg
http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks/e00051.html 

The project team visited the Wilurarra Creative youth arts centre and Warburton Arts to discuss the project. Wilurarra Creative undertake a number of projects in visual arts, music, audio visual and fashion including operating a hair salon. Warburton Art centre is an international art space and holds “the largest collection of Indigenous art in Australia that is held by Aboriginal people themselves”.

Blackstone

During the trek, Alexander Forrest collected plant specimens at locations north of Warburton and east of Wingellina community. Approximately half of the specimens collected have known ethnobotanical uses. The purpose of the visit to Blackstone was to identify plant specimens which were collected during the 1874 expedition, and learn about the traditional cultural knowledge of plants.

After an early drive from Warburton (to account for a change in time-zone) the project team met up with the Blackstone/Papulankutja Ranger group. The group took the project team to a place between Wingellina and Blackstone overlooking Mt Aloysius .

The group dug for maku (bardi/witchitcy grub) in the roots of Acacia bushes and prepared a bush tomato (Solanum) to eat. In the local Ngaanyatjarra and Pitjantjarra languages the maku bush is called wartakarra/warṯarka and the bush tomato kampurarrpa, karti-karti/kampuṟara.

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The following photos are by State Library of Western Australia. Thank you to Blackstone Rangers and Ngaanyatjarra Council for giving permission to take and use photographs.

holding maku

Maku live in the roots of Acacia bushes such as the Acacia ligulata and the Acacia kempeana

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Bush tomato plant, possibly Solanum chippendalei

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Preparing bush tomato for eating.

It was a cold day so the Storylines session was moved from the ’50 cent hall’ to the Women’s Centre. The session was well attended by the community including children, community elders and the Ranger group.

There were a lot of stories shared about life at the Warburton mission and people identified  photos of community members. Community members described the photo below as “ration time”. Those present explained “The first warden to the right (in police hat) is there to check on everyone and make sure there’s no trouble”.

  • The Community members also explained that the rock hole identified in the photo below, is a soak.  “When they dig out, they put grass on it, so the water can come up clean… Natural filter. This is a soak not a rock hole.”
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    Digging out a rock hole, Warburton Ranges, 1949 https://storylines.slwa.wa.gov.au/archive-store/view/6/2463

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    Filtering rockhole water with spinifex to clean it, Warburton Ranges, 1949 https://storylines.slwa.wa.gov.au/archive-store/view/6/2466

    For more information about the From Another View Project, visit the website 

    Storylines is an online archive managed and hosted by the State Library of Western Australia, with advice and guidance provided by an Aboriginal Reference Group with ongoing state-wide consultation. Storylines provides for the digital return of photos and other materials directly to Aboriginal families, communities and people. It is also helping to identify many of the photographs in the J.S. Battye Collection at the State Library.  Hundreds of photographs have been identified since 2013. To access Storylines go to: https://storylines.slwa.wa.gov.au

From Another View Project: Wiluna to the Carnegie Homestead, via the Canning Stock Route and Glenayle station 26 – 30 May 2018

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From 26-30 May, State Library staff, Bill Gannon and Rod Schlencker travelled from Wiluna via the Canning Stock Route to Windich Spring, Pierre Spring, the Weld Spring/Palatji and then via Glenayle Station to the Carnegie Homestead. The State Library recognise the right of Martu people to check images and content prior to posting online. Therefore, there will be a delay in posting information related to areas closer to the Canning Stock Route. Please check the Google Map for location details.

On 30 May 2018, the project team, Bill and Rod travelled to Mount Moore to view the cairn which John Forrest built at the eastern end of the peak.  During this trip, the project team worked closely with the Martu people from the Birriliburru Native Title area.  John and Alexander Forrest visited Mount Moore between 22 and 26 June 2018. John’s account in Explorations in Australia 1874 states that he visited on 22 June 1874. However, the published map contains the dates 25 and 26 June 1874, at Camp 50.  Mount Moore was named after Mr. W.D. Moore of Fremantle, a subscriber to the Expedition Fund.  On top of Mount Moore, Bill Gannon sketched the Timperley Range which John Forrest described in his diary:

Ascending the the hill we had an extensive view to the South-West, South and South-East. Fine grassy country all round and very little spinifex. To the south about nine miles we saw a lake, and farther off a remarkable red-faced range, which I named Timperley Range, after my friend Mr. W.H. Timperley, Inspector of Police, from whom I received a great deal of assistance before leaving Champion Bay. A remarkable peak, with a reddish top, bore South-South-East, which I named Mount Hosken, after Mr. M. Hosken, of Geraldton, a contributor to the expedition.  Forrrest, J. Explorations in Australia. 1875

To keep informed of project updates follow the From Another View project blog: https://fromanotherview.blog/

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From Another View in Geraldton

The From Another View project team visited Geraldton, opened a pop-up exhibition at the Museum of Geraldton and conducted a Storylines session at the Geraldton Regional Library.

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Pop up exhibition at Museum of Geraldton (c) State Library of Western Australia, 2018

At the opening of the exhibition, Pop Robert Ronan welcomed audience members to Southern Yamaji country, the land of the Nhanhagardi, Wilunyu and Amangu. Robert reminisced about life in Geraldton, and as a younger man sitting near the John Forrest statue on the foreshore. Robert recollected wondering about what it might be like for the expedition party to travel his country.

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Museum of Geraldton (c) State Library of Western Australia 2018

Members of the Museums of Geraldton Site Advisory committee, and the Walkaway Station Museum attended. In later life, Lady Forrest (Margaret Elvire Hammersley), John Forrest’s wife lived in Georgina near Walkaway. Some of Lady Forrest’s belongings were donated to the Walkaway Station Museum.

The project team helped a number of families reconnect with photographs of family during the two day visit. Here are some of the stories.

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Fred Mallard and Con Kelly and some of the children camped at Galena. Taken at Galena on 2nd October, 1937, at about 6 p.m. by F.I. Bray, D.C.N.A. (Deputy Commissioner [Dept. of] Native Affairs. https://storylines.slwa.wa.gov.au/archive-store/view/6/1403

Charlie Cameron

Mr & Mrs Charlie Cameron at Cue. Photograph taken on 30/9/37 by F.I. Bray, D.C.N.A. https://storylines.slwa.wa.gov.au/archive-store/view/6/1408

During the Storylines session, Trudi Cornish from the Geraldton Regional Library explained that the story of the woman in the photograph is known, however her name is not. The woman was a contemporary of King Billy and ‘gave as good as she got’ when people would mock her with the name ‘Ugly Legs’ due to some scars she had.

Photograph of “Ugly Legs”, Geraldton 1900 https://storylines.slwa.wa.gov.au/archive-store/view/6/9854)

The project team is packed up and ready for the onward journey to Wiluna to conduct a Storylines session and pop-up exhibition on Thursday 24 May 2018 at Tjukurba Art Gallery. The team will then head out to Martu, Birriliburu country along the Canning Stock Route and Gunbarrel Highway to the Mangkili Claypans, with two groups of traditional owners.

Onward

(c) State Library of Western Australia, 2018

Artist Bill Gannon will stop at Pia Wadjarri and visit the school, to discuss his artwork and John Forrest’s trek. Then he will travel to Wiluna via Mt Gould.

Looking at the map. Museum of Geraldton exhibition. (c) State Library of Western Australia, 2018

  • The pop-up exhibition will be on display at the Museum of Geraldton until Sunday 15 July. For opening hours go to: http://museum.wa.gov.au/museums/museum-geraldton/another-view
  • Storylines is an online archive managed and hosted by the State Library of Western Australia, with advice and guidance provided by an Aboriginal Reference Group with ongoing state-wide consultation. Storylines provides for the digital return of photos and other materials directly to Aboriginal families, communities and people. It is also helping to identify many of the photographs in the J.S. Battye Collection at the State Library.  Hundreds of photographs have been identified since 2013. To access Storylines go to: https://storylines.slwa.wa.gov.au

Forrest’s Exploration Diaries now online

Artist Bill Gannon and surveyor Rod Schlenker, visited the State Library to see the original diaries of John and Alexander Forrest’s 1874 expedition from Geraldton to Adelaide. The diaries, which are held in the State Library collections, are now accessible online through the catalogue.(ACC 1241A)

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From Another View Project Coordinator Tui Raven with Rod Schlenker and Bill Gannon as they look at the diaries. (C) State Library of Western Australia, 2018. 

This week Bill Gannon and a team from the State Library will embark on a on a trip to engage with Aboriginal communities and visit key locations along the 1874 trek route.  This artistic and community engagement is part of the ‘From Another View’ project, a collaboration between the State Library and Minderoo Foundation.  The project considers the trek ‘from another view’, or rather from many views, incorporating various creative and Aboriginal community perspectives.

Explore some of the camp locations referenced in John and Alexander Forrest’s diaries through the Google map.

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Forrest’s Expedition to Central Australia, State Library of Western Australia, ACC 1241A

For more information about the From Another View project go to: https://fromanotherview.blog/  Follow the From Another View blog to keep updated with the project.