Primitive Peoples

Last updated

Primitive Peoples
Directed by George Heath
Narrated by Peter Finch
Cinematography George Heath
Release date

Primitive Peoples is a 1949 three-part documentary about the people of Arnhem Land. It was narrated by Peter Finch who also worked as camera assistant during filming. [1]

Related Research Articles

Arnhem City and municipality in Gelderland, Netherlands

Arnhem is a city and municipality situated in the eastern part of the Netherlands. It is the capital of the province of Gelderland and located on both banks of the rivers Nederrijn and Sint-Jansbeek, which was the source of the city's development. Arnhem had a population of 159,265 in 2019 and is one of the larger cities of the Netherlands. The municipality is part of the Arnhem–Nijmegen metropolitan area which has a combined 736,500 inhabitants.

Kakadu National Park Protected area in the Northern Territory, Australia

Kakadu National Park is a protected area in the Northern Territory of Australia, 171 km (106 mi) southeast of Darwin. It is a World Heritage Site.

Arnhem Land Region in the Northern Territory, Australia

Arnhem Land is a historical region of the Northern Territory of Australia. It is located in the north-eastern corner of the territory and is around 500 km (310 mi) from the territory capital, Darwin. In 1623, Dutch East India Company captain Willem Joosten van Colster sailed into the Gulf of Carpentaria and Cape Arnhem is named after his ship, the Arnhem, which itself was named after the city of Arnhem in the Netherlands.

Indigenous music of Australia

Indigenous music of Australia comprises the music of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia, intersecting with their cultural and ceremonial observances, through the millennia of their individual and collective histories to the present day. The traditional forms include many aspects of performance and musical instrumentation that are unique to particular regions or Aboriginal Australian groups; and some elements of musical tradition are common or widespread through much of the Australian continent, and even beyond. The music of the Torres Strait Islanders is related to that of adjacent parts of New Guinea. Music is a vital part of Indigenous Australians' cultural maintenance.


The Yolngu or Yolŋu are an aggregation of Aboriginal Australian people inhabiting north-eastern Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory of Australia. Yolngu means "person" in the Yolŋu languages. The terms Murngin, Wulamba, Yalnumata, Murrgin and Yulangor were formerly used by some anthropologists for the Yolngu.

The Goulburn Islands are a group of small islands and islets in the Arafura Sea off the coast of Arnhem Land in Northern Territory of Australia. The largest islands are North Goulburn Island and South Goulburn Island, where the climate is slightly cooler than in Darwin. The Maung people people are the traditional owners of the Goulburn Islands.

Makassan contact with Australia

The Austronesian Makassar people from the region of Sulawesi began visiting the coast of northern Australia sometime around the early to middle 1700s, first in the Kimberley region, and some decades later in Arnhem Land.

The Caledon Bay crisis, refers to a series of killings at Caledon Bay in the Northern Territory of Australia during 1932–34, referred to in the press of the day as Caledon Bay murder(s). Five Japanese trepang fishers were killed by Aboriginal Australians of the Yolngu people. A police officer investigating the deaths, Albert McColl, was subsequently killed. Shortly afterwards, two white men went missing on Woodah Island. With some of the white community alarmed by these events, a punitive expedition was proposed by Northern Territory Police to "teach the blacks a lesson".


Yirrkala is a small community in East Arnhem Region, Northern Territory of Australia, 18 kilometres (11 mi) south-east from the large mining town of Nhulunbuy, on the Gove Peninsula in Arnhem Land. It population comprises predominantly Aboriginal Australians of the Yolngu people, and it is also home to a number of Mission Aviation Fellowship pilots and engineers based in Arnhem Land providing air transport services.

Gunbalanya, Northern Territory

Gunbalanya is an Aboriginal Australian town in west Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory of Australia, about 300 kilometres (190 mi) east of Darwin. The main language spoken in the community is Kunwinjku. At the 2016 Australian census, Gunbalanya had a population of 1,116.

Bininj Gun-Wok is an Australian Aboriginal language group which includes six dialects: Kunwinjku, Kuninjku, Kundjeyhmi, Manyallaluk Mayali (Mayali), Kundedjnjenghmi, and two varieties of Kune. Kunwinjku is the dominant dialect, and also sometimes used to refer to the group.

<i>Ten Canoes</i>

Ten Canoes is a 2006 Australian drama film directed by Rolf de Heer and Peter Djigirr and starring Crusoe Kurddal. The title of the film arose from discussions between de Heer and David Gulpilil about a photograph of ten canoeists poling across the Arafura Swamp, taken by anthropologist Donald Thomson in 1936. It is the first ever movie entirely filmed in Australian Aboriginal languages. The film is partly in colour and partly in black and white, it is in docu-drama style largely with a narrator explaining the story. The overall format is that of a moral tale.

Yolŋu languages

Yolŋu Matha, meaning the "Yolŋu tongue", is a linguistic family that includes the languages of the Yolngu, the indigenous people of northeast Arnhem Land in northern Australia. The "ŋ" in Yolŋu is pronounced as the "ng" in "singing".

Milingimbi Island

Milingimbi Island, also Yurruwi, is the largest island of the Crocodile Islands group off the coast of Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, Australia.

In February 1948, a team of Australian and American researchers and support staff came together in northern Australia to begin, what was then, one of the largest scientific expeditions ever to have taken place in Australia—the American-Australian Scientific Expedition to Arnhem Land. Today it remains one of the most significant, most ambitious and least understood expeditions ever mounted.

Gabarnmung Archaeological site in Australias Northern Territory Australia

Gabarnmung is an archaeological and rock art site in south-western Arnhem Land, in the Top End of Australia’s Northern Territory. Habitation of the site has been dated to at least 44,000 years ago, placing it among the oldest radiocarbon dated sites in Australia. The oldest rock art was produced more than 28,000 years ago, making it the oldest securely dated prehistoric art in Australia. The cave was still visited by members of the Jawoyn within living memory, possibly until as late as the 1950s, but its existence had been forgotten until its 2006 rediscovery.


The Gunwinggu (Kunwinjku) people are an Australian Aboriginal people, one of several groups within the Bininj people, who live around West Arnhem Land to the east of Darwin, Northern Territory. Kunwinjku people generally refer to themselves as "Bininj" in much the same way that Yolŋu people refer to themselves as "Yolŋu".

The Burarra language is an Australian Aboriginal language spoken by the Burarra people of Arnhem Land. It has several dialects.

Nakkara (Na-kara) is an Australian Aboriginal language spoken by the Nagara people of Arnhem Land.

Ryecroft, West Yorkshire Hamlet in West Yorkshire, England

Ryecroft is a hamlet near to the village of Harden in West Yorkshire, England. The hamlet is on the road between Harden and Haworth, 1.9 miles (3 km) south of Keighley, 1.9 miles (3 km) west of Bingley and 0.6 miles (1 km) west of the centre of Harden.


  1. "First Film Made of Arnhem Land Natives". The Argus . Melbourne. 23 August 1947. p. 10 Supplement: The Argus Week-End Magazine. Retrieved 11 February 2012 via National Library of Australia.