To See With New Eyes:

To See With New Eyes:
To See With New Eyes:
A Phenomenological Investigation of a Contact Landscape at the Weipa
Mission, North-Western Cape York Peninsula, Queensland
By
Claire Felicity Ratican
Bachelor of Archaeology (Hons)
Thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the degree of
Bachelor of Archaeology (Honours), Department of Archaeology, Flinders
University of South Australia, Adelaide
October 2009
Abstract
The thesis presents the results of a phenomenological analysis of a contact landscape at
the Weipa Mission in Weipa, Cape York Peninsula, Queensland. Many archaeological
studies of contact have framed relations and experiences in terms of domination and
passivity (Delle 1998; Long 1970; Rowley 1970; Sutton 2003). In response, later studies
have focused on the innovation, agency, resistance and accommodation of Indigenous
people through ethnographic, landscape and material culture studies (Birmingham 1992;
Harrison 2004; Lydon 2009; Silliman 2001a, 2001b; Trigger 1992). This shift towards an
archaeology of engagement brings to light the active participation of both cultures in
social interaction.
Phenomenology serves as an alternative framework which deconstructs the inequality
implicit in conceptions of contact relations by attempting to understand these experiences
through the body’s mediation of the contact landscape. The potential of phenomenology to
contribute to contact archaeology was tested at Weipa Mission. To do this, archaeological
survey was carried out to map the spatial arrangement of the site and mission diaries
were analysed for records of people and events occurring within the landscape. These
records were plotted into the map generated by the survey using GIS, which modelled the
relationship between spatiality, sensuality, social practices and the landscape. These maps
also acted as a reference point from which phenomenological recreations of past
Indigenous experiences of space were made, complemented by the mission diaries and
historical photographs. This enabled a phenomenological exploration of how the
landscape was sensuously perceived by the Indigenous inhabitants of the Mission.
Analysis showed that many experiences of Mission places were common to all inhabitants
as dictated by the ideological and social role they played in the life of Weipa Mission.
However, the phenomenological reconstructions of sensory experience, based on the
events narrated in the mission diaries, suggest a wide scope of diverse and individualistic
experiences which were deeply personal. This study shows that post-contact relations at
the Weipa Mission were much more interactive and dynamic than can be revealed using a
domination and resistance model, and that phenomenology has great potential in
exploring past human behaviours in historical archaeological contexts.
i
Declaration
I certify that this thesis does not incorporate without acknowledgment any
material previously submitted for a degree or diploma in any university; and that
to the best of my knowledge and belief it does not contain any material previously
published or written by another person except where due reference is made in the
text
Signed:
Date:
ii
Acknowledgments
Firstly, I would like to offer my sincerest thanks to Alice Gorman, my supervisor,
whose daring genius and creativity is constantly astounding, not a little bit scary,
but completely worth it. I am also indebted to Michael Morrison, who helped me at
every stage of the thesis, from offering me the opportunity to work on such a
project, to spending hours with me manipulating data and responding to all my
email queries with cheer. Your support and friendship has been invaluable. I must
also thank Lynley Wallis, whose generosity and guidance has been instrumental in
my development as an archaeologist. Her influence has left an indelible mark.
I would also like to acknowledge the AIATSIS Grant G2007/7266 awarded to
Michael Morrison, Darlene McNaughton, Justin Shiner and the Anhatangaith
Traditional Owners, which made this project possible. I especially thank the
Anhatangaith community for being so welcoming and generous.
My deepest gratitude to my fellow Honours and Masters students, Victoria Wade,
TJ Harding, Olly Spiers, Alan Hay, Michael Field and Ali Stratton, and long-time
friends Brigitta Ragg, Lucy Victory and Hayley Ramsay, for having to talk me back
from the edge too many times, and to Emma Russell, for her unfailing compassion
and understanding.
Lastly, I would like to thank my family, my parents Judith and Mark, and my sisters
Sarah and Rachael, for their continual support and encouragement, not just this
year, but continuously throughout my degree. I am lucky to have a family that
nurtures discussion and enquiry and I am truly grateful. In particular, I would like
to thank my mum, Judith, for her intelligence and eloquence, which inspires my
everlasting admiration.
iii
Table of Contents
ABSTRACT.................................................................................................................................................I
DECLARATION ....................................................................................................................................... II
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS....................................................................................................................... III
LIST OF FIGURES..................................................................................................................................VI
LIST OF TABLES.................................................................................................................................VIII
LIST OF APPENDICES..........................................................................................................................IX
PREFACE .................................................................................................................................................XI
CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION AND CONTEXT.................................................................. 2
Study Area ......................................................................................................................................... 2
History of the Weipa Mission ..................................................................................................... 4
Moravian missionaries in Australia .................................................................................... 4
Establishment of Weipa Mission.......................................................................................... 5
Moravians and their Ideology ............................................................................................... 7
Research Questions........................................................................................................................ 9
Significance of the Research .....................................................................................................10
Thesis Outline.................................................................................................................................11
CHAPTER TWO
A REVIEW OF THE THEORY AND LITERATURE.....................................13
Archaeology of Contact and Engagement............................................................................13
Missions and Contact Theory ..............................................................................................14
Phenomenology.............................................................................................................................22
Concepts and development..................................................................................................22
Phenomenology in archaeology .........................................................................................23
Criticisms, challenges and insights....................................................................................27
Conclusions .....................................................................................................................................30
CHAPTER THREE
METHODOLOGY ........................................................................................32
Fieldwork.........................................................................................................................................32
Field surveying of the northwest and northeast quadrants....................................32
GPS survey of the southwest and southeast quadrants ............................................36
Limitations of Field Survey ..................................................................................................36
Archival Research .........................................................................................................................36
Missionary Diaries...................................................................................................................37
Historical Photographic Material.......................................................................................37
Paton’s Account ........................................................................................................................37
Phenomenological Analysis and Mapping...........................................................................38
Phenomenological Approach to Primary Resources..................................................38
Experiential Landscape Site Plan Production ...............................................................39
Limitations of the Phenomenological Methodology........................................................41
Historical Photography..........................................................................................................41
Mission Diaries..........................................................................................................................41
Oral history.................................................................................................................................41
General Methodological Issues ...........................................................................................42
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CHAPTER FOUR
RESULTS .........................................................................................................45
Survey Results................................................................................................................................45
Built Structures.........................................................................................................................45
Artefact scatters........................................................................................................................56
Topography ................................................................................................................................59
Historical Photograph Analysis...............................................................................................60
Mission Diary Data Analysis .....................................................................................................69
The Missionary Experience..................................................................................................69
The Indigenous Experience..................................................................................................73
Conclusions .....................................................................................................................................84
CHAPTER FIVE
DISCUSSION.....................................................................................................86
A Constructed Landscape ..........................................................................................................86
Built Features ............................................................................................................................86
Artefact Scatters .......................................................................................................................88
Topography ................................................................................................................................90
People, Themes and the Experiential Landscape.............................................................91
Relationship between people and social themes.........................................................91
Relationship between social themes and the landscape ..........................................92
Conclusions .....................................................................................................................................94
CHAPTER SIX
CONCLUSION......................................................................................................97
Addressing the Research Aims ................................................................................................97
Future Directions..........................................................................................................................99
Conclusions .................................................................................................................................. 101
REFERENCES...................................................................................................................................... 102
APPENDICES...................................................................................................................................... 110
v
List of Figures
Figure 1: Map of Albatross Bay region on Western Cape York Peninsula, Queensland, Australia.
(Morrison 2003) ...........................................................................................................................................................................3
Figure 2: Plan of the panopticon (Bentham 1843:172)............................................................................................. 16
Figure 3: General plan of the Mission landscape identified during 2002-2004 fieldwork (Morrison
2003).............................................................................................................................................................................................. 33
Figure 4: Plan of Mission compound showing 2008 survey features.................................................................... 34
Figure 5: Weipa Mission site plan produced from 2008 survey (Morrison et al. in prep.)........................... 46
Figure 6: Remnants of mission house................................................................................................................................ 47
Figure 7: Remnants of the church. ..................................................................................................................................... 48
Figure 8: Internal remnants of church. ............................................................................................................................ 48
Figure 9: Remnants of girls' dormitory. ........................................................................................................................... 49
Figure 10: Remnants of a small structure, possibly a cookhouse........................................................................... 50
Figure 11: Remnants of a small domestic structure.................................................................................................... 51
Figure 12: Remnants of stockyards.................................................................................................................................... 52
Figure 13: Northern fence-line notched wooden posts. ............................................................................................. 53
Figure 14: Grave 0009............................................................................................................................................................. 54
Figure 15: Grave 0002............................................................................................................................................................. 54
Figure 16: Two graves along southern fence-line (0017)......................................................................................... 55
Figure 17: Selected artefacts from scatter 0003. ......................................................................................................... 56
Figure 18: Scatter around depression associated with the quarry. ...................................................................... 58
Figure 19: Brick scatter associated with mission house............................................................................................ 58
Figure 20: NW-NE topographic section of the compound. ....................................................................................... 59
Figure 21: NW-SW topographic section of the compound. ...................................................................................... 59
Figure 22: SW-SE topographic section of the compound. ......................................................................................... 60
Figure 23: Church from the northeast during construction, circa 1905............................................................. 61
Figure 24: Church from the southwest after completion, circa 1908................................................................... 61
Figure 25: Mission house from the west........................................................................................................................... 62
Figure 26: View of the compound from the north. ....................................................................................................... 63
Figure 27: Storehouse from the north. ............................................................................................................................. 64
vi
Figure 28: Later photograph of the storehouse from the south. ............................................................................ 64
Figure 29: Girls’ dormitory during construction, circa 1908................................................................................... 65
Figure 30: Girls' dormitory after completion post-1908. .......................................................................................... 65
Figure 31: Workshop area from the southwest. ........................................................................................................... 66
Figure 32: Position of stockyards in relation to the church. .................................................................................... 67
Figure 33: Early photo of the village during its construction. ................................................................................ 67
Figure 34: Later photo of the village, circa the mid 1920s....................................................................................... 68
Figure 35: Hamlet from the northwest............................................................................................................................. 68
Figure 36: Frequency of persons recorded in the diaries. ......................................................................................... 74
Figure 37: Site plan of all persons across the landscape. .......................................................................................... 75
Figure 38: Frequency of females at specific locations across the landscape..................................................... 77
Figure 39: Frequency of males at specific locations across the landscape......................................................... 78
Figure 40: Site plan showing relationship of themes with the landscape. ......................................................... 83
vii
List of Tables
Table 1: Differences in recordings between sexes. ....................................................................................................... 76
Table 2: Frequency of people by landscape locations................................................................................................. 79
Table 3: Frequency of theme by person............................................................................................................................ 81
Table 4: Frequency of theme by landscape location. .................................................................................................. 82
viii
List of Appendices
Appendix 1: Map of Weipa Mission and surrounds....................................................................................................110
Appendix 2: Generic point data recording proforma................................................................................................111
Appendix 3: Polygon/Linear data recording proforma...........................................................................................112
Appendix 4: FCODE descriptions.......................................................................................................................................113
Appendix 5: Excerpts of Glimpses of Mapoon (Paton 1911). .................................................................................114
Appendix 6: Database of diary entries recording Indigenous experiences at Weipa Mission. .................116
Appendix 7: General topography of the Embley River region. ..............................................................................124
Appendix 8: Mission staff and periods of service at Weipa Mission. (from Wharton 2003)......................125
Appendix 9: Evidence for phenomenological reconstructions. .............................................................................126
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Reverend F. H. Paton
From the landing we had three-quarters of a mile walk through the bush.
The long green grass, brightened here and there by brilliant flowers, looked
cool and refreshing. Presently we saw the iron roof of what we afterwards
found to be the single men’s house, a neat substantial building. Then to the
right, we saw a long row of bark cottages, while in front of us were the tall
mango and other trees that sheltered the mission station. Daniel was our
guide, and he led us round the front of the garden, past the Church, and up
to the side entrance of the Mission Compound. (Paton 1911:31)
x
Preface
This project began when Anhatangaith Traditional Owners identified the
Mission site to Mick Morrison in 2002. Recordings at the Mission were
completed at the request of the community to document as much of the site
before knowledge or experiences of the Weipa Mission became
unrecoverable. As such, the project aimed to create something to give back
to the community that would help them retain knowledge of Weipa
Mission.
While this thesis aims to recreate experiences of the Mission using a
phenomenological approach, it does not intend to usurp or appropriate
their knowledge and experiences, but rather to help explain them to a new
generation of community members.
To understand past sensuous experiences of the Mission’s Indigenous
inhabitants, a series of vignettes were created to precede each chapter
which attempt to reconstruct bodily experience of the landscape based
upon archaeological and historical evidence outlined in Appendix 9.
Nellie’s experience sees her standing between two beacons of Moravian
ideology, the church and mission house, which are privileged by their
elevation in the landscape and the views that their positioning affords. The
brass band reinforces her group identity, and the role of her marriage, in
terms of the Moravian community’s theocratic organisation. Alternatively,
Marybell’s experience demonstrates that counter-ethos activity will result
in confinement, as well as the cutting off of her visual rights and access to
her kin. Her confinement is emphasised by the impermeablity and
unfamiliarity of the metal walls that restrict her.
Albert’s view from the blacksmith shop is directed toward the church,
fortifying his awareness that religion permeates all aspects of Mission life,
including labour. However, his perception of a harmonica may signify his,
and others’, continued individualism despite the persistent regime of
group identity and categorisation. This is similar to Daniel’s experience of
sound at the hamlet which reflects its isolated location and highlighting its
construction of traditional, familiar materials, demonstrating the trust and
autonomy the hamlet residents hold. David’s experience of the church
captures how sensually distinct the church would have been from every
other Mission place. It was constructed so that ambient temperature and
scale in relation to the human body would have created a completely novel,
eerie experience, which reflected its centrality and power within the
ideological landscape. It also concentrated the focus within the building by
limiting vision and external noise.
Past Indigenous experience is an important and very complex issue, as are
contemporary community perceptions of these experiences and what is
presented here has been approached with an awareness of the sensitivity
of this material and the broader concerns that surround its use.
xi
Albert
Albert was working in the blacksmith workshop replacing the pole of the
coach with two hinged shaftsi. It was mid-December and the heat of the
nearby fire exacerbated the humidity in the air trapped in the low, pitched
roofii. He smelt the hot metallic scent of the heated scrap iron he was
working and heard the repetitive ring of the hammer, heavy in his hand, as
it fell against the anviliii. He dunked the iron into the trough of water and
heard the sharp hiss of the steam and felt the hot, moist air against his face.
When the sound of the steam dissipated, Albert heard a harmonica playing
outside the workshopiv. He looked to the west out of the open front of the
workshop to find the source of the music, his view framed by the round
wooden posts that supported the pitched corrugated iron v. He heard the
lowing of the cows in the shed 20m to the north of the smithy but couldn’t
see the cowshed from where he stood. He could see the horses milling in the
yards further up the slope slightly to the right of his vision backed by the
coarse pisé walls of the Church standing tall on the horizon vi.
1
Chapter One
Introduction and Context
This thesis explores the cultural landscape of the Weipa Presbyterian Mission in
western Cape York Peninsula, northern Queensland, Australia. The Mission was
established by Moravian missionaries in 1898 and operated until 1932, when it
became economically unviable and was relocated to Jessica Point, near the current
township of Napranum. The Mission was established to protect the local
Indigenous people from violent clashes with Europeans in the bêche-de-mer and
pastoral industries. The Mission landscape can be used to explore the contact
relationship between European Missionaries and Indigenous people. Morrison
(2003) conducted preliminary archaeological inspections at the site from 2002 to
2004, and again in 2008. This thesis draws on the results of the 2008 season in
which a site survey was undertaken.
A combined approach of landscape archaeology and phenomenology has been
applied to this data in order to understand the manner in which Moravian
missionary ideology was embedded in the landscape, the nature of the interactions
between the missionaries and Indigenous inhabitants, and the scope of experience
of those living on the Mission. This approach has the potential to offer insights into
the experience of Mission life.
Study Area
The Weipa Mission site, commonly known as ‘Twenty Mile’ today, is located, as its
name suggests, approximately 20 miles, or 32 kilometres, southeast along the
Embley River from the current Weipa township.
The Mission is on a bauxite plateau characterised by an undulating topography
including several streams, numerous creeks and the Hey and Embley Rivers. The
region is characterised by open tropical eucalypt woodland dominated by Darwin
stringybark (Eucalyptus tetradonta) and a thick undergrowth of various native
grasses and herbs (Eggleton and Taylor 2005:83). Wild pigs and bullock roam
throughout the region and numerous species of kangaroo graze on the abundant
2
grasses. Weipa experiences a tropical monsoonal climate, with distinct wet and dry
seasons; however the temperature remains quite high all year round with a mean
annual maximum of 32.7° Celsius, and a minimum of 21.8° (Bureau of Meteorology
2009). Most of the annual rainfall occurs from November to April, at which time
Weipa becomes very humid and densely vegetated (Eggleton and Taylor 2005:83).
Figure 1: Map of Albatross Bay region on Western Cape York Peninsula, Queensland,
Australia. (Morrison 2003)
The Weipa Mission compound and associated sites are located ~50 metres inland
from the eastern bank of the Embley and are surrounded by meandering creeks,
saltpans occurring to the southwest and mangrove wetlands lining the river banks
(Morrison 2003) (See Appendix 1). The land on which the Mission sits are the
Traditional Lands of the Anhatangaith people; it is thought that ‘Weipa’ means
‘fighting ground’ in the Anhathangayth and Trotj languages (Wharton 2003: 1).
3
History of the Weipa Mission
Moravian missionaries in Australia
The Moravian Church has been described as a missionary fellowship, in that most
Church members were missionaries who shared a passion for spreading the gospel
to remote regions and ‘neglected’ people around the world (Edwards 1999:8-9).
Australia, as one of the most remote countries in the world at the time, must have
presented quite an attraction for the Moravians. They accepted an invitation from
Major Irwin to set up missions in the Swan River district in Western Australia as
early as the 1830s and from other governmental authorities in New South Wales,
Port Phillip and South Australia soon afterwards (Edwards 1999:9).
In Sydney in 1886, the Federal Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Australia
decided to commence missionary work in Queensland but it took the Victorian
Foreign Mission Committee, who had also decided to assert a fledgling missionary
influence, to send a delegation to Queensland (Edwards 1999:22). The delegation
included Moravian missionary Rev Hagenauer from Ramahyuck Moravian Mission
in Victoria and so the Moravian Mission Board in Germany was engaged to open a
new mission in Queensland (Edwards 1999:22). Reverend and Mrs Ward, and
Reverend Hey, from Ireland and Germany respectively, elected to take on this task
and, by November 1891, they reached the site known as Mapoon Mission
(Edwards 1999:23). In 1895, Reverend Ward died and Reverend Edwin and Mrs
Thekla Brown from England replaced him in 1896. As the Moravian missionary
strategy was to gradually expand their influence throughout the Peninsula, several
other missions were established in Cape York following Mapoon’s establishment in
1891 (Kidd 1997; Wharton 2001). As such, after three years of training at Mapoon,
the Brown’s travelled south to a new mission site along the Embley River
(Edwards 1999:24). This was to become Weipa Mission.
4
Establishment of Weipa Mission
The Weipa Mission was established on 10 June 1898. It was administered by the
Committee on Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Churches of Australia and
Tasmania, and the Queensland Committee on Missions to the Heathen (Wharton
2000:11). At the time of its establishment, the Weipa reserve was bordered by the
Mission River in the north, the Embley River in the south, Albatross Bay in the west
and York Downs Cattle Station in the east (Chief Protector of Aboriginals 1900:8).
It was established in response to violence associated with the treatment and
recruitment practices of local Indigenous people in the pearling, bêch-de-mer and
pastoral industries (Kidd 1997; Morrison et al. in prep.). The Mission reserve
experienced a tenuous and often violent relationship with the adjacent York
Downs Station and the other nearby stations of Pioneer Downs and Pine Tree
(Wharton 2003:1).
Dr Walter E. Roth, appointed Northern Protector of Aboriginals in 1898, was
charged with the task of inspecting and assessing the treatment and conditions of
contemporary Indigenous populations throughout Queensland (Queensland State
Archives Agency 2006). Roth visited the various institutions established under the
Aboriginals Protection and Restriction of the Sale of Opium Act of 1897, under which
Weipa was established and frequently inspected (Kidd 1997:47). His findings were
published in The Annual Reports of the Northern Protector of Aboriginals (19001903), and later the Annual Reports of the Chief Protector of Aboriginals (19041916).
In his Annual Report to the Queensland Parliament, Roth reported that in its first
year, Weipa Mission had six permanent and 24 casual Indigenous inhabitants
(Chief Protector of Aboriginals 1900:6) and by 1901 there was an average of 109
Indigenous residents (Chief Protector of Aboriginals 1901:12). The Mission had its
first success when two Indigenous women, Cherry and Quanigy, converted to
Christianity and were baptised in 1903 (Edwards 1999:25).
Reverend Brown was appointed superintendent of Weipa Mission in 1899 (Chief
Protector of Aboriginals 1900:6). The Browns were soon joined by Laura Schick,
5
sister of Mrs Brown, in November that year, who acted as school teacher to the
Mission children. Her appointment came to an end in 1907 and two years later
Robert and Catherine Hall arrived at the Mission to assist the Browns. Their duties
included the schooling of the children and overseeing the development and
maintenance of Mission buildings and small-scale agricultural activities, amongst
other tasks. Agricultural activity was fundamental to the operation of the Mission
as little funding came from the Queensland government, so all missions had to be
viable economic ventures (Kidd 1997). During this time, Mr Hall also completed an
extramural ministry course with the view to future ordination (Miller 1994:146).
Mr and Mrs Hall’s appointment terminated in September 1914 when they
relocated to Mornington Island to establish a mission and where Mr Hall was later
appointed as superintendant (Miller 1994:146). Hall died on 17 October 1917,
murdered by an Indigenous man, Burketown Peter (Miller 1994:146). At this time,
the Weipa Mission had a population of approximately 270 inhabitants (Edwards
1999:25).
The Mission was operational until 1932 when the Presbyterian Church of
Queensland Committee on Missions decided to move it to Jessica Point for a
number of reasons. It was no longer deemed self-sufficient, with no goods to sell
and therefore no income. Traditional local foods were scarce, the soil became
exhausted, water sources were precarious, stock were dying due to drought,
cyclones damaged Mission buildings in the late 1920s and disease, particularly
malaria, was rife throughout the settlement (Kidd 1997:94). It is difficult to assess
how many Indigenous residents Weipa housed at the time of its closing; however,
one of the last mentions of Weipa in the Home Secretary’s Aboriginal Department
Reports upon the Operations of certain Sub-Departments observed that up to 800
Indigenous people were gaining treatment for skin diseases and other ailments at
Weipa Mission (Home Secretaries Department 1931:6).
The Mission compound changed size and form continually through its years of
operation; however, a combination of historical documentary analysis and
archaeological survey identified a mission house, church, girls dormitory, store,
cookhouse, a cluster of workshops (including dispensary, coach house, tool house
and blacksmith), the stockyards, a quarry, and a possible kiln. The compound
6
boundary is delineated by remnant fence posts on the north, west and southern
margins, the eastern limit marked by the creek. However, there are also some
features beyond the compound, identified by Morrison (2003), which are highly
significant features of the Mission landscape. These include the jetty or landing on
the bank of the Embley River, and the hamlet and graveyard located approximately
one kilometre down the driveway from the Mission gates. The hamlet was a cluster
of small houses that lined the drive halfway between the landing and the Mission
compound. In this area, 10 metres north of the hamlet, is a graveyard comprising
four graves, marked by ironstones. A village was located immediately south of the
compound and consisted of about ten small houses. Also off-compound, Indigenous
campsites were located on the boundary between the Mission and York Downs
cattle station. A memorial plaque was erected in 1998 in recognition of the
centenary anniversary of the establishment of Weipa Mission.
Moravian missionaries played a significant role in Cape York’s Indigenous history.
To understand the mission landscapes they created, it is necessary to briefly
explore who the Moravians were and what they believed.
Moravians and their Ideology
The Moravian Church, also known as the Unitas Fratrum, was founded in 1457 in
Moravia, now the Czech Republic, by followers of Jan Hus who was persecuted and
executed for advocating Church reforms (Edwards 1999:5). Later, the Moravians
fled to Germany to escape persecution, taking the refuge provided by Nicholas Von
Zinzendorf, and established their headquarters at Herrnhut (Edwards 1999:6).
Moravians ordered their settlements in a unique style dictated by the ‘choir
system’, which prescribed a division of different groups within the community
based on gender, age and marital status (Atwood 1997:27). Choirs were first
developed in 1728 when the single men in Herrnhut formed an exclusive society.
Soon, choirs for all demographics appeared, including for infants, little girls and
boys, older girls and boys, maidens and single men, married couples and widows
(Atwood 1997:40). The choir system was characteristic of all Moravian
settlements globally yet was manifested differently in each community (Atwood
7
1997:40; Gollin 1969:651). It was developed to counter the influences of sexual
desire, marital devotion and familial relations which undermined the communal
goals and spirituality of the settlements (Atwood 1997:27). The choir system
underpinned all social, economic, religious and educational facets of Moravian life
and their distinctive ideology of separation and categorisation was made tangible
in the landscapes they created.
Moravian ideology sanctioned the complete separation of the sexes, and relations
between the two were carefully monitored (Atwood 1997:25). “The Moravians
consciously and continually acknowledged the centrality of gender division to their
religious identity and made sexual segregation the cornerstone of their Church’s
organization” (Dresser 1996:305). Moravian leaders saw the family unit as a threat
to the goals of their society and their member’s loyalty to the Church, and so
attempted to limit familial influence by arranging all marriages and taking over the
responsibility of child rearing (Gollin 1969:650). The choir, rather than the family,
took on the socialisation and control of society. Moravians envisioned no
differentiation between secular and sacred institutions and, therefore, the
community’s issues and affairs were decided upon via the theocratic authority of
the Church (Gollin 1969:652).
Marriage pairs were decided upon based on community goals rather than the
personal wishes or desires of the marriage candidates. Education of children was
considered of the utmost importance in the development of Moravian settlements
as it was regarded as the most effective way of ‘winning souls’ for God (Doll
1951:174). Moravian education was underpinned by a strong religious element
which prepared children to become servants of God.
Fundamental to the Moravian way of life was the importance of hard work, which
was a form of devotion to God (Atwood 1997:41). To truly serve their religious
mission, Moravians wished to capitalize on their economic potential and focused
training and production through the choir groups (Atwood 1997:41). Female choir
groups tended towards more genteel industries such as textile and food
production while men leaned towards more physical tasks like blacksmithing and
agricultural activity. All labour was dedicated to Christ (Doll 1951:176).
8
There have been numerous archaeological and anthropological studies of missions
in Australia (Birmingham 1992; Brady 1999; L’Oste Brown and Godwin 1995;
Long 1970; Lydon 2002, 2003; Sutton 2003; Trigger 1992) and Moravian missions,
in particular, have been investigated by Brown et al. (2002) and Lydon (2005,
2009). As noted above, Moravian ideology manifested itself in distinct ways in each
settlement, and how this ideology is linked to lived experience will be investigated
at the Weipa mission.
Research Questions
The aims of this thesis are, firstly, to understand how and why the landscape was
constructed and experienced by the inhabitants of the Weipa Mission, and
secondly, to determine the potential value of a phenomenological approach for
application in historical archaeological contexts. To do this, the following research
questions were asked:
•
How was the Weipa Mission spatially arranged and, as a result, in what
ways were the inhabitants (both European and Indigenous) ‘directed’ to use
the landscape?
•
How does the landscape reflect Moravian ideologies?
•
How was the Mission perceived and experienced by both Indigenous and
non-Indigenous peoples? Can this be revealed using a phenomenological
approach?
To answer these questions, a theoretical framework of contact and landscape
archaeology, incorporating phenomenological theory, was used. Landscape
archaeology is underpinned by the premise that landscapes are culturally
constructed. They are acted upon by the subject and in turn act upon the subject.
Landscape phenomena are not only a construct of peoples’ actions, but mirror and
inform the ideology of those that perceive them. In this manner, a consideration of
phenomenological theory is crucial to understanding how people experience place,
9
and landscape archaeology provides the basis for exploring landscape as a medium
of these exchanges within a contact context.
To explore these relations, archaeological survey was carried out to map the
spatial arrangement of the site, while mission diaries were analysed for records of
people and events occurring within the landscape. These records were plotted into
the map generated through the survey using GIS, which modelled the relationship
between spatiality, sensuality, social practices and the landscape. These maps were
the foundation from which phenomenological reconstructions of past Indigenous
experiences of space were developed, complemented by information revealed by
mission diaries and historical photographs.
Significance of the Research
The experiences of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples at Weipa Mission
contribute to our understanding of the nature of post-contact relationships, not
only in mission contexts, but in post-contact landscapes occurring across Australia
and internationally. Moreover, the way in which scholars conceive these
relationships has been defined, and somewhat limited, by theoretical frameworks
within a domination and resistance paradigm. A phenomenological approach
offers an alternative manner in which to understand contact exchanges.
Studies incorporating a phenomenological understanding of the landscape have
been employed on prehistoric sites but have rarely been applied to historical
archaeological sites. This is despite the vast range of historical documents that
reveal vital information about contemporaneous landscape features which
complement phenomenological research in theses contexts. This study is the first
to explore Australia’s contact history using phenomenology.
10
Thesis Outline
A review of the theory and literature is presented in Chapter 2. It considers contact
archaeology, its past and present contributions to historical archaeological study,
and phenomenological theory, with a focus on drawing out the efficacy of its use in
archaeological contexts when accompanied by a wealth of ethnographic and
historical sources.
Chapter 3 outlines the methods used by Morrison et al. (in prep) in the collection
and analysis of the field data. It also outlines the methodological approach to the
mission diary data and the production of the GIS-generated maps which model the
interplay of the field and diary data, acting as the reference point from which a
phenomenology of the landscape was recreated. Additionally, this chapter offers a
discussion of the limitations of the methodology.
Chapter 4 presents the results of the field survey and archival research, such as
mission diaries content which reveal the perceptions of the missionaries and,
indirectly, the Indigenous inhabitants of the Mission.
Chapter 5 is a detailed analysis and interpretation of the field survey, historical
photograph and mission dairy results in regards to what this reveals about the
landscape and past people’s experiences of it.
Finally, Chapter 6 synthesises the interpretations of the interaction of people and
landscape at the Mission in light of the theoretical approach of the study. It also
evaluates the use of phenomenology in this study, and historical archaeology in
general, and proposes further research directions.
11
Nellie
Nellie had just married Philip in the Church an d their reception was
being held in the yard bet ween the Church and the Mission Housei. It
was June so that the day was hot and dry and she could feel the heat of
the sun beat do wn upon her headii. She heard the slight bree ze rustle
the leaves on the surrounding trees as she walked to the line of mango
trees to the southwest of the Churchiii. It was cooler in the shade of
their thick foliage and she pulled the white linen dress she wore away
from her chest for reliefiv. The br ass band started to play and th e
sound of the notes echoed around the yard and around the buildings, a
familiar song she had heard the bandsmen rehearsing in the Church
during their practice sessions most Tuesday nightsv. To the east s he
could see the store and cookhouse slightly down the slope and to her
far right she saw the tall Mission House sitting on its stilts, the wood
faded to a grey colour from the sunvi. (Brown 3/6/1910)
12
Chapter Two A Review of the Theory and Literature
This chapter discusses contact archaeology, with a particular focus on landscapes
and their contribution to understanding the scope of human experience and the
relations negotiated within these contexts. Following this is an exploration of
missions, as a specific setting in which these social interactions are played out, and
a review of the dominant theoretical frameworks that have informed
archaeological studies of these sites. Finally, phenomenology, as an alternative
approach able to generate new understandings of past human experience, is
investigated in terms of the methodological challenges it presents and the
potential it holds for historical archaeology.
Archaeology of Contact and Engagement
Contact archaeology is a relatively new sub-set of historical archaeology in
Australia concerned with the impact that settlers had on Indigenous cultures and
the dynamic, entangled histories that succeed contact. In previous years, contact
archaeology studies have involved several themes which include establishing
chronologies and investigating the demography of colonisation events, exploring
the nature of the societies encountered by colonisers, understanding the
colonisers’ objectives and the response of the colonised, and finally the
decolonisation process itself (Murray 2004:4).
Many archaeological studies of contact have framed post-contact relations and
experiences in terms of domination and passivity (Delle 1998; Long 1970; Rowley
1970; Sutton 2003). Contact archaeology has been criticised for its use of the terms
‘contact’ or ‘first contact’ because “in most of its uses ‘contact’ is one-sided
behaviour ascribing dominance to the outsider who carries out the action; the
other party ‘is contacted’ by the dynamic foreigners and is therefore implicitly
conceived of as a passive player” (Torrence and Clarke 2000:12). In response, later
studies focused on the resistance, innovation, agency and accommodation of
Indigenous people through ethnographic, landscape and material culture studies
13
(Birmingham 1992; Harrison 2004; Lydon 2009; Silliman 2001a, 2001b; Trigger
1992). Recently, researchers have attempted to reframe contact archaeology into a
more integrated archaeology of encounter or engagement, which emphasises the
active participation of both parties in social interaction and withdraws from the
discourse of inequality inherent to ‘contact’ (Torrence and Clarke 2000). For the
purposes of this study, the term ‘contact’ is used; however, its appropriateness will
be assessed in regards to the outcomes of the thesis.
A number of theoretical frameworks have been used to understand, or explain, the
nature of contact relationships across diverse spatio-temporal contexts.
Domination and resistance models, such as the total institution, panopticon, and
capitalist frameworks, conceive contact in terms of control of one group over
another. Other frameworks, such as agency, accommodation, creolization and
acculturation theory, conceptualise culture contact through highlighting active
participation in contact relations and cross-cultural interchange. Their application
to mission archaeology is explored here.
Missions and Contact Theory
The mission landscape allows us to explore the negotiation of identity, power and
ideology. In Australia, contact archaeology, especially at missions, has been
approached predominantly using a theoretical framework of domination and
resistance, concerned with highlighting structures of repression and the material
culture of resistance and agency (e.g. Birmingham 1992; Brady 1999; L’Oste
Brown and Godwin 1995; Lydon 2002, 2003, 2005, 2009; Sutton 2003; Trigger
1992). Perhaps the best exemplar of the domination model’s conceptualisation of
contact relations is that of the total institution.
Total Institution
Total institution theory, developed by sociologist Goffman (1961), focuses on the
aim of institutions to obstruct “social intercourse with the outside”, as embodied in
aspects of their physical structure, such as the use of barbed wire, high walls, locks,
and isolated localities. Total institution theory is evident in much of the
14
archaeological literature, not only concerning missions, but asylums, prisons and
institutions of reform as well (see Spencer-Wood and Baugher 2001). It has often
been used in support of arguments for the classic, and somewhat outdated, model
of ‘dominant’ and ‘submissive’ relational experiences in missions (Long 1970;
Rowley 1970; Sutton 2003), yet has been challenged more recently (Lydon 2002;
Rowse 1993; Trigger 1992).
In one study, the spatial arrangement and material construction of various
Queensland missions was used to identify structures of separation and repression
found in total institutions (Sutton 2003). It was found that the construction of
many missions conformed to the total institution by restricting movement and
segregating mission inhabitants, especially children, who were often kept behind
barbed wired fences (Sutton 2003:86).
In her study of Ebenezer Mission, a Moravian mission in Victoria, Lydon (2009)
refuted the applicability of the ‘total institution’ concept to missions. She argued
that while some aspects certainly do correlate with these institutions, particularly
their ‘spatio-visual regimes’, these conventions did not completely dictate the
range of social interaction. Instead, relations must be seen in terms of being the
“multiple experiences of differently positioned Indigenous subjects” (Lydon
2009:15). The mobility of Indigenous people, as recorded in missionary diaries and
other sources, indicates a degree of agency and subversion, and facets of
traditional culture may have been supported in missions as the creation of public
and private spaces through built structures facilitated covert cultural practices
(Lydon 2009:9). Total institution theory is useful in mission archaeology in that it
highlights areas of ‘oppositional domain’ (Lydon 2009:9) by creating public and
private spaces through the mechanism of segregation. This in turn allows us to
theorise about Indigenous resistance and agency.
Surveillance and the Panopticon
A recurrent theme in the investigation of contact landscapes, where conflicts of
identity, power and ideology occur, is surveillance and control. Panopticon theory
borrows from the work of social theorist Bentham (1843) who, in 1786, developed
15
a blueprint for a prison which was spatially constructed so that the inmates were
under constant surveillance (Foucault 1995:199).
Figure 2: Plan of the panopticon (Bentham 1843:172).
Some researchers have investigated whether various contact landscapes hold
characteristics of the panopticon (Delle 1998; Singleton 2001). “The panoptic
mechanism arranges spatial unities [to] make it possible to see constantly and
recognize instantly” (Foucault 1995:200). It is this manipulation of space, “the
spatialities of surveillance” as Delle described it, that may be identified in the
spatial arrangements of contact landscapes, especially at plantations (Delle 1998;
Singleton 2001), reformatories and workhouses (Casella 2001), and missions
(Lydon 2009).
Elements of panopticon theory were identified at Ebenezer Mission (Lydon 2009).
“They sought to confine the Indigenous inhabitants on reserves where they would
be ‘civilized’ by spatial and visual practices; they created didactic landscapes
intended to impose corrective technologies of hierarchical observation and
normalizing judgement upon them” (Lydon 2009:8). In this manner, Lydon (2009)
likens the embedded ideology of the Mission to the visual mechanisms of the
16
panopticon, where, according to Foucault (1995:170), coercion and inculcation are
derived from observation. At Ebenezer, buildings representing missionary values,
such as the church, were placed at the highest point in the landscape to overlook
all other areas, while the Mission was isolated geographically and incorporated
distinct public and private spaces. These characteristics, found in many missions
across Australia and internationally, align mission structures with the
underpinnings of panopticon theory (Lydon 2009:8).
Capitalism
The archaeology of capitalism uses Marxist theory to explain the landscapes,
material culture and human relations ensuing from mechanisms of production and
consumption (Delle 1998; Griffin 2001; Leone 1999; Silliman 2001a). “Analyses of
capitalism stress the relations between wealth-producing and wealth-holding
groups. Often referred to as classes, these groups are always defined as having at
their core relationships which can become antagonistic or exploitative” (Leone
1999:5).
Capitalistic ideology embodied in built structures and material culture was at
explored at the Poonindie Mission in South Australia (Griffin 2001). This approach
was used to ascertain whether there was a correlation between shifts in the
operational focus of the Mission (i.e. philanthropic to economically viable farm)
and changes in the material culture and structure of the Mission over two
successive periods due to this shift in operational motivation.
A similar approach was used to investigate the coffee plantations of Jamaica (Delle
1998). The Jamaican plantation experience played a significant role in the
international capitalist system in which race, class and gender identities were
negotiated along the lines of the production, distribution and consumption of
commodities (Delle 1998:2). At Clydesdale the overseer’s house functioned as the
central point from which the slave village uphill, and the coffee production areas
downhill, could be supervised. As one could not be sure they were being
monitored, the coffee workers were more likely to cooperate and rates of
production would increase (Delle 1998:161).
17
The following theoretical approaches commonly used in the study of contact
attempt to counter the inequality intrinsic to dominance and passivity models,
such as the frameworks outlined above. Accommodation, agency, acculturation
and creolization theory re-empowers Indigenous participants in post-contact
scenarios by emphasising structures of ingenuity, tradition continuity and selfdetermination.
Agency Theory
The development of agency theory in archaeology has stemmed from the social
sciences and the seminal works of Bourdieu (1977) and Giddens (1979). Its
development “reflected a desire to counter deterministic models of human action
by acknowledging that people purposefully act and alter the external world
through those actions” (Dornan 2002:304). The theory envisions social agents as
individuals with personal goals or objectives involved in the negotiation of social
relations and structures (Silliman 2001b:192). They are also often conceptualised
in two different manners: individuals acting strategically for their own ends, and
individuals acting within structures that constrict, yet enable them, by presenting a
finite range of opportunities determined by contextual rules and resources
(Dornan 2002:305-307; Silliman 2001b:192).
At Strangways Springs in northeastern South Australia, pre-contact Indigenous
settlements were compared to sites concerned with the pastoral industry of later
periods to gain evidence of agency practices (Paterson 2003). From historical
sources, such as letters, and archaeological evidence, a marked difference was
identified in site type and composition between pre- to post-contact period sites
(Paterson 2003:54). New material culture became evident through time, as did
marked shifts in subsistence and settlement patterns, and although there was
evidence of the adoption of pastoral work practices, so too was there evidence of
the maintenance of cultural traditions indicative of Indigenous agency and
autonomy (Paterson 2003:62).
18
Similarly, archaeological assemblages produced from excavations at Rancho
Petaluma, a secularised mission converted to a ranch in California, demonstrated a
marked continuation of traditional lithic technologies (Silliman 2001b:202). This
may not have had any subversionary effect on the labour regime imposed on exmissionary inhabitants of the Rancho, but reveals an “active way for individuals to
stake out a claim in the material and social world… casting traditional technology
into new social orders” (Silliman 2001b:203).
Acculturation (and Creolization) Theory
Acculturation and creolization theories have often been confused and misused in
studies of contact owing to the similar subject matter with which they deal, though
they refer to vastly different phenomena. Creolization theory derives from the
study of linguistics from the mid-19th century onwards, which aimed to understand
the new, integrated ‘pidgin’ languages that appeared after the contact of two
different cultures (Ferguson 2000:6). Creolization theory “recognizes the free-will,
imagination, and creativity of non-Europeans; creolization does not simply model
cultural contact and exchange but describes the building of a new culture from
diverse elements” (Ferguson 1992:150). In effect, creolization theory is an
interpretive approach which allows for change, helps to resolve traditional notions
of power confrontations, and maintains the resistance model, whilst eliminating
the negative connotations that go hand-in-hand with that framework (Birmingham
2000:362).
Acculturation theory has been somewhat abandoned in archaeological studies in
recent years as it appeared to conceive of Indigenous culture as being inferior or
submissive, necessarily adopting the cultural traits of more advanced, conquering
cultures (Ewen 2000:36-37). However, this is far removed from acculturation
theory’s initial conception; “acculturation comprehends those phenomena which
result when groups of individuals having different cultures come into continuous
first-hand contact, with subsequent changes in the original cultural patterns of
either or both groups" (Redfield et al. 1936:149).
19
In the Caribbean, acculturation and creolization processes at Puerto Real, a slaving
town established in 1504, were investigated to understand the Spanish responses
to indigenous Taino culture through adapted material culture (Ewen 2000:40-41).
Excavated assemblages showed that food-storage ceramics were often locally
manufactured whereas assemblages of clothing accessories and ornamental goods
were almost entirely European in origin. This was also true of architectural
remains; however, artefact assemblages revealing colonial European diet showed a
significant integration of local foods (Ewen 2000:42). Overall, it was found that
strong patterns of creolization and acculturation were evident in the excavated
assemblages at Puerto Real forming convincing evidence for cross-cultural
interchange and acculturation (Ewen 2000:42).
Contact studies have overstated markers of resistance practices through the
identification of dominant coloniser activity, and underplayed evidence of the
creative responses of Indigenous people (Birmingham 2000:362). These studies
have “set classically British rules for unBritish encounters... The rules do not easily
allow for those who preferred to play a different game or chose not to play at all”
(Birmingham 2000:362). Creolization and acculturation theory have successfully
brought researchers closer to understanding Indigenous experiences of, and
responses to, contact situations.
Accommodation
Accommodation theory occupies the middle ground between acculturation theory
and the paradigms of domination and resistance, and sees a “constant drawing,
contesting, and negotiating of power” take place between two cultures over time
(Garman 1998:136). Accommodation can be defined as the conscious acceptance
of some, and resistance of other, cultural traits in culture contact contexts
(Birmingham 1992:176).
The process of coercion, resistance and accommodation inherent in power
relations
between
missionaries
and
Indigenous
people
was
explored
anthropologically at the Doomadgee Mission in northwest Queensland (Trigger
20
1992:224). It was found that accommodation of dominant missionary ideology ran
parallel to an observed tolerance of Christianity:
This widespread (almost affectionate) tolerance for certain aspects of the
Christian worldview…has moderated the degree of active rejection of that
authority, which prompts the generalisation that, by virtue of their
consistently paternalistic promulgation of a religious worldview, the
missionaries have gained greater acceptance of their administrative role
than they would have if their administrative practice had been purely
secular in character. (Trigger 1992:225)
Similarly, accommodation at Wybalenna in Tasmania was examined by combining
material culture and documentary evidence to recreate the experience of the
mission inhabitants (Birmingham 1992, 2000). The hypothesis that the increased
presence of European goods and behaviour patterns in domestic areas denoted a
greater level of European-ideological acceptance, while the greater presence of
traditional Indigenous goods and behaviour patterns signified a greater level of
resistance, was tested (Birmingham 1992:177). It was found that, although the
Georgian-style built environment dominated both the landscape and the
Indigenous people, there were also areas of the mission that revealed a strong
resistance culture and an element of accommodation of western ideology through
altered traditional practices (Birmingham 1992:196).
A wide variety of theoretical frameworks has been applied to contact scenarios
which fall within the domination and resistance model, some emphasising
mechanisms of control, such as the panopticon, total institution and capitalism,
while others focus on the material culture and practices of resistance and
innovation, such as agency and accommodation. On the other hand, acculturation
and creolization studies have attempted to understand contact relations outside of
the dominance and resistance model, viewing these negotiations in terms of
cultural interchange. As shown, there has been a shift towards an archaeology of
engagement which has retreated from the discourse of inequality in which contact
scenarios have traditionally been framed (Torrence and Clarke 2000).
Phenomenology serves as an alternative framework which deconstructs this
implicit inequality, like agency and accommodation, by attempting to understand
contact experiences through the body’s mediation of the contact landscape. It
seems uniquely positioned to widen the scope of how we understand contact
21
experiences, yet its potential contribution to contact archaeology has not been
tested.
Phenomenology
Concepts and development
Phenomenology is the study, or description, of phenomena where the term
‘phenomena’ comprises anything that appears to the viewer. Therefore,
phenomenology entails the description of things as they are experienced, or a
description of one’s experience (Hammond et al. 1994:1), without attempting to
explain or analyse it (Toadvine and Lawlor 2007:56). Phenomenology, advocating
the description of ‘ordinary conscious experience’, is a response to previous
analytic philosophical traditions which have been influenced by empiricism
(Hammond et al. 1994:6). Phenomenologists argue that philosophers have often
described phenomena incorrectly, or have ignored them outright. Often, their
descriptions have been of what they think should be perceived as opposed to what
they actually see (Hammond et al. 1994:3). In response, a core principle of
phenomenology is that perception must be ‘presuppositionless’, where
preconceived notions must be set aside when describing phenomena (Hammond
et al. 1994:3).
Husserl (1913 [1969], 1931 [1970]) is said to be the founding father of twentieth
century phenomenology (Macann 1993:1). His phenomenology is a reaction to
scientific realism and the empirical sciences which, firstly, posit a difference
between reality and appearance, and secondly, favour explanations of ‘reality’
provided by the physical sciences and dismiss everyday perception and experience
of the world as ‘mere appearance’ (Hammond et al. 1994:3). Phenomenology
rejects this principle as it attempts to encapsulate the perceived world in a
framework of scientific measurement and quantification. In the process, this
eliminates the secondary ‘subjective’ qualities of phenomena because they are not
empirically quantifiable (Hammond et al. 1994:274). The empirical sciences fail to
acknowledge the importance and contribution of non-quantifiable characteristics
22
of people, their relations with each other and the world. Phenomenology attempts
to rectify this.
There is much debate over what concepts constitute phenomenology, and
philosophers such as Husserl (1913), Heidegger (1927), Satre (1943) and MerleauPonty (1962) use diverse approaches when applying phenomenology. Husserl’s
transcendental phenomenology focuses on how objects are presented in
consciousness by ‘bracketing’, or excluding, any consideration of the natural world,
allowing for an impartial explanation of them (Beyer 2007). Heidegger
conceptualised a phenomenology of ‘being-in-the-world’ without ‘bracketing’ it,
where interpretations of activities and the meaning of objects are realized by
assessing our contextual relationship to them (Woodruff Smith 2008). Later, Satre
focused
on
the
consciousness
of
phenomenological
interpretation,
or
phenomenological ontology, where the core of consciousness is a phenomenon, the
occurrence of which is a consciousness-of-an-object (Woodruff Smith 2008).
The focus of this thesis is Merleau-Ponty’s existential phenomenology which
stresses the role of the body: “our experience of our own body and its significance
in our activities” (Woodruff Smith 2008). Existential phenomenology focuses on
perception and engagement with the perceived world, which takes place through
the embodied human, able to move around and experience the world through the
senses. While Heidegger’s (1927 [1962]) hermeneutical brand of phenomenology,
focusing on the contextual relationships between people and phenomena, may
lend itself profitably to archaeological contexts, it is only existential
phenomenology which has been applied to prehistoric archaeological contexts in
Europe, and so it is this form which will be tested in an historical context at Weipa
Mission.
Phenomenology in archaeology
Theoretical shifts in conceptions of space in the 1970s, which moved from “the
irrational abstracted idealism of a geometrical universal space to an ontological
grounding of space in the differential structuring of human experience and action
in the world” (Tilley 1994:11 see also Chorley and Haggett 1967; Clarke 1972;
23
Gregory 1978; Harvey 1969; Relph 1976) paved the way for the introduction of
phenomenology to archaeology. The ‘new’ geography saw space become
humanized and centred upon people’s interaction with each other and the natural
environment, and cognitive and bodily engagement with space (Tilley 1994:10).
Thus, the use of phenomenology has both served to break down the Cartesian
positivism entrenched in archaeology and provided another ‘hermeneutic tool’
from which to interpret the remains of the past (Brück 2005).
Tilley (1993, 1994, 1996, 2004) has been at the forefront of this shift. He followed
Merleau-Ponty by stating that the body, which has no existence apart from the
world, is the medium through which experience and understanding occurs (Tilley
1994:14). As such, he suggested that archaeologists must record their own
experiences of the landscapes they investigate, to understand how sensual
qualities impress upon the body, and cause subjects to arrive at certain
understandings (Tilley 2004:185). In this manner, he explored the visual qualities
of megalithic stone-built long cairn monuments in the Black Mountains of Wales,
the choices behind their orientation and siting, the bodily movements elicited
when moving through and around these monuments, the order of spaces
encountered in them, and their relation to topographic features (Tilley 1994).
Through specific choices of orientation and siting, the monuments controlled how
the body could perceive the space and limited the possibilities of interpretation to
certain intended experiences. The monuments functioned by evoking a perception
of the fixed connection between Mesolithic people and their landscape, a landscape
in which ancestral power was “embodied in the topography and symbolic
geography of place and paths of movement” (Tilley 1994:202). During the later
Neolithic period, people used the monuments to ‘naturalise’ the ancestral powers,
‘stabilise’ attitudes toward the world and were a source of social control and
power (Tilley 1994:205-6, 1996:173-4).
Thomas (2006) has also been influential in the development of a phenomenology
applicable to archaeology, yet differs from Tilley by incorporating the analysis of
artefacts (Brück 2005:49). Moreover, he also incorporated more local histories
into his analyses, highlighting the fact that a subject’s understanding of phenomena
24
is dependent on what he refers to as the ‘horizon’ against which the phenomena
are understood. This horizon is constituted by the subject’s “embodied skills and
means of coping, cultural traditions [and] a general conception of how the world is
ordered…it is in the context of this network of entities and practices that things
reveal themselves” and cannot be understood outside of this (Thomas 2006:47).
Thomas applied his alternate, contextual phenomenological methodology to his
investigations of the court and passage tombs of Ireland and the Avebury stone
circle in England. The structural elements of the tombs were found to ‘orchestrate
the encounter’ of people experiencing the tombs’ bounded spaces and impeded the
access of particular groups with differing levels of knowledge and initiation
(Thomas 1990:175-6). This same graded access was also identified at Avebury,
where it was found that the monuments must be considered in terms of one’s
position in relation to their location in the landscape and that the ability to see into
the partially concealed centre spaces is the most important element (Thomas
1993:43). This suggests a graded level of initiation to knowledge rather than a
distinct ‘binary division’ within society, and that the architecture operated by way
of classifying those within the monument through their movements and access to
knowledge (Thomas 1993:43).
Others have built on these initial studies to understand many diverse prehistoric
landscapes. After the initial excitement inspired by Tilley’s work, which seemed to
emphasise the concept of visibility (see Bradley 1998; Cummings 2002; Cummings
and Whittle 2003; Cummings et al. 2002, 2005; Fraser 1998, 2004; Richards 1996;
Watson 2001), others moved on to explore different facets of embodied experience
such as sound and touch (McGregor 1999; Watson 2001; 2006; Watson and
Keating 1999).
An analysis of the acoustic qualities of the Easter Aquorthies stone circle in
northeast Scotland showed they were erected to produce ‘dramatic’ acoustic
effects. The quality of the sound was surveyed at different areas of the monument
using an audio amplifier. It was found that the recumbent stones, and the others
around it, projected sounds to few specific areas of the site and altered its
audibility in these areas from clearly to faintly heard (Watson and Keating
25
1999:326). This same methodology was applied at Stonehenge where some stones
had been modified to be flat or concave in shape, an energy intensive task which
may have been undertaken to enhance their sound reflecting abilities (Watson
2006:18-19). Additionally, it has been suggested that the intentional placement of
cave rock-art in Utah and Arizona, and rock-art in a range of sites in France, might
relate to positions where particular musical notes resonate well and echo certain
relevant sounds (Waller 1993, 2006:34). For a similar study on the acoustic quality
and associated social significance of casuarina trees during the early 20th century
in northeastern Australia see Pocock (2002).
Alternatively, carved stone balls from Scotland were investigated for the manner in
which humans ‘make sense’ of these artefacts through the senses, particularly by
touch (McGregor 1999). The stone balls were examined from a distance, and by
touching and observing them in motion to ascertain how humans engage with
them and to understand how they reflected the formation of social meaning during
their prehistoric use (McGregor 1999:269).
Muller (2006) was the first to apply phenomenology to a historical cultural
landscape archaeologically, in his analysis of the West Terrace Cemetery in
Adelaide. He explored 19th century attitudes to death and burial as manifested and
experienced through the cultural landscape of the colonial sections of the
cemetery, specifically how the site and its material culture was constructed to
reflect social attitudes and ideology:
Through the process of visitation, of being in the landscape, the visitor is
engaged in a reflexive perception of these attitudes, as communicated
through the medium of material culture, in a dialogue intended to
perpetuate social and religious belief and to reaffirm class based world
views. (Muller 2006:5)
Muller concluded that there is marked further potential in the application of
phenomenology and landscape archaeology to other historical sites, and it is this
potential, and a critique of phenomenology’s relevance and application in
archaeology in general, that will be assessed in this thesis.
26
Criticisms, challenges and insights
The use of phenomenology in archaeology has been debated for the last two
decades, the most pressing concern being that phenomenology and archaeology
have conflicting goals often difficult to reconcile (Brück 2005; Fleming 1995, 1999,
2005; Thomas 2006). Phenomenology is a rejection of empiricism and positivism
which accepts:
the ‘givenness’ of material objects as an unquestioned first principle...
phenomenologists from Edmund Husserl onwards have argued that if
science is to concern itself with the acquisition of information through the
physical senses (in laboratory experiments or field observations) then the
character of experience needs to be problematised. (Thomas 2006:43)
Archaeology, alternatively, has traditionally valued results and interpretations
framed in an empirical, quantifiable manner, which seems incongruous with a
phenomenological approach. Brück (2005:54) argued that the technologies used in
archaeological landscape investigations, such as GIS, “run counter to the spirit of
phenomenological approaches”.
Llobera (1996:614-6), however, argued that although this issue seems
irreconcilable, eventually a “compromise between our ‘intuitive idea’ and that
which is allowed by the capabilities of the [GIS] program” will be reached and will
serve to develop a formal methodology which lessens the ambiguity and confusion
often present in phenomenological interpretations. Llobera tested the potential of
GIS to explore cultural landscape formation processes at the late Bronze-Age
Wessex linear ditches, Salisbury Plain. Here, he aimed to use GIS to understand the
“processes, concepts and notions” constituting the cultural landscape as perceived
by an individual with a focus on mapping the spatialities of activity, mobility
patterns and relations between elements within the landscape and social practices
(Llobera 1996:622). Llobera’s study demonstrates that, although only being
provided with the ‘bones’ of a landscape (not having past vegetation or cultural
materials, the ‘skin’, to interpret), an integration of the less quantifiable, cultural
aspects of a landscape can be achieved successfully using GIS.
Fleming (2006) has repeatedly, and quite colourfully, criticised both Tilley and
Cummings’ phenomenological fieldwork for their ambiguous, inconsistent, highly
27
selective, personalised methodology and recording techniques. He asked, “how
does being empirical without being empiricist work out in practice?” (Fleming
2006:273) and argued that those reading archaeological texts want to grasp the
information rapidly and see a strong link between the evidence and the
interpretations on which it is based, which is not often possible in many
phenomenological studies. Fleming is critical of the lack of literary convention and
academic style exhibited in reports on the results of phenomenological
investigations, proclaiming, “new readers should be given a health warning: these
texts variously include poetry… personal musings and a good deal of rhetoric”
(2006:267-8.) He advocated that investigations should remain as empirical as
needs be (2006:278) and that the strength of landscape archaeology has been its
“preference for sustained argument rather than rhetoric and the uncritical
acceptance of the output of sometimes fevered imaginations” (2006:279). A
balance is required between the new ‘hyper-interpretive’ style of archaeological
reporting and well-supported inferences examined critically and dispassionately
(Fleming 2006:279).
Fleming’s critique raises an interesting point for consideration. The fact that
phenomenological and archaeological methodologies appear to run counter to
each other must be reconciled for the approach to be of benefit. However, it may be
that the two differing approaches have more in common than first appears.
Although both archaeology and phenomenology have somewhat opposing
foundational premises, they also share, at their core, the aim of understanding
human experience. Moreover, both value dispassionate description of data. This
suggests that a middle ground can be found. It is feasible to adopt elements of
phenomenology into archaeology, yet it must be realised that what is being applied
is in no way a pure phenomenology, nor does it need to be. As demonstrated,
elements of panopticon theory have been applied to archaeological settings with
success and this has facilitated alternative understandings of human experience. It
may be that an integration of phenomenological methodology and archaeological
quantification will prove just as productive.
Other issues include the ability of phenomenology to describe experiences of the
landscape that correlate with those of past peoples. Tilley (1994:73-4) saw the
28
physical landscape and human bodies as being the lowest common denominator,
something that we all share, thus facilitating a comparable experience of
landscape. However, Brück (2005:55) argued that there is variability in the
physicality of each person, which is further exacerbated by the influence of diverse
cultural traditions. This ties into a wider dialectic of embodiment which explores
naturalistic and social constructionist approaches to the human body (see Shilling
1993; Turner 1996).
Furthermore, the landscape is unlikely to remain the same through time and the
variance in how a landscape is perceived in different seasons and even at different
times of the day complicates this further. I argue that this issue may be resolved in
an historical context, as documentary evidence, allows for an understanding of the
landscape during the period of interest; here not only is the landscape less altered
than in prehistoric contexts, but it may also be reconstructed through photographs,
and written and oral accounts.
Thomas (2006:47) pointed out that understandings of material objects are formed
in a personal context, incorporating the traditions, skills and attitudes of the
viewer; and thus, “things are realised in their meaningfulness” and the significance
of the features cannot be realised or recreated by another. Brück (2005:63) added,
“monuments cannot be divorced from social context or considered as static
material entities that create uniform experiences of place” and therefore identified
this as one of the most important downfalls of this approach. Once again, as the
documentary nature of historical archaeology enables researchers to come from an
informed position concerning the social and political context of the site, this
concern is alleviated in an historical setting. This supports phenomenology’s worth
in archaeological reconstructions of past experience. The harsh criticisms of both
Fleming and Brück do not dissuade them from viewing this approach as beneficial.
Brück (2005:65) concluded that although phenomenology does not provide strong
insights into past experience, it has successfully encouraged archaeologists to
tackle the social and political elements intrinsically linked to landscape in new
‘imaginative’ ways. Fleming (1999:119) concluded that it is the methods and
interpretations which fail this otherwise promising theoretical approach to
landscape archaeology.
29
Conclusions
As demonstrated, there have been many theoretical frameworks applied to the
investigation of contact landscapes in archaeology using dominance and resistance
models. Studies emphasising the structures and behaviours of agency and
accommodation have attempted to redress the imbalance created by the notion of
one dominant culture ‘contacting’ an Indigenous culture of earlier studies. As yet,
phenomenology has not been applied in these contexts but it holds great potential
for reconstructing the experience of past peoples through their bodily, sensory
experience of the contact landscape. Most phenomenological studies have been
undertaken on a relatively limited range of sites from the same historic periods in
the British Isles (for exceptions see Criado Boado and Villoch Vázquez 2000;
Houston and Taube 2000; Pocock 2002; Tilley 1993), and so this potential has not
been fully explored. Phenomenology has not been applied to historical sites,
though historical archaeology provides tools potentially able to resolve some of the
theoretical and operational issues fundamental to the phenomenological
framework. This thesis will test the application of phenomenology to historical
archaeological settings through the study of the Weipa Mission site.
30
Daniel
Daniel put up a fence around the hamlet. He felt the rough texture of
the wood and the gritty dust of the earth as he placed each post in its
position and heard the repetitive beat of the hammer hitting the nail
into placei. It echoed off the surrounding messmate bark huts, the
woodland surrounding the hamlet and the nearby creek, backed by the
familiar constant underlying buzz of the insects lodged in the tall, thick
grasses ii. It was February and the muggy heat of the end of the wet
season
caused
him
to
sweat,
his
ample
clothing
hanging
uncomfortablyiii. He couldn’t hear birdsong; it was approaching the
hottest part of the day when they all disappeared iv. He glanced at
Doitchin, who passed him another post, and then focused on Monty
across the small gardens in the distance, putting up posts for his new
housev. They worked alone at the hamlet; no other person was in sight.
Daniel looked to the east, across the creek and up the slight incline to
where he knew the village sat approximately 25 metres away. He could
make out the buildings but could not hear activity in the village; he
was too far away vi.
31
Chapter Three
Methodology
This chapter outlines the collection, collation and analysis methods used in this
study. The methodology can be categorised in three distinct yet complementary
components: archaeological field survey, archival research for historical
documents and photographs, and phenomenological analysis and mapping.
Fieldwork
In 2003 Morrison (2003) undertook a preliminary survey to identify and rapidly
document archaeological sites near the former location of the Mission. Surveys
were carried out over a three day period and generalised locations of features
were identified, depicted in Figure 3. A handheld Global Positioning System device
was used to record locations of features found.
Morrison et al. (in prep.) carried out more detailed work focussed upon the
Mission compound in November 2008. The compound was divided into four
sections, labelled Northwest, Northeast, Southwest and Southeast quadrants and
were defined loosely on the cross-cutting of remaining fence posts of the Mission
(Figure 4). A permanent concrete memorial located near the centre of the former
compound was used as the site datum.
Field surveying of the northwest and northeast quadrants
This fieldwork produced a site plan from pedestrian survey and dumpy level
mapping (Morrison et al. in prep.). The incorporation of this data into this study
enabled an understanding of how the landscape was ideologically and socially
constructed.
Pedestrian survey
A pedestrian transect survey was conducted in each quadrant in order to identify
features of interest. Transects varied in width, as the number of people
participating varied throughout the fieldwork; however, they were normally 15 m
32
wide, with four people interspersed at 3 m intervals. Survey flags were placed to
mark features identified during survey. Artefact scatter boundaries (where
discernable) were later recorded through offset mapping and dumpy survey.
Figure 3: General plan of the Mission landscape identified during 2002-2004
fieldwork (Morrison 2003).
Dumpy level survey
A dumpy level was used to record both the distance from the dumpy station and
elevation of built structure remains and surface artefact scatter boundaries. This
enabled a site plan showing the spatial relationships between features to be
produced, along with a map of the landscape topography in GIS format. Initially,
offset surveying was intended for recording scatters; however, while allowing a
finer level of detail, this technique was too time-consuming given the limited time
available. Further, more accurate and consistent data could be obtained more
rapidly by using the dumpy level. Even so, only the perimeters or centre lines of
larger or more complex features were recorded, rather than the locations of each
individual post, stone and so on that comprised the feature. This was only the case
33
where perimeters or centre lines of complex features could be accurately
determined. For example, where it was not clear that a series of posts were
contemporary or part of the same feature, they were recorded as individual
features. The locations of all features were recorded using a dumpy level for
distance and height using standard proformas (see Appendices 2 and 3).
Figure 4: Plan of Mission compound showing 2008 survey features.
34
Recording methodology
Two proformas were used to record information about features identified: a
linear/polygon proforma and a point proforma. The lineal/polygonal point
proforma was used to record features whose spatial attributes were complex. This
included fence-lines, stone lines, building wall foundations, earth mounds and
artefact scatters. Similarly, the generic point proforma was used to record features
with simple spatial attributes such as posts, isolated artefacts or very small (< 1m
diameter) artefact scatters. Each feature was given a unique Feature Code (Fcode)
and Unique Identification Number (UID) The Fcode was essentially a
categorisation of the feature in question (see Appendix 4). Common Fcodes
included post, built feature, miscellaneous scatter, grave, fence, earth mound, metal
artefact and so on. The UID was a unique number allocated to each feature
recorded.
Consistency in recording features was an important component of the field
recording methodology used. As such, predefined attributes were recorded for
commonly encountered features, however, as a wide range of feature types were
encountered, supplementary descriptions were almost always required and
photographs taken.
Database and Site Plan Production
Field data was manually entered into a custom Filemaker Pro database while
dumpy level data were entered directly into the GIS software ArcMap 8.3
(Morrison et al. in prep.). In addition, earlier data (Morrison 2003) was
incorporated into the database and GIS along with the associated photographs. The
GIS software was used to produce a site plan and the spatial data plotted on the
plan in the GIS were linked to the feature database.
35
GPS survey of the southwest and southeast quadrants
Data regarding off-compound features, such as the village, hamlet and graveyard, is
incomplete and requires further fieldwork. As such, information regarding these
areas was based on preliminary recording by Morrison (2003).
Limitations of Field Survey
The Weipa Mission landscape is wide-ranging, incorporating many features
external to the central compound. It was impossible to survey the entire site within
the week available. Consequently, features identified for recording had to be
assessed and prioritised with lower priority features not recorded. A more
detailed, inclusive recording of all minor scatters and features may have verified,
and strengthened, the interpretations made based on the sites recorded features,
yet the purpose of the fieldwork was to document the range of features present,
and thus detail was not a priority.
A consistent surveying methodology across the whole site would have been
beneficial; however, it was not possible given the logistical constraints. Certain
sections of the site were recorded using alternate methods such as GPS and pacing,
which resulted in an increase in errors while tying this data to the dumpy level
data. Additionally, GPS waypoints and pacing units are limited in that they have a
lower level of accuracy compared to a dumpy level.
Archival Research
An important element of this study is to approach the landscape using a
phenomenological framework. Therefore, having firsthand primary accounts of the
missionaries’ experiences of the Indigenous people and landscape is crucial.
Moreover, photographic evidence of the built and natural landscape is essential to
infer the experiences of the inhabitants of the Mission.
36
Missionary Diaries
The Brown Family Papers are housed within the Cape York Collection of the
Hibberd Library, Weipa, and contain accounts of the early years of Weipa Mission
by Reverend Edwin Brown in his diaries dating from 1911-1912 and 1915-1917.
The collection also includes the Hall Family Papers, comprising the diaries of
Robert Hall from 1909 to 1914. Both the Brown and Hall diaries were used to
extract accounts of the people, events and locations from 1909 to 1917. Other
diaries, such as the Weipa Mission diaries, spanning 1931 to 1936, held in the
Mitchell Library in Sydney, were not accessed. These diaries concern the final year
of the Mission’s operation and it was decided that diaries from the earlier years
would give a better view of the Mission’s typical day to day functioning, rather than
activities relating to its closure.
Historical Photographic Material
The Cape York Collection includes the Brown Album which contains photographs
of the Weipa Mission from 1899 to 1918. This album is important as it contains the
oldest surviving photographs of the Mission, depicting Mission buildings from
many different angles with informative captions. This material is the main source
of information for gaining a phenomenological experience of the site. The Mayer
Collection, currently held by Weipa historian Geoff Wharton, was also consulted as
the album depicts some of the final years of the Mission from 1922 to 1928.
Paton’s Account
Glimpses of Mapoon, by Reverend Frank Paton, was published in 1911. It records
his first impressions on arrival at Weipa Mission and his experiences while visiting
for two days (Appendix 5). This material serves as an excellent source from which
to extrapolate phenomenological missionary experience of the Mission.
37
Phenomenological Analysis and Mapping
An integral part of this project was developing a phenomenological methodology
which enabled experiential descriptions of the landscape using the body’s sensory
perception faculties. As discussed in Chapter 2, there has been much debate
concerning the fact that no coherent phenomenological methodology exists for use
in archaeological contexts. As noted previously, the conflicting goals of
phenomenology and archaeology complicates the development of a robust
methodology. Therefore, this study has chosen to use the key premise of existential
phenomenology as put forth by Merleau-Ponty: description of what is perceived
through the senses.
Phenomenological Approach to Primary Resources
Mission Diaries
Missionary perceptions of the Indigenous people and Mission places were revealed
through an analysis of the mission diaries. However, Indigenous experience is
more difficult to ascertain. Oral histories specifically pertaining to the Mission do
not exist, as its operational life is beyond living memory. However, an indirect
phenomenological approach to the mission diaries was used. The diaries were read
to isolate accounts of people and events that were recorded at exact locations
within the Mission landscape. This served as the foundation from which
Indigenous experience was reconstructed using the results of the survey data and
analysis of historical photographs.
Historical Photographic Material
Photographs were analysed for the dimensions, proportions, construction method
and style, and the materials of built features. Their place within the topography,
and their distance and inter-visibility to other features was also assessed to
understand what and who could be seen and heard from these positions.
Additionally, note was taken of vegetation type, height and density in the
38
surrounding areas, as well as the angles from which the photos were taken. This
information, combined with the results of the survey data, enabled an
understanding of how these factors would have been bodily experienced.
Experiential Landscape Site Plan Production
The mission diaries record the dates and locations of the actions of certain
Indigenous people on the Mission. These accounts were entered into a spreadsheet
in Microsoft Excel, recording the name of the person involved, in which diary it
was written, and the date, event and location that the entry concerned (Appendix
6). A list of the entries was assembled from which each event’s intended outcome
was determined, such as marriage or justice. From the activity’s outcome, a series
of unifying concepts were developed and each entry was assigned a theme
accordingly:
Recreation: leisure activities, such as swimming or joking.
Agriculture: any activity enabling the Mission to be self-sufficient, including
management of livestock and cultivation of fruits, vegetables and fibres.
Maintenance: physical repairs or upkeep such as blacksmithing or painting, but
also maintenance of relationships with outside world.
Construction: physical construction of Mission infrastructure.
Mission Ethos: events or activities concerned with enforcing missionary values, or
people being commended for doing ‘the right thing’.
Counter-ethos: events or activities that go against missionary ethos.
Social Negotiation: negotiation of complex marriage, family and justice matters.
Discipline: events of discipline, mainly due to counter-ethos activity.
Health: any sickness or death.
While the physicality of each activity may be similar, the objective is different. For
example, construction activity occurred in the hamlet as a direct response to the
expansion and accommodation of missionary values within the Mission. However,
maintenance included both the maintenance of fabric, such as re-painting, and the
continuance of the Mission’s functioning through maintaining ties with the outside
world, such as mail collection or the sending out of the supply boat with Mission39
produced goods. Another example is the difference between counter-ethos and
discipline. These two themes were separated by the focus of the entry which either
recorded an instance of discipline for counter-ethos activity or simply recounted
an event of a counter-ethos nature. In some cases, entries were able to
accommodate more than one theme and in such cases, additional secondary
characteristics of the entry were assessed placing it firmly into one key category.
This information was then used to formulate a series of tables depicting the
interplay of people and themes across the landscape. From this, site plans
illustrating patterns were created incorporating the survey data that produced the
GIS site plan, overlain on aerial photographs. Aerial photographs were chosen
because it meant that Mission events and people could be displayed against the
‘real’ landscape. Several plans were created to show the frequencies of people in
particular areas, the places common or specific to certain individuals, frequencies
of themes for particular places, and frequencies of themes relating to specific
people. This enabled information regarding Indigenous experiences of the Mission
landscape to be interpreted, aided by historical photographs and the mission
diaries.
Only mission diary events detailing people in specific localities were included; all
other information about the operation of the Mission was excluded because it was
unable to be tied to the landscape. Additionally, many events were unable to be
plotted on the maps as we didn’t know where these places were. For example,
numerous entries state that ploughing occurred in the gardens, however there is
little historical or archaeological evidence which can firmly locate this specific
location. In these instances, this data was not plotted into the GIS though the
entries were included in the spreadsheet so that as much information as to
peoples’ relationship with the landscape was maintained for further research.
Moreover, events happening at the camps were difficult to record because the
location of the camps shifted around the local watercourses continuously, so that
these events were plotted vaguely to include all creeks and rivers to the southeast.
The location of the assistant’s house was plotted according to information
provided by the historical documents.
40
Limitations of the Phenomenological Methodology
Historical Photography
It is recognised that perceptions of photographs are far removed from a true
phenomenological experience of the actual objects in the landscape. Using a
phenomenological approach to photography is quite limited; however historical
photographs serve as an intermediary step between the landscape that once
existed and the one that exists today. This allows for more informed
interpretations to be made as to past human experience of the Mission. It is also a
step forward in the use of phenomenology in archaeology as these photographs are
invaluable sources of additional information which is not accessible in non-historic
archaeological contexts.
Mission Diaries
A major limitation of the use of the mission diaries is that they contain information
which is, at its most basic level, biased by the experiences of the authors and the
cultural context in which they were written. This undoubtedly influences every
aspect of their composition: which events were chosen to be recorded, which
individuals were recorded and why, and the manner in which they were recorded.
The gender bias of these materials is especially problematic. However, the diaries
still contain basic information placing certain people in the landscape at certain
times, performing certain activities. Therefore, we can understand how the site
was once used and experienced for some of the inhabitants, something which a
prehistoric archaeological study is unable to reconstruct. Although it is biased, it
too is a step forward in understanding what was once perceived and experienced
at the Mission.
Oral history
Certainly, the Indigenous experience component of this study would be much
stronger with the inclusion of oral histories. However, there are no oral histories
41
existing specifically for Weipa Mission during its operation. Oral history material
from the last generation of people brought up on the Mission was recorded in the
1980s, yet the sensitive nature of its content combined with access restrictions
means that this material was unable to be consulted. Furthermore, much of this
oral history material concerns Traditional Knowledge and is not specific to the
Mission (Morrison pers. comm. 27/07/09).
General Methodological Issues
Other factors must also be taken into consideration when formulating a
phenomenological methodology for an archaeological site. It has been suggested
that the body is not universal and is not experienced or conceived of in the same
way across all spatio-temporal contexts (Brück 2005:55). In prehistoric
archaeological contexts, this may be seen as an irreconcilable facet of
phenomenology. However, historical documents allow researchers to ascertain the
perceptions and experiences of numerous differently situated individuals. It is true
that these historical perceptions cannot account for the entire scope of bodily
experience at the Mission, nevertheless it presents us with a small sample of past
human experiences which is certainly better than none.
Another methodological conundrum is that experiences of landscape are different
at certain times of the day, seasonally and annually. Although it is consistently hot
at Weipa, the distinction between wet and dry seasons is sharply articulated
through changes in the abundance of vegetation, watercourses and fauna. This
obstacle may be offset using the mission diaries which document the exact dates of
when people were in particular areas in the landscape. Moreover, historical
photographs depict the environmental conditions at the time of their taking. This
eliminates much of the ambiguity of what people actually perceived and can be
reconstructed accordingly. That being said, much change has occurred in the last
77 years due to large-scale climatic and environmental impacts, such mining
activity, feral animal activity and, more broadly, climate change.
There is no doubt that what is perceived of the Mission is a product of my own
cultural underpinning. This seems an irreconcilable factor of phenomenology. This
42
has also been widely debated in archaeology leading to the development of critical
archaeology (Leone et al. 1987). Perception and interpretation can never be
arrived at on a presuppositionless basis. However, this limitation is lessened if we
are aware that what is revealed to us through perception is made sense of using
our culturally constructed consciousness. These limitations present challenges in
adopting and applying phenomenological methods to an archaeological site.
However, the solutions outlined above help us to arrive at a methodology holding
potential for historical archaeology.
43
Marybell
Marybell was locked in the storeroom in the dark. She had taken things
from Rosie’s room and was found out. Reverend Brown had
approached her with a metallic, cool blade and cut off her hairi. She
remembered the feel of the sharp blades as they scored her scalp and
ran her hands over the remains of her hair, unfamiliar and bare. She
remembered the firm hands on her arms as she was marched back to
the compound after fleeing with her motherii. She looked at her
surrounds in the storeroom, felt the gritty smoothness of the
floorboards on which she sat and could smell the dust and dirt that
finely coated them iii. It was stifling in the store, it was November and
the heat and humidity in the air made it hard to breathe iv. She went to
the window on the north-facing wall, next to the locked doorv. She
could just see out of the window and looked down upon the yard and
down the slope to the stockyards and gardens to the north vi where the
men had been ploughing and pulling out trees earlier that dayi. Her
hand moved over the warm undulating metal of the corrugated iron
wall, cooling down as the heat of the day seeped awayii.
44
Chapter Four
Results
This chapter presents the results in three sections. Firstly, the archaeological
survey results focus on the built features, artefact scatter and topography.
Secondly, the historical photograph analysis results are presented in terms of the
information they reveal about the built and natural landscape. Lastly, the mission
diary analysis results explore the missionaries’ perceptions of the Mission and its
inhabitants, while drawing out Indigenous experience through exploring diary
records of people, themes and the landscape. These three sections address the
subsidiary research questions which aim to understand how the mission was
spatially arranged and navigated, how the constructed landscape reflected nonIndigenous ideologies, and how the mission landscape was experienced and
perceived by its Indigenous inhabitants.
Survey Results
The results of the 2008 field survey culminated in the production of a site plan
detailing the Mission compound, specifically the building remnants and artefact
scatters that fall within its boundary (Figure 5). This provides the starting point
from which to place people in the landscape and interpret their experience of it. As
the data for off-compound features, such as the hamlet and village, are incomplete,
results from the preliminary 2003 work were used. Interpretations made as to the
function of the built features are based upon archaeological and historical
documentary evidence.
Built Structures
The mission house was located at the centre of the site in the southwest quadrant
of the compound and was the second largest building at the Mission. The house
measured ~15 m by 25 m long, built on a platform supported by a series of
wooden posts approximately 1.5 m high and 0.6 m in girth (Figure 6).
Approximately 10 m to the southwest of the house is a 10 m long structure
consisting of four wooden posts 0.4 m in height. This was first assumed to be a
45
Figure 5: Weipa Mission site plan produced from 2008 survey (Morrison et al. in prep.).
46
fence, though the shorter posts indicate it may have been part of the mission house
or a separate structure such as the assistant’s house.
The church is located ~30 m to the north of the mission house in the northwest
quadrant. It was a rectangular structure approximately 10 m by 15 m. The walls
appear to have been of a rammed earth construction, which have collapsed and
eroded through time, interspersed with wooden posts. The structure has masonry
flooring within with a floor height of ~1.7 m (Figures 7 and 8).
The storehouse is adjacent to the mission house, also at the centre of the
compound. It is a rectangular structure measuring approximately 5 m by 10 m,
delineated by an ironstone border enclosing a raised concrete floor, internally
divided by another line of stones, possibly separating two rooms. Two short posts
were situated nearby.
Figure 6: Remnants of mission house.
47
Figure 7: Remnants of the church.
Figure 8: Internal remnants of church.
48
The girl’s dormitory was situated in the southeast quadrant, approximately 20 m
southeast of the mission house. It was a rectangular structure ~9 m by 6.5 m.
Fourteen wooden posts approximately 1.7 m tall and 0.5 m in girth were present,
with a shorter wooden post located nearby which may also have been associated
with the dormitory (Figure 9).
Figure 9: Remnants of girls' dormitory.
Approximately 15 m to the northeast of the dormitory was a small rectangular
structure ~1.8 m by 3m, thought to be a cookhouse. The structure comprises four
rounded wooden posts of which three are intact and two exhibit sugar-bag scars
where the honey produced from native beehives have been removed. The intact
posts are approximately 1.8 m tall and 0.76 m in girth (Figure 10).
49
Figure 10: Remnants of a small structure, possibly a cookhouse.
Within the two eastern quadrants of the compound are four small to medium-sized
structures of uncertain function, though probably domestic in nature (structures
0005, 0007, 0033 and 0034). Structure 0034 is a rectangular concrete pad
measuring 1 m by 2 m, possibly an outhouse. Structure 0033 is approximately
25 m southeast of the girls’ dormitory, in the far south-eastern quadrant. It is a
medium-sized rectangular feature which may have served as a domestic building,
measuring 5 m by 10 m and bordered by ironstone rows. A single
Y-shaped post 1.7 m in height and 0.3 m in girth was located in the middle of one of
the walls (Figure 11). Feature 0005 was a small rectangular feature located
approximately 30 m north of the girls’ dormitory and may have been a cottage. It
measured ~4 m by 5 m, defined by a raised edge of gravel and earth. Similarly,
structure 0007 may have also been a small cottage ~2.5 m by 2.5 m. It was
outlined by an ironstone border and enclosed a possible cement floor. Another
structure located in the same central area was identified by a raised level brick
surface and may have been a toolshed (feature 0006). A saw bench foundation and
50
associated item were found to be located at the southeast corner of the site
approximately 40 m southeast of structure 0033.
Figure 11: Remnants of a small domestic structure.
In the far northeast quadrant of the compound is a cluster of built features (0021,
0027 and 0029), various artefact scatters and a quarry. Structure 0021 are two
fenced stockyards composed of 6 by 7 round wooden posts ~ 1.8 m in height and
0.6 m in girth (Figure 12). These structures are both ~15 m by 20 m in dimension.
East of these yards are the smaller structures 0027 and 0029, whose function is
unknown although the latter’s closeness to the quarry indicates it may have been a
lime kiln or brick making structure. Both features were rectangular with a raised
concrete floor, with surrounding round wooden posts between 1.5 to 2.1 m in
height. As photographs indicate that workshop-type structures were located in this
area, it is feasible that these structures were industrial. A quarry is located directly
southeast of these features from which it appears that earth, ironstone and clay
have been extracted. Owing to the presence of erosion, the boundaries of the
quarry were difficult to identify but it is ~ 15 m by 20 m.
51
Figure 12: Remnants of stockyards.
Immediately north of the mission house at the centre of the site are two
intersecting barbed wire fence-lines, each ~20 m in length,. They consisted of 12
posts approximately 1.4 m in height and 0.3-0.6 m in girth. The compound
perimeter consists of four fence-lines varying in length and the number of posts.
However, most posts are approximately 1.3 m to 1.8 m in height. Notches evident
on the posts constituting the northern fence-line suggest that four railings ran
horizontally between each post (Figure 13).
52
Figure 13: Northern fence-line notched wooden posts.
Three ironstone lines are located in the southwest quadrant of the compound. Two
lines ~16 m in length (0014 and 0015) run perpendicular to and intersecting the
north-western fence-line, which appear to form a path alongside the main entrance
to the compound. The other ironstone line (0042) is ~8 m runs perpendicular to
the southern compound fence yet does not intersect it; this may have marked a
pathway from the village to the compound.
There are four graves within the compound, one each to the northwest and
southeast of the church (0009 and 0002, respectively), and two together along the
southern fence-line (0017) (Figures 14, 15 and 16). Owing to their proximity to the
village, they are thought to be of Indigenous people.
53
Figure 14: Grave 0009.
Figure 15: Grave 0002.
54
Figure 16: Two graves along southern fence-line (0017).
There are also numerous features outside the compound which played a role in the
Mission. Immediately south of the compound’s southern fence-line are the remains
of ten small huts amongst scatters of cultural material and earth mounds; these
were interpreted as a small village (Morrison 2003). A hamlet was positioned
further off-compound approximately 300 m to the west. This comprised a cluster
of six small houses lining the drive, halfway between the landing and the
compound. Here, 100 m north of the hamlet, is a graveyard which is an 80 m2
rectangular area consisting of four identifiable graves marked by ironstones.
Indigenous camps, although not identified in this study, existed to the south and
east of the compound around the river and creeks, as mentioned in the mission
diaries and some located by Morrison in 2003.
55
Artefact scatters
Numerous artefact scatters occur within the compound and often relate to the built
features near which they are situated. In the northwester quadrant, approximately
20 m south of the northern fence-line and located <10 m due east of the church, is
a large, low-density scatter (0003). This is composed of clear, brown and green
coloured glass shards, printed pattern and ironstone ceramic fragments and pieces
of writing slate. Some modern elements such as broken beer bottles are also
evident (Figure 17).
Figure 17: Selected artefacts from scatter 0003.
In the northeastern quadrant are numerous scatters of varying size, density and
composition, of which scatters 0025, 0028 and 0079 are the largest. To the
northwest of the quarry is scatter 0025 which includes stoneware and iron
stoneware fragments, a ceramic handle, various shards of coloured glass, slate,
mortar and render fragments, metallic items such as wire, a nail, a hinge, brass lock
pieces, a bolt, brick fragments, marine shell, a bead and a harmonica reed plate.
Other harmonica pieces were found scattered across the landscape which suggest
56
that they were a popular instrument at the Mission. This scatter appears to be a
discard area for the built features in this area, such as a dispensary, coach house,
blacksmith and tool shed.
Scatter 0028 is an assemblage of bricks around a large circular depression, near a
small scatter of shell. The absence of domestic features in the vicinity and its
proximity to the quarry indicates this may be part of a lime or open pit kiln (Figure
18). Another larger low-density scatter (0079) occurs northeast of the two
intersecting fence-lines near the mission house around three wooden posts. It
comprises chain links, ironstone ceramic, cobalt blue glass shards, and lead nail
heads and is associated with the small domestic and toolshed structures in this
area.
Three small scatters occur in the southeast quadrant of the site (0103, 0104 and
0043). Scatter 0103 is a small scatter of ironstone, while 0104 is an assemblage
enclosed by the remains of a corrugated iron tank and includes metal, brick and
bone fragments, pieces of shell and lead, and shards of brown, clear, green, opaque
and amethyst coloured glass. The presence of the tank suggests that, when intact, it
was a container for the scattered materials. Scatter 0043 is located along the
southern fence-line next to the ironstone line. It is slightly depressed in the centre
and contains fragments of enamelled tin, corrugated iron and tin, cast iron, copper
fragments, dark green and brown bottle glass, ceramic, and wire and opaque glass.
It appears to be a refuse pit, which is supported by its proximity to the mission and
assistant houses. Scatter 0041 is a similar size yet contains pieces of brick,
concrete and bauxite and is thought to be remnants of the pavement or stairwell to
the mission house doorway as depicted in photographs (Figure 19).
57
Figure 18: Scatter around depression associated with the quarry.
Figure 19: Brick scatter associated with mission house.
58
Topography
Cross-sections depicting the topography of the Mission compound were developed
from the survey data (Figures 20, 21 and 22) and demonstrate the relationship of
topography to building positioning (see Appendix 7 for map of regional
topography).
Figure 20: NW-NE topographic section of the compound.
Figure 21: NW-SW topographic section of the compound.
59
Figure 22: SW-SE topographic section of the compound.
Figure 20 shows that the church was located at the crest of the west-east running
slope. From here it was clearly visible from both westerly and easterly directions
and overlooked industrial areas such as the workshops and stockyards. The
mission house is also placed in a central position at the highest point in the
landscape, as shown in Figure 21, overlooking the village and work areas. Figure
22 depicts this centrality; the mission house is the first structure seen upon
entering the compound by the western fence and is higher than the other domestic
structures, such as the dormitory and cottages, to its east.
Evidently, the compound was split into different spheres of functionality and
identity. The northeast corner comprised elements of Mission life enabling Weipa
to be self-sufficient: the coach shed, blacksmith, tool-house, dispensary, milking
pens, holding yards, lime kiln and quarry. The southeastern and central zones of
the compound served as domestic areas, incorporating the girls’ dormitory, store,
cookhouse and various scattered cottages.
Historical Photograph Analysis
Archaeological survey revealed that the church was the second largest building
within the Mission in terms of extent and the walls were a thick rammed earth
(pisé) construction; however, photographs show that the church was also one of
60
the tallest buildings. Its walls were approximately twice the height of an adult and
three times at the highest point of the pitched roof. Each wall of the church also
comprised three windows or doors each, except the corrugated iron vestry
entrance, which contained five visible windows and three doors. The photographs
also show that the topography sloped towards the north and the surrounding
environment was sparsely vegetated and dry (Figures 23 and 24).
Figure 23: Church from the northeast during construction, circa 1905.
Figure 24: Church from the southwest after completion, circa 1908.
61
Survey revealed the mission house was the largest building in terms of surface
area, while photographs show it was a similar height to the church, being at least
three times the height of an adult at its highest point. It was raised on a series of
large wooden posts and was mainly constructed of wood with a corrugated iron
roof. A veranda ran around its perimeter, and a formal entrance once extended
from the front steps to the gate in the adjacent western fence. On the veranda at
the top of the stairs hung the bell that was rung to call people to mass on Sundays.
The front gardens were densely vegetated with shrubbery; however, few tall trees
were located near to the house beyond an avenue of mango trees running parallel
to the compound boundary (Figure 25). The mission house’s relative location to
the church and other buildings is depicted in Figure 26.
Figure 25: Mission house from the west.
62
Figure 26: View of the compound from the north.
Other smaller built features within the compound left less of a mark on the
landscape and so photographs of them are even more valuable. Photographs reveal
that the storehouse to the northeast of the mission house was of a similar height
but different construction. It contained one window in its north-facing wall and
two in its eastern wall, and was built of corrugated iron which extended to the
ground, rather than using stilts, suggesting it had two levels. It also had a small
ventilation shaft or chimney and a large door in the northern wall leading to a
staircase landing (Figure 27 and 28). Its southern face had a small door and a
veranda extending from the mission house which overlooked a small yard.
63
Figure 27: Storehouse from the north.
Figure 28: Later photograph of the storehouse from the south.
64
The girls’ dormitory was a raised building built of corrugated iron on large wooden
posts. Only one window is visible on the north-facing wall and the area underneath
the dorm is enclosed by tightly positioned thin wooden posts or bars. The dorm
was surrounded by a wood post and barbed wire fence which sloped downwards
to the east. Photographs reveal that a few tall, dense trees were located close to the
dormitory building (Figures 29 and 30).
Figure 29: Girls’ dormitory during construction, circa 1908.
Figure 30: Girls' dormitory after completion post-1908.
65
The workshops in the northeast quadrant of the compound near the stockyards
and quarry have left few archaeological traces. Photographic analysis indicates
that this area was once a thriving industrial area housing the dispensary,
blacksmith, and coach and tool houses within two separate structures. Both
structures appear to be constructed of wooden posts and corrugated iron roofing,
yet one is long and rectangular while the other is a smaller square building. The
former had an open western façade supported by wooden posts approximately the
height of an adult, and was partially enclosed at its southern end; the objects in the
photograph indicate that this was the coach house and blacksmith (Figure 31). The
yard in front of the workshops was cleared and appears to be dusty trodden earth,
while the surrounding environment to the north and east was densely vegetated
by tall trees. The topography declines further in these directions beyond the
boundaries of the compound to the creeks. Figure 32 shows the relation of the
stockyards and workshop area to the church.
Figure 31: Workshop area from the southwest.
66
Figure 32: Position of stockyards in relation to the church.
Survey of the village located to the south of the compound in 2003 identified a
series of earth mounds and post remnants. Historical photographs show that the
village comprised several very small square houses constructed of wooden posts
and galvanised iron. Initially this area housed only one row of houses surrounded
by tall thick grasses, but another row was built by the mid-1920s (Figures 33 and
34). In later years, the grass became sparse and the houses were enclosed by
wooden post fences.
Figure 33: Early photo of the village during its construction.
67
Figure 34: Later photo of the village, circa the mid 1920s.
The hamlet is 300 m from the main compound. Only a few wooden posts remain.
Photos show it consisted of a series of small square huts constructed of stringy
bark with steep pitched roofs. These were relatively low structures located quite
close to one another. Tall grasses dominate the surrounding environment which is
interspersed with a few tall trees behind the houses, yet the area is still fairly open
(Figure 35). The topography gently slopes towards the east where a small creek is
located, halfway to the village.
Figure 35: Hamlet from the northwest.
68
Mission Diary Data Analysis
The Missionary Experience
There were many missionaries stationed at Weipa throughout its 33 years of
operation (see Appendix 8), but the intrigues and daily goings-on were most
vividly recorded within the mission diaries of Robert Hall, from 1909 to 1911, and
Rev. Edmund Brown, from 1911 to 1917. These diaries serve as the key primary
material concerning the views of the missionaries and highlight the subjective
nature of experience and perception. Both diaries are distinct in terms of use of
style, terminology and content. Brown’s diary is written in familiar terms, using
nicknames and first names for people who are otherwise referred to in much more
formal terms in Hall’s diary. Brown is also more expressive and emotive in his
writings, where Hall remains austere. Additionally, what each missionary chose to
include in his diary, the events and feelings he experienced, differs. This is highly
significant as it reflects what he viewed as important to himself or the Mission, or
what he would like future readers to experience of the Mission. Whichever the
case, these perspectives are both valuable and insightful of the mind and life of the
missionary himself, and the cultural backdrop against which his experiences were
formed.
A thorough reading of the Brown diary leaves the reader with an in-depth
understanding of the day to day life of the Mission and the people living there, both
Indigenous and European. Much of what makes up the Brown diaries concerns the
politics of the Mission and nearby York Downs Station, but a key theme presented
is Brown’s own concerns about Christianising the Mission’s Indigenous
inhabitants. He meticulously records all people that ‘confess a love for the saviour’
and ask for baptism:
These are blessed days indeed. One feels that the Spirit is working- we feel
as though we would like to get away hide ourselves lest we might hinder or
obstruct His work. We feel awed by His presence. (Brown 05/03/1912)
However, he often writes of his disappointments and frustration with the
Indigenous people who do not embrace his missionary efforts:
69
In my address in Church this evening I remarked that as the people did not
seem to appreciate the spiritual things we offer them, I thought that we
might as well go to other people elsewhere who would appreciate such, &
leave the people here to the care of a policeman who could give them food
as well as we. (Brown 24/10/1915)
Most truly may it be said of them “their God is their belly”. We are fully
aware that this is a terrible admission to have to make after 18½ years
labour amongst them, but try as we may to reach any other conclusion we
are forced back again to this. (Brown 17/12/1916)
Additionally, much of his diaries are dedicated to accounts of the frequent
intrigues surrounding disputes of marriage and law. Brown writes of numerous
instances where either fighting broke out or Indigenous men were speared by
others in acts of retribution. One harrowing entry describes a grave robbing on the
6 December, 1916:
Jack (Chip-chip’s) & Tappin sought an interview this evening, & told me a
gruesome tale of their mother’s grave having been rifled by some men
[having] found evidences of... maggots etc lying around.... Billy says that
they confessed that they took away parts of the body & ate them!!! The
reason assigned for this vulturelike [sic] deed being that the death of young
Smith, who died nearly a year before this woman, was credited to the
sorcery of John Alondeon & his brother Mammas, brothers of the woman.
So they took revenge in this manner. And these are the people who we are
teaching the things of God! (Brown 06/12/1916)
Moreover, Brown plays a central role in the negotiation of marriage disputes
between various Indigenous parties and relates these complex dealings in his
diaries. One such case was described as follows:
Sam & Willie Stewart came & asked for an audience in Church. Their
business was to get my consent for their two sisters, Towottock & Mapoon,
to leave their husband, George, & marry Monty & Billy Maggie respectively.
They said that they (ie. The two women) & their co-wife Larrop, are often
quarrelling & George had the two that they might find other husbands. The
whole thing rather staggered me, but after a little consideration i told them
that of George had divorced the two women it would be alright to marry
them to single men, Monty & Towottock, e.g. but that I could not consent to
the Mapoon & Billy marriage, he being already a married men [sic]. They
however resolved that it should be as Billy was wanting to fight & they did
not want to fight... Sam said “I have lost two brothers in fights already”.
(Brown 19/12/1911)
Overall, the Brown diaries make apparent that Brown considers his Christianising
70
mission of the utmost importance and appears to truly have cared for the people
and the Mission, seeing some of the older inhabitants as ‘institutions of Weipa’
(Brown 22/07/1915). His undertaking at Weipa is fundamental to his perception
and experience of the Mission landscape.
Hall’s diaries are vastly different. Although, when he first arrives at Weipa, Hall is
somewhat enchanted by the new environment he encounters, describing waterlilyfilled lagoons and pretty springs and ferns, Hall never again writes with such
emotion. Predominantly, his diaries chronicle the running of the Mission,
documenting the occurrence of routine agricultural activities as well as Boys’
Brigade drill, Sunday School, Bible Class and faithful lists of the gospel verses read
at each Sunday’s mass. However, the mundane goings-on of Weipa are often
punctuated by abrupt, perfunctory accounts of great violence, not only between
missionary and Indigenous persons, but also within the Indigenous camp on the
periphery. A very early entry recounts his experience of a corroboree gone wrong:
In evening we went across to native camp to see a corroboree (song &
dance) which had been promised us by the native young men, but were
horrified to find that a fight was taking place. Were right in the midst of it
before we realised it. Showers of spears & firesticks were flying around us.
We four young people soon retired to a safe place. (Hall 19/07/1909)
He refers to “we four young people” but the constituents of his party are unclear.
At first glance, the group appears to include him and the three other missionaries
who were frightened by such perceived savagery. However, it might also be that
the young native men that promised the corroboree comprised the other members
of his group. Their withdrawal to safety suggests that the senior men were fighting
and it was inappropriate for the young men to be present. If this is the case, it
suggests that, at this point, Hall felt himself an outsider and interacted more freely
with the young Indigenous men. It was only later that his authoritative role saw
him detach himself from relations with them. The fear he felt is evident and his
later responses to violence, at his hand or another’s, are recorded in an aloof,
nonchalant manner which is quite confronting:
Marybell was found to have stolen certain things from Rosie’s room. For
punishment Mr B. closely clipped one half of her head. She & her mother,
Quaingey, thereupon ran away. We got them back in the evening and for
71
punishment chained and locked M. in store and sent Q. who had been
sleeping in dormitory for safety from Charlie, to sleep in camp. (Hall
11/11/1909)
Here, Hall punishes Quaingey by withdrawing the protection of the Mission
compound and making her accessible to Charlie, a man who means her harm. And
later,
We were informed that Monty & Jimmy (single men) had been
misbehaving with Elizabeth & Ruth (married women), so we caught them
& the husbands of the women gave them a public whipping. (Hall
22/05/1911)
Evidently retribution for wrong-doing was swift and severe, especially for women.
Even knowing his own fears, he does not hesitate in instilling it in others:
In the evening Mr Brown & I had a rather romantic experience. A white
man and half caste – Hunter & Harry Brown – had been down from York
Downs for stores and were camped just across the creek. We were told that
some women had gone up to them, so we went to see if it were true. On
arrival at the camp we heard women’s voices but on trying to close on
them quietly we alarmed them and they took to flight. We drove them back,
however, & I caught one – Isingenia - & we made her give the names of the
others, who were: Panyanapore, Devilgon, Avaringer and Annie. (Hall
01/12/1909)
Hall’s diary presents us with an alternative view of Weipa Mission, one of
monotonous farm-work disrupted by brief, but numerous episodes of violent
retributive acts. This contrasts greatly with Brown’s paternalistic view of the
inhabitants of Weipa Mission and his continuous involvement in the trials that
confront his people and his Mission.
72
The Indigenous Experience
To come to a phenomenological understanding of the Mission, a discussion of the
key themes and events presented in the mission diaries will draw out the
experiences of its inhabitants.
People in the Landscape
Figure 36 shows the frequency of persons mentioned in the Hall and Brown
mission diaries, while Figure 37 depicts the location at which each person was
recorded. Of all people recorded throughout the diaries, David is the most common
with a count of 18 out of a total 144, followed by Monty (10), Albert (10) and
Daniel (9). Those people with high total values usually have values spread across
the years, with the exception of David with a peak of nine values in 1916, and
Monty with a peak of six values in 1912. This being said, the majority of people
listed in the diaries are only mentioned once, accounting for 20.1% of the data, or
twice, constituting 7.6% of all entries.
73
Annie G.
H. Brown
Pilot
Mamoos
Laddie
Andrew
John
Devilgon
Quaingy
Mammus
Marybell
Rosie
David
Lucy
Clara
Bob
Albert
Sugar
V.Charlie
Billy Maggie
Billy
Nellie
Goodman
Doitchin
Ammanbun
Victoria
Daniel
Sam
Big George
George
Jessica
Little
Maudie
Minnie
Philliip
H. Ballarat
Warwick
Bellevue
Bertie
Mary
Alice
Brodie
Alondeon
Winnie
Willie
Betty
Annie
Bosun
Monty
Jimmy
Whangi
Chip Chip
Jack
Peter
Frequency of all people recorded at specific locations within the Mission landscape
20
18
16
14
12
10
8
6
4
2
0
Indigenous People
Figure 36: Frequency of persons recorded in the diaries.
74
All Persons across the Mission Landscape
Figure 37: Site plan of all persons across the landscape.
75
An assessment of gender in the diaries shows that men are recorded more than
four times more frequently than women (Table 1). Moreover, only 19 different
women are recorded compared to the 35 different men, and only five women are
recorded more than once. Interestingly, women are never repeatedly recorded or
connected with specific places in the landscape, whereas certain men, such as
Monty, Philip, Sam, Daniel, Albert and David, show strong relationships with
particular Mission places. Maps outlining the frequency of females and males
recorded across the Mission landscape reflect this gender division (Figures 38 and
39). The maps show that the men are recorded at the church and Indigenous
camps much more often than women, however male and female presence in the
mission house is similar. Oddly, women are recorded at the workshops more often
than men, yet a consultation of the diaries indicate this is due to lack of space in
the mission house to nurse ill inhabitants, rather than for labour purposes. The
maps also show that the hamlet is also a male dominated area despite being the
residence for married couples.
No. of people recorded
No. of people recorded in more than once
People repeatedly recorded in a place
Total no. of records
Women
19
5
0
26
Men
35
17
12
118
Table 1: Differences in recordings between sexes.
Table 2 shows the frequency of all people recorded in the diaries and links them to
particular areas of the Mission landscape. The places that show the greatest
numbers are the church (31), the gardens (21), the mission house (13) and the
hamlet (12). Of these, the same key people that were focused on above account for
the highest values. Monty is recorded at the church three times and at the hamlet
four times. David is recorded at the gardens five times whereas Albert is
mentioned there three times. Both Phillip and Sam appear at the church three
times and Daniel is recorded at the hamlet three times.
76
Frequency of Females across the Mission Landscape
Figure 38: Frequency of females at specific locations across the landscape.
77
Frequency of Males across the Mission Landscape
Figure 39: Frequency of males at specific locations across the landscape.
78
INSERT A3 TABLE HERE
Table 2: Frequency of people by landscape locations.
79
People by Theme
The key people in Table 2 also dominate certain themes. Table 3 shows that David
is strongly involved with agricultural activities at the Mission, having seven
records compared to the average one or two. Phillip and Albert are the leaders in
the maintenance category, Monty heads up construction activities and Sam is most
involved in social negotiation matters. Table 3 also demonstrates that themes such
as social negotiation, mission ethos and counter-ethos are evenly distributed and
therefore somewhat common for all people. Moreover, counter-ethos and mission
ethos are also recorded the same number of times, yet disciplinary matters,
surprisingly, do not show a strong correlation to values in the counter-ethos
category. While Alondeon has his highest values in both the counter-ethos and
discipline columns, Daniel’s highest value falls under the counter-ethos theme; yet
he has no recorded value for discipline. Moreover, David, who has two discipline
records, has no value for counter-ethos activity. Notably, Albert and David are the
only people with two entries concerning recreation in an already small pool of five
people. Across all themes, those with the widest distribution of values are David,
with entries in seven out of nine themes, and Monty and Daniel spanning six
themes each.
80
Name/Theme
Chip Chip
Jack
Peter
Whangi
Jimmy
Monty
Annie
Bosun
Betty
Willie
Brodie
Alondeon
Winnie
Alice
Mary
Warwick
Bellevue
Bertie
Harry Ballarat
Minnie
Philip
Maudie
Jessica
Little George
George
Big George
Sam
Ammanbunga
Victoria
Daniel
Doitchin
Goodman
Billy Maggie
Billy
Nellie
Voiceless Charlie
Sugar
Bob
Albert
Clara
Lucy
David
Mammus
Marybell
Rosie
Quaingy
John
Devilgon
Laddie
Andrew
Mamoos
Harry Brown
Annie George
Rec.
1
Maint.
Constr.
2
1
1
1
1
3
Ethos
Counter
1
1
Soc neg.
1
1
2
1
2
1
2
1
Disc.
Health
1
Total
2
3
5
2
2
10
2
1
1
6
2
8
1
1
2
1
1
1
1
1
7
1
1
1
1
2
7
2
1
9
1
1
2
1
3
1
1
1
10
1
1
18
1
2
1
2
3
1
1
1
1
1
1
11
144
1
1
1
1
1
2
1
1
1
1
2
1
1
2
2
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
5
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
2
2
3
1
1
2
2
1
2
1
1
1
2
1
1
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
2
3
4
1
1
1
2
7
3
2
1
1
1
1
2
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
Pilot
Total
Agric.
1
7
27
2
24
10
10
12
27
16
3
Table 3: Frequency of theme by person.
81
Theme by Landscape
When we link the landscape locations with the events’ theme, we gain a picture of
the role these areas played in the functioning of the Mission. Table 4 and Figure 40
demonstrate the relationship of theme and landscape numerically and pictorially.
Agricultural activity is most commonly associated with the gardens (18 of 27
records) totalling approximately 66.7% of all records in this theme. Maintenance
occurs across a wide range of locations; however, the church has the highest value
of all with four records. The hamlet is the setting for 60% of all construction
activity and 40% of all mission ethos matters. Most of the 27 values, constituting
all social negotiation records, are clustered at the church, mission house and, to a
lesser extent, the Indigenous camps across the river and creeks. The mission house
sees 22.2% of all social negotiation issues, but a dominating 55.6% of these
records take place in the church. This is similar to discipline values which
demonstrate that approximately 56.3% of all these events occur in the church also.
Remarkably, diary entries concerning counter-ethos activity occur more widely
across the landscape occurring at eight different places, whereas ethos activities
occurs in only five different places in the Mission.
Location/Theme
Church
Mission House
Dormitories
Hamlet
Village
Yard
Paddock
Gardens
Assist. House
Jail
Store/cookhouse
Workshops
Old Landing
Camps
Watercourses
York Downs
Bêche Camp
Graveyard
Outstation
total
Rec.
1
Agric.
Maint.
4
3
1
1
Constr.
2
Ethos
2
Counter
Social neg.
15
6
Disc.
9
Health
4
2
6
4
1
2
2
2
18
1
3
2
1
1
1
1
2
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
4
3
3
1
2
1
1
2
1
1
2
1
1
1
4
1
2
1
2
2
1
7
27
1
24
10
10
12
27
16
11
Total
33
13
3
12
2
5
7
21
3
1
3
6
7
7
11
5
3
1
1
144
Table 4: Frequency of theme by landscape location.
82
Figure 40: Site plan showing relationship of themes with the landscape.
83
Conclusions
This chapter has outlined the results of the survey, historical photograph and
mission diary analysis. The survey explored the topographic and spatial
dimensions of the site which served to make some features more prominent than
others and split the compound into different spheres of functionality and identity.
The historical photograph analysis resulted in additional information about the
size, style, construction and materiality of the contemporaneous built landscape as
well as the vegetation, topography and inter-visibility of the natural landscape.
Phenomenological interpretations of this information will be explored in Chapter
5.
The mission diary analysis shows two very different perspectives of Mission life
from both missionary’s view. Using the mission diary records to draw out
Indigenous experience has also revealed that a few people figured prominently in
Mission activities and events, such as David, Monty and Albert, and of these
frequently recorded people, none were female. As men, and male activities and
places, are much more historically visible, it follows that discussion of Indigenous
experience explored in this thesis is male biased. As such, these same men show
the strongest correlations to places and themes. The relationship between people
and theme is governed by relationships with missionaries as often themes and
activities that should correlate do not, such as counter-ethos activity and
discipline. Moreover, key people involved in disciplinary matters, like David, were
rewarded with recreational activities. However, the relationship between place
and theme is much more representative of common Mission experiences, such as
the role of the church and Indigenous camps as centres of social negotiation and
discipline. What these factors mean for Indigenous experiences of Weipa will be
explored in the following chapter.
84
David
David’s hand curled around the handle of a brush as he painted the Church i.
It ached from use. It was mid morning and not too hot yet, the thick walls
kept out the aridity of the dry seasonii. He stood on a pew in the cool interior
of the Church next to one of the tall windows on the east-facing wall. Even
standing on a chair, he still could not reach the roof, and the window next to
him was the entire length of his body iii. He looked out the window and saw
the complex of fences forming the stockyards iv . He touched the glass in the
window, which obscured his view and somehow distorted the picture v. It
was warmer than the Church walls. He heard Andrew and Phillip behind
him, painting the opposite wallvi. They were talking. Their speech and
shifting footing, and the rasp of the brush against the wall, echoed around
the Church and off the cement flooring. He could not hear outside noises, the
walls were too thickvii.
85
Chapter Five
Discussion
This chapter provides a discussion of the analysis presented in Chapter 4 with a
view to expand upon the key elements of the data in terms of the constructed
landscape of Weipa Mission. From this, a discussion of the experiential landscape
will be drawn out and reconstructed phenomenologically using the records of
Mission inhabitants in the diaries to explore the interplay between that which is
constructed and experienced.
A Constructed Landscape
Built Features
The separate spheres of functionality and identity observed from the survey
results directly reflect Moravian missionary ideology and, in turn, directed how the
Mission inhabitants navigated the landscape. As touched upon in Chapter 1,
Moravians ordered their frontier settlements in a unique style as dictated by the
‘choir system’, which underpinned all social, economic, religious and educational
facets of Moravian life. Their distinctive ideology of separation and categorisation
was made tangible in the landscapes they created.
The size and construction of each structure reveals much about the ideological role
they played in the Mission landscape. The parallel lines of ironstone, found
adjacent to the driveway gates into the Mission, acted as a pathway to direct foot
traffic through the appropriate channels into the compound, with the mission
house and church looking the picture of Victorian order. The mission house and
church dominated the site, sitting on either side of the driveway into the northwest
side of the Mission compound. They were the first buildings that were seen upon
entering the Mission and their size, in comparison to all other buildings, would
have commanded attention. A foundation must be structurally sound to support a
building, and in this way, the church had to be the image of stability and strength
to anchor the missionary ideological framework in the landscape. So too was the
86
mission house very large and solidly constructed to reflect its permanence,
durability and authority. That the mission house is almost six times larger than the
dormitory, and housed only the four missionaries, compared to the numerous
dormitory girls, reveals it was also intended to reinforce a social hierarchy within
the Mission. Other buildings were smaller and constructed to serve their function
rather than fulfil any symbolic purpose.
The positioning of these buildings and other structures uncovers the underlying
Moravian ideology embedded in the landscape. There were separate living and
working areas for different groups within the community, such as married couples,
single men, single women and children. The northeast of the compound contained
the workshops and yards which allowed the Mission to survive in such an isolated
location and with little to no funding from government bodies and Church
administrators. As Moravians divided labour along the gender categories of the
choir system, which also governed production and distribution of goods, this area
was the domain of men as reflected by the tasks carried out here. The domestic,
female-oriented central and southeast zones of the Mission comprised the mission
house, girls dormitory, storehouse and a series of small domestic structures. The
church would have been a dominant feature in the horizon overlooking these
industrial and domestic zones of the Mission, reflecting Moravian ideology, which
saw all work as a form of devotion to God.
The northern, western and southern fence-lines surrounding the Mission served to
separate the compound from the bush and control access to the Mission,
channelling passage in and out through the gateway in the western fence. The
height of the fence posts and railings, would have obscured the outside world to
the Mission compound inhabitants but not those living at the hamlet or village.
Evidence to suggest that there was an eastern boundary was not identified, except
that provided by the creek, and it appears the Indigenous inhabitants took
advantage of this area to set up their camps on the Mission’s periphery, away from
missionary surveillance and control. The remnants of the two intersecting fences
in the centre of the compound served to separate the northwest end of the
compound from the rest of the Mission and direct all traffic up the hill in direct
view of the church. The corridor the fence created through the centre of the site
87
effectively separated the domestic areas from the working areas, thereby also
separating the different choir groups.
The pathway located along the southern fence-line, which led from the village into
the compound, opened directly onto the southwest side of the mission house and
was the first feature encountered upon entrance. Its close position to the
dormitory would have sent a strong message to the Indigenous villagers as to who
was in charge of the upbringing of their children. The separation of children and
adults in the compound is reflected by the distant positioning of their respective
buildings. Children were kept away from their parents in dormitories under
missionary supervision. Paton (1911:31) described the girls’ and boys’ dormitories
being positioned to the rear of the mission house, but close at hand, which implies
a high level of surveillance and control. Parents and adults were relegated to the
village outside the compound limits, or in the married couple hamlet down the
drive. This is quintessentially Moravian as familial loyalties were seen to
undermine Church objectives and so were deconstructed.
Artefact Scatters
Scatter location and composition confirms the function of surrounding structures
and the division of labour and sexual segregation at the Mission. Scatters within
the northeast quadrant of the compound support the inferences made of the
industrial activities undertaken here. These scatters were composed of various
construction materials and metallic fragments used in maintenance, agricultural
and construction activities. Diary analysis reveals that these were tasks carried out
by men and acts as another form of evidence supporting the division of Mission
space due to gender segregation prescribed by the choir system. This is also the
case for scatters in the southeast quadrant, which reflect the domestic nature of
this area, comprising different types of glass and ceramic fragments. The presence
of iron tanking, which appear to enclose the scatters, suggest that iron tanks were
used as refuse bins for the domestic structures.
It is interesting to note that the assemblages of marine shell, particularly Anadara
granosa, which are found over the site, may also reflect a pattern of traditional
88
Indigenous gendered labour division across the landscape. The collection and
processing of marine shellfish is often thought of as women’s work (Meehan 1982)
and low-density scatters of A. granosa and Polymesoda coaxan, among other
materials, were located predominantly in the domestic zone, with a particular
emphasis on communal activity and refuse areas, suggesting the shell is
contemporaneous to the Mission. The presence of shell not only indicates femaleoriented places within the Mission, but also acts as a marker of female movement
on and off-compound to collect the shellfish. The only pure shell scatter located
within the compound was identified immediately next to a lime-kiln structure,
which strongly suggests these shells were not used as a food source but rather in
the manufacture of materials, such as concrete for grave markers, used around the
compound. Further analysis of the composition of these scatters might reveal
more.
Additionally, the high number of harmonica pieces found, both isolated and part of
larger scatters, suggest that aural experiences of the Mission were vibrant and
dynamic. The mission diaries repeatedly record weekly brass band practices and
the occurrence of corroborees at the Indigenous camps during which music and
singing would have featured. Moreover, photos show the bell on the mission house
veranda used to call people to church every Sunday while Paton recounts how this
was heard throughout the landscape (see Appendix 5). The auditory qualities of
the Mission are important as Lydon noted:
the missionaries’ Western visual regime overlooked or denied disjunctions
with the Aboriginal residents profoundly different cultural orientation, in
which vision was subordinated to aurality.... allowing for the persistence of
tradition, and the evasion of control in the pursuit of Aboriginal objectives.
(Lydon 2009:15)
It appears that the pervasiveness of sound to travel across the landscape served
Moravian aims of monitoring interactions throughout the Mission and regimenting
worship, such as use of the bell. However, it may have furthered the development
of ‘oppositional domain’ or traditional cultural continuity by facilitating aural
communication for the Mission’s Indigenous inhabitants.
89
Topography
The natural topography of the area was also exploited to serve missionary
ideology. The church and mission house were both placed at the highest point in
the landscape, facilitating extensive surveillance capabilities and ensuring their
visibility across the landscape at all times. This forced Mission inhabitants to walk
up-hill to these buildings from the hamlet, village, camps and stockyards, in an
echo of their moral ascension from the ‘degradation’ of their traditional life, as well
as the hard work and discipline demanded of them in their new place within a
western social order. When used in conjunction with building positioning, the site
topography proved useful in directing people while reinforcing Moravian ideology.
The central location of the mission house, positioned slightly off-centre to the
southwest, meant that it could always be seen by, and see out over, the rest of the
Mission, especially the village. It acted as the sentinel of the church, as to approach
the church from all areas on the Mission meant passing the mission house.
Apart from reinforcing Moravian ideology through visual means, the topography
also played an important role in auditory perception at the Mission. Brown
recounts Christmas eve in 1917 when the brass band played at the church and was
heard across the landscape, even as far as the hamlet. The topography aided the
travelling of sound from the centre of the compound to the outlying features, and
vice versa. As the historical photograph analysis results have shown, much of the
landscape was open with few natural impediments to sound travel. It may have
been that while the topography functioned to serve Moravian ideology on a visual
level, it may also have achieved this on an aural level. Alternatively, that audibility
at the Mission transcended constructed visual and physical boundaries may have
assisted in the successful navigation of the Mission landscape by its Indigenous
inhabitants.
90
People, Themes and the Experiential Landscape
It is clear that three differing levels of experience function in the Mission
landscape: a broad scale ideological experience of place which intended to further
missionary aims, a social experience of place specific to Weipa Mission as the
setting of the nine thematic categories, and a small scale, phenomenological
experience of the individual. For the former two, experience would have been
somewhat common for all at the Mission; however, the latter would have been
highly individual and deeply personal. Phenomenology is well equipped to
highlight these personal experiences and how the ideological and social landscape
impacted sensory experiences of these places. What has been discussed previously,
in terms of the role certain areas played in the ideological functioning of the
Mission, as well as the natural and constructed elements of the landscape used to
enhance this, contribute to how the landscape was experienced by the Indigenous
inhabitants of the Mission.
Relationship between people and social themes
We can also discuss the general experience of the Mission for particular people.
For example, all records concerning Monty regard construction activity at the
hamlet, and issues of ethos and social negotiation. We can infer that Monty figured
prominently in the goings on of the Mission. He was not only an important member
of the work parties that kept Weipa functioning, but may have also been influential
due to his accommodation of missionary aims, thereby having a significant voice in
the discussion of social matters. Diary entries concerning Willie, Sam and Phillip
show a similar trend, where hard physical work brought influence. Monty also had
a relatively autonomous experience of the Mission during this period as he was left
to work independently at the hamlet, beyond missionary surveillance.
Alternatively, Alondeon had a very different experience. He was frequently
involved in Mission maintenance; however, the diaries show a strong association
with counter-ethos activity and discipline. That being said, Alondeon also has a
missionary ethos entry which could signify that his Mission experience fluctuated
91
between the positive and negative, perhaps indicating an internal war between
accommodation and resistance of Mission values. Records regarding Daniel are
more difficult to read. His entries are spread across six of nine themes, with strong
associations with construction and agriculture, which, is oddly not correlated with
social influence, even though the diaries suggest otherwise. The diaries also mark a
strong relationship with counter-ethos behaviour with no discipline in
consequence. The diaries imply that Brown and Daniel’s relationship oscillated
between one of trust and confrontation. In an argument over Brown’s treatment of
his wife Ruth, Brown commented “Daniel is inclined to over-estimate his position
as headman, needs setting in his proper place occasionally” (Brown 15/03/1912).
Like Daniel, Brown trusted and relied heavily upon David and Albert who acted as
missionary assistants. Both David and Albert are clearly connected with
construction, maintenance and agriculture at the Mission; however, they have little
voice in social negotiations. Peculiarly, David also shows an association with
discipline; yet they are the only two males connected with recreational activity,
signifying that both men experienced a trusted, privileged position on the Mission.
Relationship between social themes and the landscape
At Weipa Mission, it appears that the missionaries’ religious fervour permeated all
aspects of the relations of its inhabitants, as not only education and labour, but also
politics and social negotiation, were centred on the church. Diaries indicate that an
overwhelming majority of community political and social issues were negotiated at
the church, while this occurred somewhat less so at the mission house and at the
Indigenous camps on the periphery. The maps indicating female and male
frequencies at these locations in Chapter 4 indicate that men had a stronger voice
in both Mission and traditional negotiations. The church was also a place of
discipline, as approximately 56% of disciplinary matters occurred here, suggesting
that the church was vital to the missionaries’ imposition of their western, Christian
values upon the Indigenous people. However, the diaries indicate that the church
was also the location where Indigenous people requested interviews with the
missionaries to talk over issues concerning their own, non-Mission social relations,
such as marriage negotiations and the operation of their traditional justice system.
92
In this way, some Indigenous Mission inhabitants exploited the missionaries’
power by gaining their backing in traditional matters down at the camp. This
suggests that the Mission’s Indigenous inhabitants understood the church’s social
significance as a place of discussion and discipline, and exploited the power it held
for their own gain. It is interesting to note that this alternative use of the church
undermined missionary aims while perpetuating Indigenous tradition at the heart
of the Mission.
Similarly, the mission house was also a significant place of social negotiation
without having the negative connotation of punishment as did the church. It was
also the key place of nursing and health. The mission diaries recount four instances
where health was the main theme in relation to the mission house, amongst
countless others which intimated as much. Here, only people with severe illnesses
were brought for nursing, yet it seems that admittance into the house was allowed
for a few less ill inhabitants who were more accommodating of missionary values.
Both Maudie and Annie George were admitted and died soon after, whereas David
and Albert, both missionary assistants, were accommodated after David fell from a
tree and Albert nursed him.
The Indigenous camps along the creeks and river neatly echoed the role of the
church and mission house. They too were a centre for the negotiation of traditional
social matters such as marriage and justice, and to a minor extent, a place of
discipline and punishment according to traditional law. That the camps still
functioned in this manner almost two decades after the establishment of the
Mission suggests a strong continuity of traditional Indigenous culture.
Interestingly, counter-ethos activity occurs in numerous areas across the
landscape, and is not confined to the Indigenous camps. It is remarkable to note
that two entries, the highest recorded for the counter-ethos theme, occur in the
girls’ dormitory, under the nose of the mission house. Other private places readily
accessible to the Indigenous inhabitants were the workshops and cookhouse and it
is here that counter-ethos activity is dominant. It is obvious that Indigenous people
perceived the dormitory and workshops as places of less missionary intrusion
within a landscape of scrutiny, facilitating a degree of autonomy and, possibly,
resistance. Away from missionary surveillance, York Downs Station and the old
93
landing on the river also became areas of counter-ethos.
Aural experiences of the Mission would have been dynamic, with historical and
archaeological evidence both suggesting that sound and music, and especially
instrument type, reflected the ideology and identity of the people and place where
it was played. It also indirectly reflected the public or private nature of the
location. The harmonica is a solo instrument which was found at the workshops, a
centre of privacy and counter-ethos activity at the Mission, which may be seen to
mirror individualism and a disengagement with Moravian identity categories.
Moreover, brass instruments are only played at the church and in a band, while the
mission house bell tolled every Sunday as a very public, constant reminder of
Moravian religious ethos and community unity. Native drums were played in the
hamlet while corroborees took place at the Indigenous camps which suggests that
these locations were removed from the ideological strictures governing music on
the compound and were centres of autonomy and cultural expression across the
landscape.
Conclusions
This chapter has explored the relation between built features and Moravian
ideology through which a landscape of segregation and categorisation was
constructed. This was achieved effectively through the size, construction,
positioning and use of topography for the Mission’s buildings which reflected their
role and importance in furthering missionary objectives. The Moravians’ sexual
segregationist agenda was echoed by the presence of shellfish in domestic areas of
the Mission, which indicates a pattern of traditional Indigenous gender division.
Moreover, the topography allowed the missionaries to see, and be seen, while
aiding the movement of sound which may have facilitated both missionary and
Indigenous objectives. Sound and music also functioned by classifying public and
private places, at times corresponding with Moravian group identity or
individualism.
The exploration of the interaction of people, themes and landscape revealed that
94
different levels of experience were at work at the Mission: large-scale, common
experiences and a small-scale, individualistic experience. The discussion showed
that although the church was the hub of social negotiation and missionary values,
it was also used by Indigenous people as a means of negotiating traditional issues
and allowed Indigenous cultural continuity within the Mission landscape. It also
revealed that the dominance of certain themes in particular places across the
Mission help to identify public and private spaces. The following chapter
synthesises these outcomes, drawing out certain key themes, assesses the use of
phenomenology in historical archaeological contexts and points to future research
directions that have been highlighted through this study.
95
Reverend E. Brown
During the past fortnight the Bandsmen have been practising most
assiduously most evenings. Amongst themselves the [sic] planned to
usher in the great day, & sure enough they did so with a vengeance.
Evidently mistaking moonlight for daylight they assembled in the
church soon after 1. a.m. & aroused the whole community. Then the
boys in their dormitory & the girls in theirs started singing Xmas
hymns. People in the Hamlet started beating native drums, & so we
had a lively time of it for awhile. (Brown 24/12/1915)
96
Chapter Six
Conclusion
In conjunction with the archaeological field survey, an analysis of the mission
diaries and historical photographs of the Weipa Mission have allowed us to
understand the physical and conceptual nature of the Mission contact landscape. It
has also allowed us to understand embodied human experience of the post-contact
world and the negotiations of power in this context. This study aimed to
understand how the Mission was spatially arranged and navigated, how the
landscape reflected Moravian ideology, and how these physical and conceptual
elements were experienced by the Mission inhabitants. In exploring these
relationships, the potential of phenomenology in historical archaeological contexts
is evaluated. These objectives are addressed in this chapter and future research
directions are discussed in light of the conclusions drawn.
Addressing the Research Aims
The first and second research questions were to understand the spatial
arrangement of the Mission, to identify structures and features of the landscape
which directed its inhabitants to navigate it in a predetermined manner, and how
this reflected Moravian ideology. Exploitation of natural topography and the
construction of built features were used to both control and faciliate visuality from
the mission house and church. Moreover, a landscape of segregation and
categorisation, hinged upon the division of labour and gender categories
prescribed by the choir system, was observed at Weipa Mission while the
separation of the village and hamlet from the Mission compound reflected the
Moravian ideal of a deconstructed family unit.
This spatial organisation based upon Moravian principles was also identified by
Lydon (2009) at Ebenezer Mission. Archaeological evidence showed that, while the
church was located at the highest point within the landscape, it was the mission
house which was the “symbolic and functional heart of the settlement” (Lydon
2009:13). The Moravians also exploited the natural topography at Ebenezer as a
mechanism of visual control over the rest of the Mission’s inhabitants (Lydon
97
2009:13). Ebenezer’s spatial arrangement appears to align itself with that of the
Weipa Mission; however, while the Weipa mission house plays a key role in
surveillance over the village and domestic areas of the compound, it is the church
which is the ideological and functional core.
However, the role these places played in the ideological construction of the
landscape by no means limited their social use or the creation and negotiation of
post-contact identities and relationships. Interestingly, in some instances, social
use of the church undermined missionary aims while perpetuating Indigenous
cultural tradition, mirrored by the continued management of traditional practices
in the camps.
The third research question called for an analysis of the experiences of Mission
inhabitants as revealed through survey, mission diaries and historical
photographs. While Chapter 4 demonstrated the different experiences and views
of each missionary, Indigenous experience had to be reconstructed using
phenomenology to explore the sensory qualities of the ideologically constructed
landscape. An analysis of common experiences of place from the mission diaries
have shown that the social and ideological function of Mission places, as well as the
relationships the inhabitants had with the missionaries, governed experience of
the landscape to a fair extent. However, a small scale, individualistic experience
was also evident at Weipa Mission.
So, can phenomenology bring us to an understanding of past human experience of
the Mission and does it hold potential for use in other historical contexts? Chapter
2 discussed the contribution of various theoretical frameworks ranging from
domination and resistance models, such as the panopticon and total institution, to
studies of engagement and innovation, such as agency, accommodation and
acculturation. While elements of these paradigms are supported by archaeological
and historical evidence at Weipa Mission, especially the panopticon, total
institution and agency theories, it is clear that they alone cannot encapsulate the
scope of relations occurring in these contexts. By focusing on the body within the
landscape, we are able to appraise relations in a new light.
98
The use of phenomenology herein has allowed us to overcome the dominance of
visuality, which models like the panopticon highlight, while also seeing beyond
material culture exchange and adaptation, which is often the focus of these
exchanges in acculturation, accommodation and agency models. Phenomenology
underscores the continuity of the landscape demonstrating that, although a
constructed landscape may be unfamiliar, landscape elements persist and will
contribute to experiences of place. Moreover, as seen at Weipa, landscape aural
qualities
transcend
constructed
visual
boundaries
and,
without
a
phenomenological approach, this information would be more difficult to access
and limit how we view contact relations. Perhaps more importantly,
phenomenology is able to root people and their experiences in the landscape when
oral histories and other records of Indigenous experience do not exist.
The use of phenomenology, in conjunction with archaeological and historical data,
has demonstrated that all these individual and common experiences combine to
reveal a rich, inclusive and nuanced understanding of experience at the Weipa
Mission. Through phenomenological reconstruction of the contemporaneous built
and natural environment, we see that the ideological and social role of places
within this constructed landscape influenced how these places were sensuously
experienced. Using historical sources has contributed more to an exploration of
Indigenous contact experiences than could have been achieved with purely
archaeological data, overcoming many of the operational issues facing
phenomenology’s application to archaeological projects. These sources are not
available in prehistoric archaeological settings and this study has demonstrated
how productive phenomenology can prove in historical archaeology.
Future Directions
During the course of completing this thesis, many interesting facets of alternative
investigation arose which could contribute to both our understanding of contact
relations and landscapes, and the use of phenomenology in historical settings. In
particular, an analysis of Moravian female gendered spaces and the possibilities
presented to historical phenomenological investigations in light of oral history
99
testimony would prove valuable future research avenues.
From an analysis of the mission dairies, and a review of the literature concerning
traditional Moravian ideology, it is clear that an important future line of inquiry is
to recognise and identify evidence of possible traditional gendered spaces, marked
by the presence of shellfish remains, and information regarding female Mission
experiences. This would require full recording of the artefact scatters across the
Mission landscape and an analysis of female missionary diaries. Female Indigenous
and missionary experience of Weipa Mission was both vastly different and greatly
underrepresented in this study. This is due, in part, to the use of male missionary
diaries as the basis of recreating past Indigenous experience, where Moravian
ideology dictates that men dealt solely with other men and the issues arising in the
male domain. Although there are no mission diaries written by Mrs Hall and Mrs
Brown, other female mission diaries do exist. Mrs Matilda Ward, widow of J. G.
Ward and founder of Mapoon Mission, kept diaries from 1895-1897 and 19061915 of her experiences there, now held in the BOEMAR collection of the Mitchell
Library in Sydney. This material would serve as a valuable comparative source
from which to ascertain female mission experiences.
Currently, there exists no oral testimony from which to base phenomenological
understandings of the Weipa Mission landscape. Anthropologist Darlene
McNaughton has been collecting oral histories, and despite the lack of
contemporary oral histories, later people may have heard stories of Mission time
events or experiences. The possibilities for the use of phenomenology in historical
archaeological contexts could prove profound if this source of information was
accessible for contact sites and any historical archaeological study using
phenomenology would benefit from the inclusion of these materials. It would
counter biases and prejudices inherent to mission diaries and other historical
documents written by European colonists and supplement the data from which to
recreate past Indigenous experience. In this vein, it would also prove beneficial to
identify and record the number and spatial arrangement of Indigenous settlements
occurring at the Mission’s boundary to gain a better understanding of the function
of these sites within a wider Mission landscape.
100
Conclusions
This thesis has proven that phenomenology can yield novel insights regarding past
human experience by transcending the boundaries that form when we
conceptualise contact through traditional theoretical frameworks, such as those of
the domination and resistance model. By highlighting individual sensuous
experience, we have seen that experience was, at the same time, common yet
profoundly individual, and have explored how equally engaged both the
missionaries and the Indigenous people were with each other and the landscape.
As we have seen, Indigenous experiences and relations at Weipa Mission were
active and dynamic and suggest that what we see at Weipa is, rather, an
archaeology of engagement, not contact. Moreover, the insights of experience
afforded to us when phenomenology and historical documents are combined
demonstrate how profitable this technique is to historical archaeological
endeavours and encourages further application to the historical archaeological
record.
Finally, using phenomenology to explore the scope of past Indigenous experiences
of these post-contact engagements and landscapes has forced us to consider how
much both parties have in common. At a human level, all people mediate the world
through the senses. If not only for providing new eyes to and age-old issue,
phenomenology is valuable in that it also compels us to consider our own
experiences of the post-contact world we live in and to evaluate how we engage
with each other today.
101
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Appendices
Appendix 1: Map of Weipa Mission and surrounds.
110
Appendix 2: Generic point data recording proforma.
111
Appendix 3: Polygon/Linear data recording proforma.
112
Appendix 4: FCODE descriptions.
Code
FENCE
GRAVE
MISCSCAT
MOUND
BUILTFEAT
STONELINE
MISC
QUARRY
SHSCAT
POST
SART
WELL
MISCMETAL
TREE
MPOST
FALLPOST
OTHPOST
BEAM
DEPRESSION
FENCEPOST
TRACK
Definition
Any type of fence (extant or inferred)
Clearly defined grave
Miscellaneous scatter of material (e.g. glass, brick, stone)
Any distinct anthropogenic mound
Built features, including both standing structures or the remains of
structures (including foundations)
Linear stone features
Miscellaneous feature (temp category only)
Any activity area associated with quarrying (not necessarily for stone
artefacts).
Shell scatter (any shell, marine or freshwater)
- Temp category - recoded to other post categories.
Stone Artefact
Well, formal or informal
Miscellaneous metal object.
Historic tree, non local origin.
Manse post - likely associated with manse.
Fallen post - to indicate a post not standing.
Other post - use unknown.
Beam on built structure.
Pit, hole or other such depression
Any post primarily used as a fence post.
Historic or contemporary track
113
Appendix 5: Excerpts of Glimpses of Mapoon (Paton 1911).
Reverend Paton, who toured the Presbyterian missions of Mapoon, Weipa and
Aurukun in 1910, recorded his experiences in his published book, Glimpses of
Mapoon (1911). Unwittingly, Paton provides us with a phenomenological account
of his primary perceptions when arriving at Weipa aboard the “J.G. Ward”. He
described his experience of the Mission as he moved through the site, and
accordingly, has much to reveal about how a contemporary of the Mission
sensuously encountered the landscape. This invaluable account of Paton entering
the Mission is vivid and highly descriptive:
From the landing we had three-quarters of a mile walk through the bush. The long
green grass, brightened here and there by brilliant flowers, looked cool and
refreshing. Presently we saw the iron roof of what we afterwards found to be the
single men’s house, a neat substantial building. Then to the right, we saw a long
row of bark cottages, while in front of us were the tall mango and other trees that
sheltered the mission station. Daniel was our guide, and he led us round the front
of the garden, past the Church, and up to the side entrance of the Mission
Compound. (Paton 1911:31)
Paton went on to describe the mission house stating that it was a tall raised house
comprising of four rooms with the back veranda being enclosed to form a dining
room. He also recounted the positioning of other buildings in relation to the
mission house, noting that the girls’ and boys’ dormitories were immediately
behind the House and that the other outbuildings were clustered around for
convenience (Paton 1911:31). He observed that the church was long and
constructed of mud and lime, while down the slope, to the back of the Mission, was
the farm. Here, the men on the Mission cultivated maize, hemp, bananas, rubber,
cocoanuts and sweet potatoes (Paton 1911:31).
Of the Mission’s inhabitants, Paton was surprised to find so many “pure aborigines,
and some of them fresh from the bush” (Paton 1911:35). He gave a description of
their physical appearance and impish personalities:
Many of them had really attractive faces, and each face had an individuality
all it’s own… little Bettie, who sits looking up with such solemn eyes as if
butter would not melt in her mouth, while all the time she is just bubbling
114
over with mischief. [The] bigger and more awkward [boys]… Whongai and
Goodman…are the waybacks, or bushies, of the school, staying long enough
to learn a little, and then disappearing into the bush till they have forgotten
practically everything they have learned. (Paton 1911:35-39)
Paton’s account is significant in that it answers the research questions by
providing us with a firsthand account of how one, not familiar with the Mission,
was directed to use and experience the landscape. Paton would have entered
through the intended manner, directed by the structures of the landscape which
aimed to evoke particular perceptions of the Mission.
115
Appendix 6: Database of diary entries recording Indigenous experiences at Weipa Mission.
Diaries Character List
Name
Date
Diary
Event
Location
Theme
Chip Chip
17 Jan 1912
22 May 1912
B
B
Joking in Yard
Visited by sweetheart Jack
Yard
Mission house
Rec
Social neg
Jack
13 Jan 1910
9 Jan 1911
22 May 1912
H
H
B
Ploughing
Overthrowing trees
Courting visit with Chip-Chip
Gardens
Gardens
Mission house
Agric
Agric
Social neg
Peter
22 Nov 1909
14 Mar 1910
18 Jan 1912
H
H
B
Church
Paddock
Church
Social neg
Counter
Social neg
10 Nov 1915
29 Jan 1916
B
B
Married Marybell
Confessed to killing cows from Paddock
Made advances to Whangai’s wife, discussed in
Church
Reported that Daisy cow was bogged in lagoon
Had garden inspected
Watercourses
Hamlet
Agric
Ethos
Whangi
15 Mar 1910
18 Jan 1912
H
B
Confessed to killing cow
Consulted on trouble with wife
Church
Church
Discipline
Social neg
Jimmy
7 Apr 1910
2 Sep 1916
H
B
Finally caught and jailed
Exploring new cultivation areas and insp. bêche
camp
Jail
Bêche camp
Discipline
Agric
Monty
12 Dec 1911
B
Refuses to have Towottock
Church
Social neg
116
14 Feb 1912
19 Feb 1912
17 Apr 1912
10 May 1912
10 Jun 1912
29 Jun 1912
14 Nov 1915
25 Jan 1916
29 Jan 1916
B
B
B
B
B
B
B
B
B
Planning new house
Putting in posts, splitting them for house
Still working on house
Reprimanded for spearing
Married
Received tomatoes from Brown
Reported Daisy bogged at same lagoon again
En route to Hey River on whaleboat
Had garden inspected
Hamlet
Hamlet
Hamlet
Church
Church
Garden
Watercourses
Watercourses
Hamlet
Construct
Construct
Construct
Discipline
Social neg
Ethos
Agric
Maint
Ethos
Annie
7 Jan 1912
10 Jun 1912
B
B
Helped Thekla in school
Married
School
Church
Ethos
Social neg
Bosun
7 Mar 1917
B
Ploughing
Gardens
Agric
Betty
22 Feb 1917
B
Found smoking prohibited tobacco
Dormitory
Counter
Willie
14 Nov 1910
21 Feb 1912
22 May 1912
31 Aug 1912
25 Jan 1916
29 Jan 1916
H
B
B
B
B
B
Ploughing
Cultivating
Visiting sweetheart
Returned from Bêche camp to report George
On whaleboat up Hey River for sandalwood
Favourable inspection of garden
Gardens
Gardens
Mission house
Bêche camp
Watercourses
Hamlet
Agric
Agric
Social neg
Social neg
Maint
Ethos
Brodie
21 Feb 1912
28 Sep 1916
B
B
Cultivating
Painting Mission house sitting room with Willie
Garden
Mission house
Agric
Maint
Allonddeon
(Alondeon)
29 Oct 1909
22 Nov 1909
H
H
Let calves out of Yard for spite
Judged in court case for killing cows
Yard
Church
Counter
Discipline
117
15 Mar 1910
1 Mar 1912
20 Mar 1912
17 Apr 1912
13 Dec 1916
28 Dec 1916
H
B
B
B
B
B
Killed another cow, reprimanded
Milking cows
Assisting to teach
Working on own house
Went to York Downs without permission
Working at York Downs again (with permission)
Church
Workshop cluster
School
Hamlet
York Downs
York Downs
Discipline
Agric
Ethos
Maint
Counter
Maint
Winnie
26 Mar 1917
B
Sick with sore back, brought in from bush
Workshop cluster
Health
Alice
25 Dec 1916
B
Distributed dresses to people for Christmas
Church
Recreation
Mary
12 Mar 1912
24 Feb 1917
B
B
Locked in Daniel’s house for running away
Wedding
Hamlet
Mission house
Discipline
Social neg
Warwick
31 Jul 1915
B
Too old for dorm, moving in to kitchen temporarily
Assistants house
Ethos
Bellevue
24 Feb 1917
B
Forced to choose a husband
Mission house
Social neg
Bertie
16 Feb 1916
B
Went in search of lost mailman
York Downs
Maint
Harry Ballarat
24 Aug 1916
B
Working at York Downs
York Downs
Maint
Minnie
25 Mar 1917
B
Sick with abscess on jaw from Ballarat beatings
Workshop cluster
Health
Phillip
30 Nov 1909
14 Mar 1910
3 Jun 1910
1 Apr 1912
9 May 1915
H
H
H
B
B
Working on new fence
Looking for loose cows
Married Nellie
Clearing paint from passage walls
Attended son’s funeral
Gardens
Paddocks
Church
Mission house
Burial ground
Maint
Maint
Social neg
Maint
Health
118
2 May 1916
5 May 1916
B
B
Painting interior of Church
Painting Church
Church
Church
Maint
Maint
Maudie
7 Jun 1915
B
Died after 6 weeks of illness
Mission house
Health
Jessica
12 Dec 1916
B
Stealing salt beef from cookhouse, punished
Workshop cluster
counter
Little George
12 Mar 1912
B
Speared in head over Mapoon saga
Camp
Social neg
George
2 Dec 1911
H
Rounding up cattle
Watercourses
Agric
Big George
20 Apr 1912
31 Aug 1912
B
B
Speared Sam
Killed wife Paingy
Camp
Bêche camp
Social neg
Social neg
Sam
22 Nov 1909
14 Nov 1910
19 Dec 1911
21 Dec 1911
20 Apr 1912
10 May 1912
27 Jun 1912
H
H
B
B
B
B
B
Married Quaingy
Ploughing
Asked permission for sister to leave husband
Lifting pole, dropped it and injured Brown
Speared by Big George in retaliation for brother
Speared by Monty, reprimanded in Church
Watering vegetables with Quaingy
Church
Gardens
Church
Yard
Camp
Church
Gardens
Social neg
Agric
Social neg
Maint
Social neg
Discipline
Agric
Ammanbunga
4 Feb 1912
6 Feb 1912
B
B
Came from landing with lots of “white fruit”
Came for medicine, on way to village fell and died
Old landing
Village
Health
Health
Victoria
25 Mar 1912
B
Stole cake of damper with Violet for Ruth
Dormitory
Counter
Daniel
13 Jan 1910
20 Mar 1911
H
H
Ploughing
Ploughing
Gardens
Gardens
Agric
Agric
119
19 Dec 1911
18 Jan 1912
19 Feb 1912
22 Jan 1916
29 Jan 1916
13 Dec 1916
31 Jan 1917
B
B
B
B
B
B
B
Used influence in sorting out marriage issue
Begun building his house, ¼ mile from Mission house
Putting up fence around Hamlet
Exchanged Mapoon mail half way at Louis’ outstation
Had garden inspected
To York Downs without permission
Suspected of stealing rope from launch in shed
Church
Hamlet
Hamlet
Outstation
Hamlet
York Downs
Workshop cluster
Social neg
Construct
Construct
Maint
Ethos
Counter
counter
Doitchin
19 Feb 1912
B
Putting up fence around Hamlet
Hamlet
Construct
Goodman
24 Sep 1917
B
Married Mary
Mission house
Social neg
Billy Maggie
19 Dec 1911
12 Mar 1912
B
B
Mapoon wants to marry him, asks Brown
Fight over Mapoon
Church
Camp
Social neg
Social neg
Billy
6/13 Feb
1916
B
Killed a bullock
Watercourses
Counter
Nellie
3 Jun 1910
3 Jun 1910
9 May 1915
H
H
B
Married to Philip
Wedding feast in Yard
Son dies (Edward)
Church
Yard
Village
Social neg
rec
Health
Voiceless
Charlie
30 Nov 1911
B
Reprimanded for not taking cows to other side of
creek
Paddocks
Discipline
Sugar
18 Jan 1917
B
Brought to Mission from Merluna, v. sick, put to bed
Store
Health
Bob
22 Nov 1916
B
Tracked down Lucy and Clara
Old landing
Ethos
120
6 Dec 1911
3 Jan 1912
24 Mar 1912
30 Mar 1912
26 Nov 1915
23 Dec 1915
B
B
B
B
B
B
11 May 1916
25 Dec 1916
5 Jan 1917
20 Feb 1917
20 Feb 1917
Clara
Lucy
David
Albert
Gardens
Gardens
Mission House
Paddocks
Workshop cluster
Gardens
Agric
Agric
Health
Maint
Maint
Agric
B
B
B
B
B
Cultivating
Planting pumpkin seeds
Nursed David
Riding round paddock fence
Overhauling coach
Mention for work at vege garden, carpentering &
milking
Fixing Church
Distributing gifts
Swimming
Shifted stand for tank under house
Repairs in girls’ dorm
Church
Assistants house
Watercourses
Mission house
Dormitory
Maint
Rec
Rec
Maint
Maint
22 Nov 1916
22 Nov 1916
B
B
Absconded
Absconded
Old Landing
Old Landing
Counter
Counter
21 Nov 1909
22 Nov 1909
3 Jan 1912
24 Mar 1912
21 Jan 1916
19 Feb 1916
5 May 1916
10 Jul 1916
13 Nov 1916
4 Dec 1916
8 Dec 1916
14 Dec 1916
25 Dec 1916
H
H
B
B
B
B
B
B
B
B
B
B
B
Chased and caught him, tied him to tree for stealing
Judged in court case
Planting pumpkin seeds
Fell from tree, put to bed for treatment
Remaking old dispensary into house
To Johnny Creek to make cattle fence
Painting Church
Accompanied Mr W. to old landing
To old landing with Brown for sandalwood
Harrowing in garden
Planted yams
Assisting in workshops for coach repairs
Distributing gifts
Yard
Church
Gardens
Mission house
Workshop cluster
Watercourses
Church
Old landing
Old landing
Gardens
Gardens
Workshop cluster
Assistants house
Discipline
Discipline
Agric
Health
Construct
Construct
Maint
Ethos
Agric
Agric
Agric
Maint
Rec
121
5 Jan 1917
12 Feb 1917
17 Feb 1917
19 Feb 1917
7 Mar 1917
B
B
B
B
B
Swimming
Fixing fence of paddock across creek
Planting pigeon peas and millet
Mustered horses
Ploughing
Watercourses
Watercourses
Gardens
Paddocks
Gardens
Rec
Maint
Agric
Agric
Agric
Mammus
15 Mar 1910
H
Killed some cows, reprimanded
Church
Discipline
Marybell
11 Nov 1909
22 Nov 1909
H
H
Shaved head for stealing, locked in store
Married Peter
Store
Church
Discipline
Social neg
Rosie
27 Dec 1910
H
Married Alf Gostelow
Church
Social neg
Quanigey
11 Nov 1909
H
Camp
Discipline
(Quanigy)
22 Nov 1909
H
Forced to sleep in camp with Charlie for running
away
Married to Sam
Church
Social neg
John
22 Sep 1909
15 Nov 1909
30 Nov 1909
H
H
H
Concreting vestry floor
Repairing fence
Fencing again
Church
Paddocks
Gardens
Construct
Maint
Maint
Devilgon
1 Dec 1909
H
Chased from white camp
Camp
Discipline
Laddie
22 Sep 1909
H
Concreting vestry floor
Church
Construct
Andrew
14 Nov 1911
H
In charge of boat “Likoura”
Old landing
Maint
Mamoos
21 Dec 1911
H
Yarding cows
Paddocks
Agric
122
Harry Brown
1 Dec 1909
H
Camped with women
Camp
Counter
Pilot
22 Nov 1909
14 Mar 1910
15 Mar 1910
H
H
H
Killed cows 2 weeks ago, trial
Working instead of Daniel
Church inquiry for killing a cow
Church
Watercourses
Church
Discipline
Agric
Discipline
Annie George
3 Jan 1917
B
Died from ‘earth eating’
Mission house
Health
123
Appendix 7: General topography of the Embley River region.
124
Appendix 8: Mission staff and periods of service at Weipa Mission. (from Wharton
2003)
Name
Rev. Edwin Brown (Moravian) and Mrs Thekla
Brown.
Edwin Brown and Thekla Brown (née Schick)
served as assistant missionaries at Mapoon from
April 1896 and were the founding missionaries
of Weipa.
Miss Laura Schick (teacher)
Mr Robert and Mrs Catherine Hall (assistant
missionaries)
Mr. R. Percival Hall and Mrs Lillian Constance
Hall
Mr. Robert B. Bousfield and Mrs Bousfield
Mr. Howard L. Dyer and Mrs L. May Dyer
Mr. Herbert Mayer and Mrs Florence Edith Mayer
(née Gage)
Mr. Howard L. Dyer and Mrs L. May Dyer
Mr Cecil James Miller and Mrs Hersey Miller
(assistant missionaries)
Miss E. Finger (teacher)
Miss Finger first served as teacher at Mapoon
from June 1921.
Mr. Herbert Mayer and Mrs Florence Edith Mayer
Mr. Charles Douglas Sydney
Mr. Harold Armstrong and Mrs Armstrong
Mr. Albert William Gage and Mrs Gertrude Annie
Gage (Florence Mayer’s parents)
Mr. William Miller and Mrs Miller
Rev. Samuel Eric McKay and Mrs Jeanie McKay
Date Appointed or
Commenced
Date Ended
Appointment
June 1898
June 1918
November 1899
July 1909
1907
September 1914
1918
April 1920
April 1920
November 1920
August 1921
November 1920
July 1921 (furlough)
December 1921
December 1921
October 1921
1932
c. January 1922
August 1922
1923
1942
c. December 1922
September 1922
December 1928
December 1928
July 1929
April 1930
June 1929
April 1930
March 1931
March 1931
May 1931
May 1931
October 1936
125
Appendix 9: Evidence for phenomenological reconstructions.
Nellie
3 Jun 1910 (Hall diary)
i
Positioning of the church and mission house was drawn from historical photos and the
archaeological site plan.
ii Climate reconstructed from date of entry and average ambient temperature provided by
Bureau of Meteorology.
iii Positioning and form of the mango trees, as well as the positioning
iv Experience of clothing is based on historical photographs of women’s clothing from Weipa
(see Figure 23).
v Brass band music and their practice routine drawn from mission diaries.
vi Topography, building positioning and construction based upon archaeological survey.
Marybell
11 Nov 1909 (Hall diary)
i
Events taken from those narrated in the mission diaries.
As above.
iii Construction of storehouse based upon historical photographs.
iv Climate reconstructed from date of entry and average ambient temperature provided by
Bureau of Meteorology.
v Positioning of window derived from historical photograph of Weipa (Figure 27)
vi Positioning of workshops and stockyards based upon archaeological survey showing spatial
relations.
vii Agricultural activity drawn from diary entry narrating such events earlier that day.
viii Construction of storehouse based upon historical photographs.
ii
Albert
26 Nov 1915 (Brown diary)
i
Events taken from mission diary records.
Climate reconstructed from date and activity recorded by the diary entry, and average
ambient temperature provided by Bureau of Meteorology.
iii Sounds of task extrapolated from activity recorded by mission diary.
iv Presence of harmonica based upon archaeological survey which identified harmonica reed
plate in the vicinity of the workshops.
v Construction of workshop based upon historical photographs (Figure 30).
vi Positioning of cowshed, stockyards and church based upon archaeological survey showing
spatial relations and historical photographs.
ii
126
Daniel
19 Feb 1912 (Brown diary)
Events taken from those narrated in the mission diaries.
Construction and positioning of huts, as well as surrounding vegetation, derived from
historical photographs of Weipa. Insect activity drawn from author’s own experience of the
hamlet area.
iii Climate reconstructed from date of entry and average ambient temperature provided by
Bureau of Meteorology. Perception of clothing is based on historical photographs of men’s
clothing (see Figure 23).
iv Absence of birds noted by author in the field.
v Presence of others and their activities at the hamlet taken from mission diaries
vi Positioning of village and compound based upon archaeological survey showing spatial
relations and historical photographs.
i
ii
David
5 May 1916 (Brown diary)
Maintenance activity derived from mission diaries.
Climate reconstructed from date of entry and average ambient temperature provided by
Bureau of Meteorology.
iii Size and proportion of the church based upon historical photographs of Weipa (Figure 23).
iv Location of stockyards drawn from archaeological survey.
v Presence of glass denoted by archaeological survey which located glass shards in a scatter
adjacent to the church.
vi Presence of others indicated by diary entry.
vii Acoustic quality of church extrapolated from construction materials present in historical
photographs and archaeological survey.
i
ii
127
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