National Archives of Australia
CRS F1/0 Item 1962/1843
Report on Patrols west of Papunya August 1963 by Jeremy Long
(1) Letter dated 12 September 1963 about photographs
(2) Report on Patrols West of Papunya : August 1963
(3) Report on First Patrol West of Papunya : August 1963
Letter dated 12 September 1963 about photographs
12th September 1963
Director of Welfare
Through Assistant Director (Research)
Report on Pintubi Patrols : August 1963
I submitted a report on the preliminary patrol from Haasts Bluff
(folios 64-67). The report attached hereunder covers both trips. Four
copies are attached to the cover but additional copies will be needed. In
addition to copies for the Department and this branch, copies should be
sent to Mr Gare, Mr Porteous and Mr Few (ABC Television), Mr Lockwood,
Mr Grimwade and perhaps a copy should be sent to ASOPA.
2. Four sheets of photographs and a map are being copied in the
3. ABC have undertaken to provide copies of still photographs
and of the films they made. I discussed with Mr Few the possibility of
obtaining a 'working print' of all the film he shot, in sequence, so that
material not used in the final films but of interest to us can be made available
in our film library. Mr Porteous might be asked to supply such a print.
I should like to discuss with you the proposal that some of the
recent arrivals at Papunya be rationed at a water in the Liebig area and that
the remaining desert people should be brought in to camp with them. The
population which might be affected by these moves is as follows :-
Immigration 1956 about 35 (since increased by births)
Immigration 1957 - 1959 about 20 (since increased by births)
Immigration 1962 - 1963 26
Seen 1963 and still in desert 31
Estimated number not seen 45 plus about 40 of whom little is known
Say 160 plus
Less recent Pintubi immigrants, of course, would also be interested in a move
to the Ehrenberg Range area when development can take place there.
J P M Long
Investigation Officer (Social Welfare)
1. Wudungu Well - Anatjari, his young brother, two wives
and son (6 August)
2. Wudungu Well - First wife of Anatjari showing bend
in forearm above the wrist
3. Group at Jupiter Well (8 August)
4. Wirulnga Rockhole - Mr Few examines a lizard
caught by the women (21 August)
5. From Left - Mother (Anatjari), step-daughter
and two daughters
6. Kuku Tjungarai, the father of this family
7. A boy (Adrian Tjuburula) and a youth (Tjungarai)
met in sandhills near Ukari-na Well (27 August)
8. The same pair
9. The father of Adrian, Ngindji-ngindji Tjagamara
at Ukari-na. (Note small lizards, from days hunt,
held in head band)
10. Likil-nga Well - Kulaya-Tjukurba Tjabangadi
and his young brother-in-law. Second wife and
child in background (29 August)
11. Likil-nga Well - Widow, Ngata Nungarai, her son
and another child
12. Likil-nga Well - Administering Penicillin to
boy with yaws
Report on Patrols West of Papunya : August 1963
1. Aims : The patrol was arranged principally in order to continue
investigations begun in 1957, and continued since, into the numbers and
condition of the Aboriginals still living in the desert West of Papunya to
provide information as a basis for planning further welfare development in
the Haast Bluff Reserve (part of R.1028).
2. The patrols followed from those made last year when a total
of 34 people were seen in two areas just over the Western Australian Border
(Dovers Hills and The Sandhills West of Lake Macdonald), tracks of some 16
people were seen at and near Jupiter Well and detailed information on some
28 people in the 'Sandhills' area was gathered. It was known that a large
proportion of the people actually seen in 1962 had walked in to Papunya in
July following rains in May. The original intention was to make contact
with any remaining in the areas visited last year and then to concentrate the
(a) on meeting the Jupiter Well group (of whom Mr MacDougall of
WRE had met two men late last year), and
(b) travelling West from Lake MacDonald to meet as many as possible
of those living in this Sandhill area as far West as the
Meridian of Jupiter Well.
The lack of suitable vehicles made it necessary to modify these plans.
3. In addition an opportunity was provided for ABC Television
to make films about this type of patrol and about the Pintubi way of life and
for newspaper reports on the work and the people.
4. Personnel The ABC sent a cameraman, Mr Frank Few, to take movie and
still films and record the film sound tracks and Mr Douglas Lockwood of the
Herald-Sun accompanied the preliminary patrol. Mr Gordon Grimwade, P/O in
Training, accompanied me to help with the work of the patrol. Nosepeg
Juburula from Papunya again served as interpreter, and other Aboriginals
helped on the two trips as detailed below.
5. Vehicles It was planned to use three new Landrovers with at least one
trailer. When the time came these could not be provided by Transport Branch.
A near new tray-top Landrover was made available from Areyonga; a utility
with over 20,000 miles behind it was released from normal patrol work and
another with over 50,000 miles on the speedometer from the pool. No trailer
could be supplied. The latter two Landrovers were not suited to this work.
The older one gave trouble from the start and broke down finally with a
shattered transfer casae only 160 miles West of Papunya. The other gave constant
trouble with the fuel and electrical systems and was for some days immobile at
Papunya and Haast Bluff during the second patrol. The lack of a trailer would
have several supply runs necessary had it not been for Mr Pender making
a weekend run taking fuel and water to Sandy Blight Junction with the first
patrol in the Haast Bluff tray top Landrover.
6. Narrative On 29th and 30th July vehicles, stores and equipment were
organised in Alice Springs and the three vehicles arrived at Haast Bluff, which
was our rear base, soon after dark on 30th July. Here Mr Lockwood joined the
party. Loads were packed and stores obtained at Papunya next day. A defective
oil seal in the third vehicle was replaced at Papunya on 1st August and Messrs
Pender and Chalmers in the Haast Bluff Landrover joined us to leave Papunya at
noon. The party made camp at Salvation Rockholes, East of the Ehrenberg
Range that evening (98 miles from Papunya).
7. Friday, 2nd August A side trip was made to Wilbiya rockholes which
were dry. A smoke here produced a reply in the early afternoon not far to
the West, indicating that a party was at Wili rockhole. Tracks of one of
the men met last year were seen on the road and the party turned in to Wili
while Mr Pender went on another 15 miles to Sandy Blight to drop fuel.
Camped at the rockhole with this man and his family who were on their way
to Papunya on foot (see census notes attached). These people were tired
but were in good health as they had been last year. (148 miles from Papunya).
8. Saturday, 3rd August Mr Pender took the family on his vehicle to take
them into Papunya and, after filling water cans from the rockhole, the party
left. Before reaching the road, however, the third Landrover broke down. It
was towed to the road, inspected and abandoned. Loads were rearranged and
three of the Aboriginal guides and assistants were taken back to Papunya by
Mr Pender. Apart from Nosepeg, we retained the services only of Snowy
Macdonald as driver and Tjalywi Jabaldjari as guide, he being one of those
seen last year who had walked into Papunya.
9. After refuelling at Sandy Blight we continued West across the
border, through Dovers Hills and camped near Umari rockhole without seeing
any recent signs of people in the area apart from the family we met at Wili.
(78 miles from Sandy Blight and 238 miles from Papunya).
10. Sunday, 4th August Drove on to Pollock Hills and left the road to
visit an area from which a larger than usual type of Quartzite stone knife is
obtained, about 13 miles West of the road. Visited an interesting 'dreaming'
site, an eroded limestone outcrop, resembling the area around Kimai Well
(1957 Lake Mackay patrol) on the return trip and nearby found a number of
quite recent tracks. During the afternoon a smoke was seen in Sandhill
country to the South. Camped at the Pollock Hills. (309 miles from Papunya).
11. Monday, 5th August Set off to make our way through the Sandhills South
of the hills to find the man who had made the smoke. Visited three waters none
of which had signs of recent occupation and it was concluded that the smoke had
been further off than supposed and had been made by one of the 'Sandhills'
group to the South. In the morning crossed recent tracks of one of the
families met in 1962 but since this group was probably heading East it was
likely that we could find them on our return. Again camped at Pollock Hills
having travelled 44 miles during the day and been delayed by trouble with the
12. Tuesday, 6th August Continued the run towards Jupiter Well and came on
many fresh tracks on the road. Thirty miles from camp and in sandhill country
again, walked into a well North of the road (Likil-nga) and found signs of
recent occupation by two families. Halted seven miles further West and while
we lunched our guide and Snowy walked in to Wudungu well and found a woman
and some children. As they returned a boy came up to the road from the South.
Drove over three sandhills and camped with this family at the well. (See
census notes). Treated sores and minor complaints in the evening. The children
and to a less extent the women appeared to be severely under-nourished and
the two small girls had yaws. The older wife had a gross distortion of the
forearm as a result apparently of the breaking of both bones in a fight.
13. Wednesday, 7th August Taking the man, Anatjari, as a guide we left the
women and younger children and went on to Jupiter Well (42 miles). As on
previous visits there were signs of fairly recent occupation. After some
bashing we drove West on the newly graded road which now runs 130 miles North-
west to well 35 on the Canning Stock Route and joins a road South to the Giles/
Carnegie Road. Left the road after 10 miles at the Kutidjara Hills and looked
unsuccessfully for smokes. On the return trip we dropped our new guide to walk
South over the Sandhills to find and bring in to Jupiter Well the people thought
to have gone South from the well. Camped at the well having travelled 66 miles
during the day. (380 miles from Papunya).
Thursday, 8th August Our guide returned next day at noon with an old
man and soon after this man's wife and three married daughters and six children
came in. Apart from the two youngest (breast fed) children all the children
were grossly malnourished. Two small boys had yaws, one very badly. The rest
of the group including four adult males and numbering about 18 persons
were said to be in the Sandhills to the North-West.
15. Friday, 9th August In hopes of meeting this group we drove West
for 30 miles on the road to the open gravel downs country intending to work
back East through the sandhills, but it became clear that a long and
difficult journey would be entailed with slim chances of finding the people
in a reasonable period and it was decided to abandon the attempt. Returned
to the well for lunch and, after distributing some food and indicating
that we would like to see all the group at Likil-nga well in about two weeks,
started back East.
16. Near Wudungu we met one of our guides' wives and learnt that
they had not been able to catch up with the family that had left for points
South a day before we arrived. Camped with the family near Mukula rockhole.
(338 miles from Papunya).
17. Saturday, 10th August While some walked in to Likil-nga, the Landrovers
made a track in from the East through gaps in the sandhills. Lunched
there and left some food and arranged to meet Anatjari's wives there in about
10 days' time. He and his young 'brother' elected to come in to visit
Papunya and return on the next trip. Drove through Pollock and Angas Hills
and camped at Ladjurnga rockhole, the site of our main camp last year. (Day's
run 123 miles; 222 miles from Papunya).
18. Sunday, 11th August Drove in to Warren Creek to camp. At about
10 miles out came up with Mr Bevan, Papunya mechanic, who was towing in the
19. On Monday 12th August we dropped our guides at Papunya and
returned to Haast Bluff. On tuesday Mr Lockwood left for Alice Springs,
followed by Messrs Grimwade and Few who went in for more stores and to
despatch film. They returned late on Thursday night. Meanwhile I had loaded
fuel and stores (including special foods for the malnourished children) for the
next trip. On Friday I took the first Landrover to Papunya for a service
and preparations were completed.
Report on Second Patrol west of Papunya August 1963 by Jeremy Long
20. Saturday, 17th August Left Haast's Bluff in the morning, gathered our guides
Nosepeg, Ngugudi, Juburula, Lefthand Jangala and Anatjari at Papunya, and left
soon after midday. Spent some time shooting kangaroos between Alumbara and
Warren Creek bores and East of Salvation Hill in order to have fresh meet for
our guides and the people we met. Camped again at Salvation Rockholes. (Day's
run 128 miles.
21. Sunday, 18th August Next day dropped off some of our supplies at Sandy
Blight, refuelled and filled up with water. Drove through to camp at Pollock
Hills without seeing any signs of people. (Day's run 205 miles).
22. Monday, 19th August Went in to Likil-nga but found that the women had
left the day before. Drove West between the Sandhills to Wudungu and finding
no one there returned to the road. During lunch the women came up and we
returned to Wudungu. Here we prepared and issued special food for all and
administered penicillin to the two children with yaws. The milk and eggs drink
was less popular with the children than the kangaroo meat and beef but some
was taken and tins of malt and baby food were left with them. (Day's run
23. Tuesday, 20th August While Mr Few did some filming I made the run to
Jupiter Well in one Landrover and filled the water tank. No one was there but
some of the men had returned since our visit and followed the rest back to the
South, so that there seemed a good chance that they would be on their way, via
the waterholes near the hills to the South, to Likil-nga. Returned to Wudungu
soon after lunch and more film was taken in the afternoon. (Day's run 83
24. Wednesday, 21st August Left the well and drove through Pollock Hills.
Turned off to examine Ngami rockhole South of the road and soon after
rejoining the road saw recent tracks of a young man met last year. Turned
off to granite rocks North of the road and went in to Ladunga and Wirul-nga
rockholes. At the second we found two small girls and after lunch the rest
of the family, except a son and a youth whose tracks we had seen, came in.
All these had been seen last year and were in good health. (See census
notes). Left them late in the afternoon and went on to camp at Winbargu
(Mt Webb), (Day's run 88 miles).
25. Thursday, 22nd August We left some food in a drum near Ladjurnga
rockhole, having arranged to meet the family there in a few days and went on
to Sandy Blight for lunch. Because the ABC was pressing Mr Few for still
shots and because it was clear that we would need more fuel, Mr Grimwade took
the second Landrover in from here to Haast Bluff to catch the mail aircraft
the next day. After refuelling we started South past the Kintores in the first Landrover to visit the
area South of Lake Macdonald. Turned off near Davenport Hills and followed a
track made last year towards Bonython Hills and camped in the Sandhills, having
found some fairly recent tracks of some of the 'Sandhills group'. (Day's run
26. Friday, 23rd August Continued West to Bonython Hills and from there saw
a smoke to the South-West near the Sir Frederick Range. After a difficult run of
14 miles back South-East to the road, we followed it over the border and camped
South of the Sir Frederick Range. (Day's run 101 miles).
27. Saturday, 24th August Left the road and drove past Kartjil-nga
soak West towards a smoke and at Lulari-nya in some low hills found a
boy of about 10 years and his uncle whom we had met last year. The rest of the
group had gone back to the North-West, to an area to which a track had been made
in 1962. With these two we went North to a good rockhole, Tjitapulka or Nyimangka,
where the man collected some dingo scalps and spears. Started East for the road
and camped in sandhills. (Day's run 50.5 miles).
28. Sunday, 25th August A difficult run through confused
sandhills took us to the road. Being uncertain of the distance back to Sandy
Blight I drove back South to a WRE fuel dump and drew 6 gallons. (Here,
Mr T J Rowlands, of Melbourne, on a tour looking at rock carvings and paintings
came up with us on his way from the Petermanns to Papunya and Alice Springs).
After lunch we drove to Sandy Blight and camped. (Day's run 151.7 miles).
29. Monday, 26th August Mr Grimwade had succeeded in getting out with
fuel and some stores, but had been forced to return to Papunya for repair of the
generator in the second vehicle. With some difficulty, because our Landrover had
no adequate tyre levers, we repaired a staked tyre, and drove West to Dovers Hills
for lunch. Leaving some of our load and guides at Ladjur-nga we started South-West
on old tracks and camped 20 miles out. (Day's run 86 miles).
30. Tuesday, 27th August Continued South and West into the Sandhills and
saw a smoke fairly close. The Sandhills were difficult however, and it was some
hours before we came up with Nosepeg who on foot had caught up with a youth - a
boy (seen last year). With these we went back East and entered the sandhills
further South to run in to UKARI-NYA well. In the evening the boy's father, whom
we had met last year, came in. Two women in this group had gone to another water
and the other families were some distance to the West. As time was running out
and Mr Grimwade was expected back at Dovers Hills I decided not to travel further
West on this line. (Day's run 39.7 miles).
31. Wednesday, 28th August Returned on a new track by way of ARANGA well
(first visited November 1957) to Dovers Hills. Here the family from the West had
come in and Mr Grimwade had arrived from Papunya the day before. The afternoon
was spent filming and preparing for the final trip West. (Day's run 38.6 miles).
32. Thursday, 29th August Drove West and lunched at Pollock Hills
after shooting a kangaroo. There were fresh tracks on the road near Likil-nga
and after checking that the people had not left we drove in and found a small
group who had come up from the hills to SOUTH-WEST. (See Census notes).
Anatjari's family were not there and I took one Landrover West to Wudungu
and collected him. Camped at Likil-nga. (Day's run 138.7 miles).
33. Friday, 30th August Administered penicillin to one small boy,
the worst case seen at Jupiter Well on the first trip. The sores on Anatjari's
daughters were clearing up well. Hoping to see the rest of the 'Jupiter Well
Group' took one Landrover South on a National Mapping track, with Anatjari as
guide. The track proved difficult since it ran straight over all the sandhills
but followed it for about 10 miles then turned West. After negotiating more
sandhills reached the hills and gravel country but found more rough sandhills
barring the way and abandoned the attempt. Lunched and returned to Likil-nga
in the evening. (Day's run 54 miles).
34. Saturday, 31st August After giving the boy another penicillin
injection and leaving some food with the group, we started the return trip.
Reached Ladjurnga camp in the early afternoon and went on taking with us two
youths but leaving the men with families. Camped 10 miles past Sandy Blight.
(Day's run 186 miles).
35. Sunday, 1st September) Lunched at Mt Liebig bore and drove in to
Papunya and dropped our guides and assistants. Arrived Haast Bluff late
36. Results Both Mr Lockwood and Mr Few have said they are well pleased
with the results of the trip. It seems likely that at least two half hour
films will be made for television screening. These films will provide a useful
record of the patrol and of the people and may serve to acquaint the public
with the problems of these people and of providing for their welfare.
37. The patrols were successful in establishing satisfactory
contact with the Western groups and revealed that their health is distinctly
poor when compared with that of the people living further East who were seen in
1962 and on earlier patrols. These meetings have provided more details of
the population of the area as a whole and made it possible to correct some of
the information gathered previously. The census notes attached show that a
total of 39 persons were seen of whom 15 had been seen in 1962 and of whom 8
are now at Papunya. Tracks of others have been seen and fairly reliable
information gathered about another 40 to 45 people. In addition, there are an
unknown number living between Jupiter Well and Warburton Mission, but possibly
no more than about 40 or 50 in all.
38. Some practical aid was given in the shape of penicillin
injections for three children suffering from yaws, treatment of several minor
ailments and sores and provision of nourishing food and vitamins. Unfortunately
one of the children with yaws seen on the first trip was not seen on the second
but all the worst cases, including two children who were unable to walk,
were treated. The children showed some reluctance to take the food prepared
for them and vitamin tablets but all had something nourishing to eat and some
food was left with all groups.
39. Recommendations An effort was made to find out what these people them-
selves want to do or want done for them. It is, however, impossible for them
to make an informed decision. If it appears at times that some have not been
seeking, if not actively avoiding, contact with these patrols, there is never
any suggestion of any hostility to the intruders nor to proposals that they
might be better off living elsewhere. Requests for transport to Papunya in
fact invariably precede any suggestion by me that they might move in and it
is only the refusal of a lift that disappoints and, in one instance, obviously
annoys. In later discussions the possibilities -
(a) that transport might be provided to bring them East, and
(b) that waters might be provided for them near the Ehrenberg
Range and ultimately further West,
have been raised and apparently approved. The suggestion made was that trans-
port might be provided next autumn if all the authorities approved. Some made
it fairly clear that they would walk in before then and because they were
enquiring whether there was water at Sandy Blight Junction, I left some 25
gallons there and put about 8 gallons in a drum at the Ehrenbergs which had
been drained by a party walking in last year.
40. These people are not as isolated as information obtained on
the first patrol suggested but, as was revealed by last year's patrol, there
are not enough people left for the social system to function effectively:
young men cannot be initiated and young women cannot find appropriate husbands.
The death rate is evidently high: 34 people were seen last year and twelve
months later two of these were dead and this in groups obviously better
nourished than those seen for the first time this year. All children over 18
months or two years are more or less severly under-nourished and four out of
10 children under 10 years of age seen in the western groups had yaws. (Only
one child seen last year had yaws). Given the evident keenness of these people
to come in to a place where good food and warm clothing are readily available
these reasons appear sufficient to justify interference in the situation.
41. These people are living too far from the field of work
of the WRE Officers for these men to look after their welfare
as they look after people up to the Rawlinson Ranges. Most of thier
closest relatives are at Papunya and others are at Yuendumu and Balgo Hills. Plans
are already made for providing welfare centres for the Pintubi West of Papunya
to relieve the situation created by excessive numbers there. The best answer
seems to be to establish as soon as possible, bores near the Ehrenberg Range to
which recent immigrants to Papunya can move and to which the people remaining
in the desert can be brought. If boring cannot be carried out this financial
year then the people could be brought in initially to one of the springs near
Mt Liebig where they could be conveniently rationed reguarly from Haast Bluff,
since the bores there are looked at every week or so. There are great numbers
of kangaroos in the area which could provide all the meat these people need.
42. To bring these people in, a truck and a Landrover would be needed,
the truck to carry stores and people and the Landrover to work off the road to
find people not living near the road. The operation could probably be carried
out in about two weeks.
43. I recommend that these considerations be discussed with the
Western Australian Native Welfare Authorities and that, if they approve, the
operation suggested should be carried out in about April 1964. The results
achieved will determine whether further patrols to locate others in the desert
are necessary or not.
J P M Long
Investigation Officer (Social Welfare)
Census Notes : Pintubi Patrols 1963
(A) Eastern Group
Wili Rockhole (2. 8.1963)
(1) Tjugudi, Tjagamara, born 1930, male
(Father Kirapi at Yuendumu. Brother at Balgo, now Yuendumu,
and another at Papunya (1962), now Yuendumu)
(a) Murmuya, Nabaldjari, born 1938, female
(Brothers at Papunya (1963))
(i) (Bobby), Tjuburula, born 1958, male
(b) Parara-nga, Nabaldjari, born 1945, female
(Mother Anmanari (see below))
(i) (Kim), Naburula, born 1961
This group was met in Dovers Hills 1962; father Kirapi who was seen
at Lake Mackay 1957 and subsequently moved to Yuendumu, comes from
north of Jupiter Well.
Wirul-nga Rockhole (21. 8.1963)
(1) Kuku / Kirindji, Tjungarai, born 1920, male
(a) Anmanari, Nangala, born 1927, female
(Older daughters married or at Papunya)
(iii) (Cleo) / Yakari-na, Nabaldjari, born 1950
(iv) Pundjita, Tjabaldjari, born 1953
(v) (Hedda) / Payunga, Nabaldjari, born 1956
(i) Unnamed, Nabaldjari, born 1960
(Mother seen 1960, died early 1963)
(2) Gagamanaya, Tjangala, born 1946, male
(Mother Tjungkaya (see below). This youth returned
to Papunya with the patrol.)
All of this family were seen 1962. They found themselves left
behind by the group which walked to Papunya in July 1963.
Lulari (24. 8.1963) and Ukari-na (27. 8.1963)
(1) Ngindji-Ngindji, Tjagamara, born 1912, male
(Seen 1962, widower)
(i) (Adrian), Tjuburula, born 1951
(Seen 1962. Mother died at Warburton Mission.)
(ii) Pilti-na, Tjuburula, born 1953
(2) Tanalga, Tjagamara, born 1932, male
(Seen 1962; wife not seen 1963; son died late 1962)
(3) Wakanindja, Tjungarai, born 1945, male
(Brother Yalayala to Papunya 1963;
brother Ngitjita to Papunya 1956;
mother Wanadjura not seen;
This youth returned to Papunya with the patrol.)
(B) Western Group
Wudungu Well (6/7. 8.1963, 19/20. 8.1963, 29/30. 8.1963)
(1) Anatjari / Tingari-Tjukurba, Tjagamara / Tjambidjinba, born 1930, male
(a) Tjungkaya, Nabangadi, born 1925, female
(Two older children married; older son Gagamanaya)
(iv) Unnamed, Nangala
(b) Mamuru-na, Purungu, born 1938, female
(i) Wili (Kuniya-Tjukurba), Tjangala, born 1956
(ii) Nangatji, Nangala, born 1961
(Yaws; not able to walk)
(2) Sandy ?Nim Nim (Kuniya-Tjukurba), Tjambidjimba, born 1950, male
(Father perished; mother Ngata see below)
Jupiter Well (8. 8.1963 and Likilnga (29/30. 8.1963
(1) Nyita / Nyawipaya / Yaliti, Tjangala, born 1905, male
(a) Mani-na, Nungarai, born 1922, female
(Sister married to Tjabandara seen 1957 now at Yuendumu;
three daughters married)
(iv) Nari, Tjambidjimba, born 1949
(Seen at Likilnga)
(v) Tjangkayi-na, Nambidjinba, born 1959
(2) Wangutang (Kulaya-Tjukurba), Tjabangadi, born 1925, male
(Name Kantagra given 1962; seen at Likilnga)
(a) Lubira-na, Nambidjinba, born 1938, female
(Mother Mani above)
(i) Tikali-na, Nabanangga, born 1954
(ii) Inarki / Mandji-nga, Tjabanangga, born 1960
(Burns and yaws sore in groin)
(iii) Unnamed, Nabanangga, born 1962
(b) Payungu-na, Nambidjinba, born 1942, female
(Seen again at Likilnga)
(i) Manayi-nga, Tjabanangga, born 1959
(c) Kayu Kayu, Nambidjimba, born 1946, female
(Scar on .....)
(i) Unnamed, Tjabanangga, born 1961
(3) Ngata, Nungarai, born 1932, female
(Widow, husband perished recently. Two sisters at Papunya (1956 and 1963).
Brother at Yuendumu (1961). Older son Sandy above.)
(ii) Tjiwinga, Tjambidjinba, born 1958
Totals seen Adults Male 9
Children Male 11
Persons not seen during patrol
Dovers / Angas Hills
(1) Pipandji, Tjangala, born about 1930, male
(a) Tjingapa, Nungarai, born 1924, female
(Three older daughters married at Papunya (1958, 1963))
(iv) Yupupu (Jupupu), Tjambidjinba, born 1956
This family was in the South Angas Hills area during the patrols
and apparently came up to Umari after our visit and examined the
camp site and tracks. The wife was widowed not long ago (she was seen
briefly at Aranga Well in 1957) and their reluctance to meet the
patrol is attributed to feelings of shame because of her too early
(1) Wanadjura, Nagamara, born about 1908, female
(Adult children at Papunya (1956, 1963))
(2) Minjandu, Nabaldjari, born 1944, female
(Brother at Papunya (1963). Husband Tangala above.
Child died 1962.)
These two women were away from the Ukari-na camp at the time
of our visit.
(3) Yuntjiyalta , Tjuburula, male
(This man has four wives (see 1962 Census lists) and about six younger
children in addition to a married son (see below) and a son who is
(4) Djindaka (Anatjari), Tjagamara, male
(Son of Yuntjiyalta. Has two wives and at least one child.)
These two families and possibly one or two youths were some
distance west or south-west of the Ukari-na group. Between 15 and
20 in the group all told.
Also in occasional touch with these families and the Ukari-na
people is (Lefthand) Yalayala, Tjabanangga and his family, some of
whom were seen in 1961 and who are known to the W.R.E. officers.
Total not seen = 25 to 30
(1) Umbuluru, Tjungarai, male
(a) Unnamed, Naburula, female
This family (there may be a child also) had left the Wudungu
group a day before the patrol arrived and gone some distance to
the South. The man is said to have some sort of sore or injury
to his arm. A camp of theirs was seen (Tjilipinidja Well) on
30 th August.
(2) Pitani-nya, Purukulu, male
(Has two wives and at least one daughter. Was seen by
MacDougall 1962. Tracks at Jupiter Well on several occasions.
Not a Pintubi though his wives are.)
(3) Nyunmulnga, Tjabaldjari, male
(A youth, also seen by MacDougall 1962, with Purukulu above.)
(4) Mamudja, Tjabanangga, male
(An old man, a 'brother' of Arthur Patuta (seen 1957) at
Yuendumu. Has three wives and three children, including a youth.
Was north or north-west of Jupiter Well at the time of this patrol.)
Total not seen = 14 to 15
In addition to these there are an unknown number living in the
Baron Range / Ryan Buttes area south of Jupiter Well. Thirteen adult males were
listed by name in 1962 but the first information on this patrol was that
these men had not been seen for years. On the second trip the 'Sandhills
group' reported recent contact with some of them however, and the
Tjabangadi man seen at Likilnga had visited them not long since. It is
unlikely that there were any great number in the area.
Report on First Patrol West of Papunya : August 1963
14 August 1963
Director of Welfare
(Through Assistant Director Research)
(Copy to Assistant Director, Southern Division)
Report on First Patrol West of Papunya : August 1963
The objectives of the trip were primarily to re-establish
contact with Pintubi met last year and locate others not met
in order to make a more accurate and complete assessment of the
numbers and needs of the people still living in the desert areas.
A secondary aim was to provide, in the course of this work, an
opportunity for the making of one or two films for ABC Television
and for the writing of a newspaper report of the work for the
Melbourne Herald and associated newspapers. For these purposes
Mr Frank Few, ABC cinecameraman, and Mr Douglas Lockwood,
journalist, accompanied the patrol. Patrol Officer G Grimwade
also came for training and to help with the work.
2. On the 29th and 30th July Mssrs Few and Grimwade and myself
were occupied in Alice Springs obtaining stores, equipment and
vehicles. Three new Landrovers had been ordered for the trip
but these were not available. Vehicles provided were one tray-top
Landrover, ex Areyonga, near new but which had had the chassis cracked
and repaired; one Utility previously used for patrol work and by no
means new; and one utility with some 50000 miles behind it.
The last was obviously unsuited to the work and indeed hardly fit to
leave town but it was taken in hopes that it would prove fit to
transport some fuel and some supplies some distance out. This hope was
barely justified: a defective oil seal was noticed 80 miles
from Alice Springs and replaced at Papunya and the transfer case
fell apart 160 miles from Papunya on the third day out. Minor
trouble was experienced with the second vehicle which is only
barely fitted for this kind of work.
3. A driver Jeffrey McDonald was engaged at Amoonguna to drive
the third vehicle to Haast Bluff and the party left soon after 2
pm on 30th July, arriving Haast Bluff soon after dark. Next
day stores were obtained at Papunya and guides organised. Because
Transport Branch had not provided a trailer, carriage of adequate
fuel and water for the work would have been impossible without making
special supply runs but Mr Pender offered to spend a day to cart
fuel and water and at the same time inspect the country West of Mt
Liebig. After the thitd Landrover had been repaired at Papunya the
party of four vehicles left at midday on 1st August and made
camp at Salvation Hill (Wiyanbiri) that night, 98 miles from Papunya.
4. On 2nd August a side trip was made to visit Wilbiya rock holes
which were dry. A smoke made then produced a reply not far West
and tracks of one of the men met last year were seen on the road about
155 miles from Papunya. Mr Pender went on to drop fuel and water
at Sandy Blight Junction (170 miles) and the rest went into Wili
rockhole and camped there with this man and his two wives and two
children. Next morning Mr Pender took the family onto his vehicle
for return to Papunya. Before the party returned to the road, however,
the third vehicle broke down. It was towed to the road, inspected
and abandoned. Most stores were placed on the other two vehicles
but 4 jerrycans of water had to be left and three aboriginal guides
and assistants were returned to Papunya with Mr Pender. From this
point the personnel of the patrol consisted of Messrs Grimwade, Few,
Lockwood, Nosepeg Juburula, Snowy McDonald (driver),
Tjalyuri Jabaldjari (guide) and myself. Refuelled at Sandy Blight
and continued West across the border to Umari rockhole (78 miles
from Sandy Blight and 248 from Papunya).
5. On Sunday, 4th August, we drove on to Pollock Hills and turned
off to visit a place from which a larger type of stone knife is obtained
about 13 miles West of the road. Some fairly recent tracks were
seen on the return trip and a smoke appeared to the South. Camped
at Pollock Hills (309 miles).
6. Next day was spent travelling in the sandhills South of the
hills. Three dry waters were visited and no sign of recent
occupation was seen. Returned to the road concluding that the
smoke had been made further South by some of the 'Sandhills people'
in an area which has to be approached from the East, near Lake
Macdonald. Again camped at Pollock Hills, having covered 44 miles
in the day and having had considerable trouble with the fuel system
of the second Landrover,
7. Many fresh tracks were seen on the road next day (6th August)
but no smokes. 30 miles from camp we walked to a soakage well
about 1 mile north of the road and found signs of occupation within
the last two days (Likil-nga). Halted 7 miles further West
and while we lunched our guides went in to a well where they
established contact with the family camped there. Just as they
returned a boy of about 13 years of this group walked up to the vehicle
from the South. Negotiated three sandhills and camped with this
group at Wudungu well. It consisted of a man, his two wives,
three children and 'brother' whose father had died and whose
mother had recently gone in to Papunya. Treated sores and minor
complaints; two of the children appeared to be suffering from yaws.
A man who had left this group with his wife and child only a few
days before was also reported to be suffering from yaws.
One of the two women had a gross distortion of the forearm as a result,
apparently, of a breakage of both bones in a fight.
8. On 7th August we left the women to make contact with the other
family and went on to Jupiter Well with the man and the youth. (42
miles). In the afternoon we took the road which is now graded North
West to Well 35 on the Canning Stock Route and followed it for
10 miles to the Kutidjara hills. Indications at Jupiter Well were
that a group had left recently for the South and on the
return we dropped our new guide to walk South through the sandhills
and bring them back to the well. Camped at the well having travelled
66 miles during the day (380 miles from Papunya).
9. Next day at about noon our guide returned with an old man
and shortly after four women (his wife and three married
daughters) with six children came in. All but the two youngest
children were grossly malnourished and two appeared to have yaws.
The rest of the group, including four adult males and numbering in
all at least 15 persons were said to be in the sandhill country to
the North West and the next day an attempt was made to use the road to
the West to approach them. We travelled 31 miles West to the open
downs country but it was clear that a long journey over spinifex and
sandhills lay ahead and I decided to abandon the attempt to use
vehicles to make contact with this group. Returned to the Well and
after lunch started East, on the
understanding that we would return to Likilnga within two weeks and
wanted to see the whole group there.
10. Forty miles back we met one of our guide's wives and learned
that the other man we had hoped to meet had gone a long way to the
South. Camped with the family near Mukula rockholes (338 miles
11. On 10th August some of the party walked in to Likilnga well
while the Landrovers made a track in from the East through the sandhills.
Left some food here and started back for Papunya, taking the man
Anatjari Jambidjinba and his young 'brother'. Camped that night
at Ladjurnga rockhole, Dovers Hills, not having seen any new tracks
on the road. On Sunday 11th August we came up with Mr Bevan,
Papunya mechanic, about 55 miles from Papunya, as he was towing in
the third Landrover. Camped at Warren Creek (Uldurumu) bore and
next day went on to Papunya, dropped off our guides and assistants and
returned to Haast Bluff. The following morning Mr Lockwood left
for Alice Springs followed by Messrs Grimwade and Few, to buy more
stores and despatch film.
12. Both Mr Few and Mr Lockwood have said they
are very pleased with the material obtained on this trip. Mr Few
will return with Mr Grimwade to come out on the second trip.
13. Results and Conclusions : Mr MacDougal had met last year two men of
these western groups but until this month no satisfactory contact
had been established. The contact established
last week has revealed
(1) that the group is inadequately nourished and many of them are sick; and
(2) the group is less numerous and more isolated than information gathered
last year had suggested.
The children in particular are in poorer condition than any I have met on
previous visits to nomadic groups in the desert areas. The next trip
should reveal whether this poor condition is general, but the
health of the children is a strong argument for acceding to the wish of
the people met so far to be taken out of the desert. It is now
evident that this group is no longer part of a viable society.
Men listed last year as belonging in the country South and West of
Jupiter Well are now said to have long since left the country for the
missions and settled areas. The western groups are apparently
quite cut off on the South, West and North. With the recent emigration
of most of the Pollock Hills / Dovers Hill group to Papunya, the only
remaining people who could keep in touch with those of the 'Sandhills
group' occupy the area West of Lake Macdonald. The presence of one
man and his family West of Lake Mackay has again been confirmed
but he is not in touch with any of these groups now.
14. I intend on the second trip to begin next Saturday (17th August)
to revisit the Western groups to check these conclusions and the
attitudes of the other adult males not so far seen towards evacuating
the area and to provide some medical treatment and special feeding.
In addition we shall go South from Sandy Blight and strike West into
the sandhills to revisit the groups met there last year.
15. Recommendations : The remoteness of these groups from either
Papunya or Giles and the difficulties of the terrain make it very
difficult to maintain any oversight of their welfare where they are.
On the other hand it would, it appears, be inhumane to leave them there
to die out as they surely will in time. I have elsewhere suggested
the sinking of bores in the Ehrenberg Range area to provide for the
needs of the Pintubi People and in particular those who remain in the
desert or have recently left it for Papunya. The condition of the
people seen last week, together with the fact of the recent emigrations
to Papunya, give this project an added and a high degree of urgency.
If it is humanly possible at least two bores should be sunk and
equipped in the next six or eight months and a ration depot which
could be visited fortnightly from Papunya or Alice Springs should be
established. Meanwhile I strongly recommend, subject to confirmation
in about two weeks time after the next trip, that transport should be
provided to bring the people in from Jupiter Well / Likilnga to one of
the western bores on the Haast Bluff run where they could be visited
weekly or fortnightly from Haast Bluff and rationed and could be
hepled to hunt the great numbers of kangaroos in these areas.
(Numbers involved are shown on the attached paper).
Summary of known Pintubi population in desert and recent emigrations
A. Dovers Hills group
Seen 1962 Adults 6M 9F : 15
Children 4M 6F : 10 25
To Papunya 17
Still out 7
Not seen 3
Total out 10
B. Sandhills group
Seen 1962 Adults 3M 2F : 5
Children 3M 1F : 4 9
To Papunya 3
Still out 5
Plus 24 of 25 recorded but not seen 1962
Total out 29
(It is probable that all these people are now living in the
sandhills West of Lake Macdonald and South West.)
C. Western group
Seen so far 1963 Adults 2M 6F : 8
Children 5M 5F : 10 18
Not yet seen Adults 5M 6F : 11
Children About 7 18
Total out About 36
(One taken to Papunya to stay)
Emigrated 1962/3 22
Still out About 74
NB Information about people not seen is almost invariably found to
be inaccurate and / or incomplete. The two men met this year were
recorded on my lists at Haast Bluff in 1957 but no reference was made to
their existence last year. There may well be more people than those
recorded above, all of whose tracks have been seen if they have not been
seen in person.