Ethnohistory Research

Slowly but surely, time is creeping away for all research and writing. Lately I’ve been fine honing what I should be looking for and chipping as far as I can into the mammoth of microfilm, archived material and any other sources of relevance. There are many sources in the literature of Kaurna culture and historic accounts within Adelaide, however very few on Tea Tree Gully’s Kaurna people and sites – the basis of my ethnohistory research project.

It has been a difficult hunt. Recently I read 30 years worth of Highercombe (prior Tea Tree Gully district council area) council meeting minutes from 1853-1884.. a very time expensive process! I also searched letters of communication from the colonial secretary for quarterly reports from the Protector of Aborigines during this period. The findings were quite interesting, and at times confronting – to read handwritten letters of real accounts between the settlers and Kaurna people. It seems I am slowly finding a flickering, fragile view of life during these times.

The report is slowly coming together. I would love to be able to gain a greater perspective of the settlement experience from Kaurna people and not through European lenses and accounts, however the few good Kaurna sources I do have will have to suffice without the adequate time or ethical clearance to research as far as is needed for this project. The careful interpretation of all these sources will be both the hardest and important parts of the research.

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