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Hermannsburg Potters
, 1999

by Greg Weight

gelatin silver photograph (sheet: 40.4 cm x 50.4 cm, image: 29.1 cm x 43.0 cm)

The settlement of Hermannsburg in the Northern Territory was founded in 1877 by Lutheran missionaries. Between 1894 and 1922, it was under the management of Pastor Carl Strehlow, who devoted himself to improving conditions on the mission. He became an authority on Aranda culture and with his son, Theodor, undertook a comprehensive recording of language and other practices. In addition to religious instruction, the mission fostered education and training, and under Strehlow’s successor, Friedrich Albrecht, the output of craftspeople at Hermannsburg began to be nurtured. Though perhaps best known for the style of watercolour painting developed in the 1930s by Albert Namatjira, since the 1970s the community has also been the site of a thriving pottery business, with Hermannsburg potters having created an equally distinctive tradition in ceramic art.

Depicted in this photograph are (left to right): Carol Panangka Rontji, Judith Pungarta Inkamala, Clara Ngalala Inkamala, Vera Mbitjana Williams, Irene Mbitjana Entata, Lindy Panangka Rontji, Rahel Kngwarria Ungwanaka and Esther Ngala Kennedy

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Gift of Patrick Corrigan AM 2004
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
Accession number: 2004.144