Taking Them Back: Archival Media in Arnhem Land Today

Martin Thomas


This article explores the significance of footage of the sacred ceremonies of indigenous people in 1948 filmed by the American-Australian Scientific Expedition to Arnhem Land in Australia's Northern Territory. The author shows a group of scientifically-minded Westerners drawn into secret Aboriginal rituals and argues that the archives open new possibilities for preserving an endangered body of knowledge.


American-Australian Scientific Expedition; film archives; Aboriginal rituals;

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