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The AIATSIS Ethnographic Collection
Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies

The AIATSIS Ethnographic Collection - Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
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24 videos in this collection

Something of the Times
Using a wealth of archival photographs, this documentary reconstructs the life of buffalo hunters in the remote wetlands of the Northern Territory in the 1930s - both the white hunters…
Mourning For Mangatopi
Because of work commitments and the influence of Christian Missions, traditional mourning ceremonies among the Tiwi people of Melville Island were becoming rare at the time of making this film…
Sons Of Namatjira
SONS OF NAMATJIRA examines the relationship between a community of Aboriginal artists and the outside world. Keith Namatjira is the son of the celebrated artist Albert Namatjira, and emulates his…
Lurugu
Made at the request of the people of Mornington Island, this film was the first of five made by Curtis Levy for the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies (now AIATSIS).…
It's A Long Road Back
This powerful documentary was made by Oomera (Coral) Edwards on Super 8mm film as a training exercise at the (then) Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies in Canberra. The film surveys…
Link-Up Diary
Link-Up Diary explores the consequences of the New South Wales government's long-term practice of taking Aboriginal children away from their parents and raising them in "white" environments. The film takes…
Collum Calling Canberra
Gordon Smith, head of the Collum Collum Aboriginal Co-operative which operates a cattle station in northern New South Wales, and Sunny Bancroft, the station manager, are negotiating with the Aboriginal…
Stockman's Strategy
Constructed as a series of vignettes of station life, the film focuses particularly on the relationship between Sunny Bancroft, the station manager, and a 16-year-old trainee, Shane Gordon. The episodes…
Sunny and the Dark Horse
The story of an Aboriginal stockman and his family and their growing passion for "picnic racing" on bush tracks in New South Wales. SUNNY AND THE DARK HORSE was filmed…
A Transfer Of Power
This observational documentary follows an episode in the routine life on Collum Collum cattle-station in northern New South Wales. But, as the filmmaker notes, it's a story that could have…
Familiar Places
Narrated by the linguist and anthropologist Peter Sutton, this documentary observes his work with a family in far north Queensland, outside Aurukun, to map their hereditary "clan country". The aim…
Good-Bye Old Man
At the request of a dying Tiwi man and his family on Melville Island, this film was made of the pukumani (bereavement) ceremony to follow his death. The film observes…
To Get That Country
Without narration, and without identification of individual speakers, the film provides an invaluable record of two events which occurred in the final week of January 1977, and which marked "a…
The House-Opening
When Geraldine Kawanka's husband died, she and her children moved out of their house. In earlier times, their bark house would have been burnt, but today a "house-opening" ceremony has…
Three Horsemen
THREE HORSEMEN is one of several films that the MacDougalls made in and around Aurukun in the far north of Queensland. It is a deeply moving portrait of three generations…
Takeover
One of the major works produced by the AIAS Film Unit, this documentary observes the profound effect on an Aboriginal community of political and bureaucratic decisions made far away. Although…
Make It Right!
Barunga, in the Northern Territory, hosts an annual festival of Aboriginal sport and culture. In 1988, 200 years after the British flag was raised in Sydney, the Festival took on…
Making A Bark Canoe
This film is a fine example of the many films that Roger Sandall made for the Institute of Aboriginal Studies in which he recorded Aboriginal craft techniques and skills -…
A Walbiri Fire Ceremony - Ngatjakula
Originally filmed as an archival record of a Warlpiri (Walbiri) ceremony in 1967 by Roger Sandall, the film footage was re-worked 10 years later by anthropologist Nicolas Peterson and filmmaker,…
Waiting for Harry
An acclaimed film about Australian aboriginal ritual and ceremony. In Djunawunya, Arnhem Land, in 1978, Frank Gurrmanamana is preparing the final mortuary ceremonies for his brother who died six years…
Yorky Billy
YORKY BILLY is set in Ngurgdu (Spring Peak) in the Northern Territory, an area irrevocably disturbed by uranium mining. There, 80-year-old William Alderson (known as "Yorky Billy") reflects on his…
Coniston Muster
The many films that Roger Sandall made for the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies in the 1960s and early 70s were primarily for archival purposes, and not for wide public…
Camels and the Pitjantjara
From the 1920s onwards, when motor vehicles displaced camels as a mode of supply in central Australia, camels gradually went feral. As this film shows, however, in the 1960s, the…
Western Desert Woomera
This remarkable film documents the making of a spear-thrower or woomera by two Pintupi men from the Western Desert cultural group who live in the Lake McDonald area in the…

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