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HomeContentsVisual indexesJohn William Lindt

John William Lindt 
1880 (ca) 
Museums Victoria Collections 
John W. Lindt Collection, XP22982 
Curatorial description (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence, Accessed: 18 August 2020)
In 1885, photographer John William Lindt (1845-1926) accompanied Sir Peter Scratchley's expedition to the newly proclaimed Protectorate of British New Guinea. In 1887 he published fifty photographs from the expedition in Picturesque New Guinea. With an historical introduction and supplementary chapters on the manners and customs of the Papuans; accompanied with fifty full-page autotype illustrations from negatives of portraits from life and groups and landscaped from nature.
The expedition, led by Scratchley, then High Commissioner for the Protectorate, set out in 1885, one year after Britain annexed the territory. Lindt described his excitement at joining the crew of the Governor Blackall moored in Sydney on July 15 in the opening pages of this book. He had wanted to visit the island of New Guinea since first sighting it on the horizon during a visit to the Torres Strait in 1868. On arrival in Port Moresby, Lindt immediately sought opportunities to take photographs. His photographic work was facilitated for him by the Commissioner and the resident missionaries. (William George Lawes (1839-1907) had established the London Missionary Society in New Guinea since 1874). An excursion inland was undertaken, guided by a government officer and utilising the horses belonging to the mission. On this expedition Lindt bumped into several Koiari hunters, who, having made camp to cook and eat kangaroo, invited Lindt to eat with them. An invitation to visit their village followed.
Lindt took up the invitation, and visited the village of Sadara Makara, which included twenty houses, which he commented looked newly constructed. Four of these were set up high in the tree tops. On the next day, the villagers posed for him. "They stood in groups, took the proper attitudes, and even posed picturesquely, as conscious that they were being immortalized in picture". Through an interpreter, Lindt asked that they ascend into the tree houses, and a group promptly went up: "as if defending their garrison against the attack of a hostile tribe, they ran up the ladders with. ease.donned their war coronets and masks, and in full war-paint, armed with shields and spears, went through all the evolutions of Papua defensive fighting" (Picturesque New Guinea page 44).
Physical Description
Sepia toned oversized original print. Framed behind glass. Wooden frame. Signature in red on bottom right corner of image: "Lindt Melbourne Copyright". Adhesive label attached to bottom left of glass: "65". Typed annotation on gold plaque attached to bottom centre edge of frame: "New Guinea Tree House. Koiari Village". 

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