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May 18, 2022

Mystery of Aboriginal photographs comes to Lismore

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A photograph taken by J W Lindt in 1873. (supplied)
A photograph taken by J W Lindt in 1873. (supplied)

Efforts to identify Aboriginal people from the Bundjalung, Gumbaynggirr and Yaegle nations who were photographed back in 1873 will continue in Lismore this week.

The photographs were part of a series taken by photographer John William Lindt, a german photographer from Frankfurt who ran away to sea and joined a Dutch sailing ship when he was just 17.

He deserted at Brisbane, and after brieftly returning to Germany in 1867, returned to the Grafton district where he set up a photography business and spent time photographing the Clarence River district Aboriginal people.

As he included no identification of the people in the photographs, archeologist Annika Korsgaard has been attempting to put names to the faces.

Her research has so far identified three of the subjects, and some of their life stories.

Ms Korsgaard will deliver a public lecture at the Lismore Library on Thursday about Lindt’s ‘Australian Aboriginals’ series.

A photograph taken by J W Lindt in 1873. (supplied)
A photograph taken by J W Lindt in 1873. (supplied)

She will discuss the photographs and the research process leading to the success in identifying those in the photographs.

She will also provide an overview of what life was like for Aboriginal people located in the Northern Rivers in 1873 and discuss why this research is so significant for the Bundjalung, Gumbaynggirr and Yaegl people, as well as the wider Australian community.

Ms Korsgaard is an archaeologist and cultural heritage researcher and is passionate about this research.

This event is at Lismore Library, 110 Magellan Street at 6.30pm on Thursday, 24 November. The event is free and bookings are essential.

For bookings and information phone Lismore Library on 6621 2464 or email [email protected].



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