To mark World Day for Audiovisual Heritage this year we’re highlighting some rare Indigenous moving image and audio recordings.
Chez les Sauvages Australiens (1917) is a French silent film with intertitles. The rare footage depicts young Aboriginal men performing a spear throwing ritual for the camera, men in dugout canoes, a close-up of traditional body scarring and a family using rafts to cross the water.
Torres Strait Islanders (1898) is the world’s first field footage of Indigenous peoples in Australia. It was recorded by AC Haddon, while he was on an expedition with Cambridge University, just three years after the invention of the cine-camera. Only four and half minutes survives but shows dance sequences and traditional fire-making practices.
Tribal Music of Australia (1953) features Dr Adophus Peter Elkin’s ethnographic recordings of sacred ritual songs in the Yolngu homelands of Arnhem Land, made between 1949 and 1952.
Explore more titles on ASO about Indigenous cultures here.