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Ethnographical Films

Nature volume 135, pages 258259 (16 February 1935) | Download Citation



CONSIDERABLE interest has been aroused by a recent announcement that the Trustees of the British Museum have accepted the donation of a cinematograph film of the life of the Worora tribe of the Kimberley district of north-west Australia. The film was presented by Mr. H. R. Balfour of Melbourne. It was taken on the Government Native Reserve of Kunmunya, and shows the present conditions of native life. Technological processes, such as the making of stone axes and spear heads, in which these people are specially skilled, the making of fire by twirling one stick on another, the spinning of human hair for thread and the like are shown as living crafts. The 'shots' also include ceremonies and dances and an emu corroboree. The film has already been shown to missionaries, learned societies and medical students in Australia; but as is explained by Sir George Hill in a letter to The Times of February 7, owing to the fact that it was taken on a Government reserve, under the regulations of the Commonwealth Government, it cannot be shown commercially. With the permission of the Trustees of the Museum, arrangements have been made for the film to be shown at a meeting of the Royal Anthropological Institute to be held on March 19 at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, but only fellows of the Institute and their guests can be admitted. A description of the film has been supplied by the Rev. J. R. B. Love, who is superintendent of the reserve and is well acquainted with the language of the Worora.

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