Thursday, February 14, 2013

Sepia Saturday: Turtles on Galiwin'ku beach

In the olden days I was a teacher, and one of the schools I taught in was Shepherdson College at Galiwin'ku on Elcho Island in the Northern Territory, Australia. What a privilege. I was there for two years (1971-72), one of a small community of balandas (white people) in a community of yolngu (black people) living on the island just off the northern coast of Arnhem Land. Some of you may be familiar with the films Crocodile Dundee or Ten Canoes. They were filmed in the Arnhem Land as well.

The theme photo for Sepia Saturday this week includes a turtle, a soldier, a watch, a hat, a pipe. I've chosen the turtle.


The turtle is very important in the culture of many aboriginal peoples of Australia, and on Elcho Island even small children knew how to find turtle tracks in the sand to locate the eggs buried underneath and the hunters were very skilled at catching turtles for food (none of which was wasted).

The catch
Sand turtle
Turtle tracks
Baby turtle
OK, I've cheated a little. All of the above photos are from scanned colour slides. I've given them the sepia treatment with Picasa for the Sepia Saturday theme. Am I sacked from the group?

23 comments:

  1. Heavens no, you're not sacked. You're celebrated for an excellent post about turtles. You know Alan's not-a-rule rule: a picture plus story, doesn't have to be old. However, the sepia treatment does make the photo more artistic, in my humble opinion.

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  2. If you would have been sacked, who would have told me about a beach I never heard about before: Galiwin'ku beach. I'm sure you can tell me what Galiwin'ku means. I was also pleased to read that you have an Arnhem Land down there. One day I'll write a blog about all the Dutch names that still exist all over the world. You must have had a great time there!

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    1. The Dutch were the first Europeans to explore parts of the Australian coast - mainly because they were blown here accidentally on their way to Asia for the spice trade:) It's a very interesting history. (Tasmania is named after Abel Tasman for instance.) But we grew up being told that Captain Cook discovered Australia! He was a latecomer.

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  3. Only place I've ever seen turtles was Australia. Are they a protected species now or are they still hunted for food?

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    1. They're totally protected, as are most indigenous species of plants and animals here. But I think there are some exceptions made for Aboriginal groups who have always lived next to the sea. They are also very actively involved in conservation programs along the coast.

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  4. (AHHH.....But "The Sack "Must Be Sepia Coloured!!!!:))........Seriuosly, What A Great Set Of Photos! You Didnt Say...but ,these days, I guess both the indiginous Culture & the turtles themselves are in decline? Very sad if we were to lose the traces.....but it's good to see them preserved & shared here.Nice One Boobook!

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  5. Turtles and sand are ideal for sepia coloring.

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  6. Converting color pictures to sepia tones is perfectly acceptable, as are color (and colour too), but I think painting sepia photos to appear in color is strictly prohibited. Aunt Miriam added some fine print to the rule book that spells it out in detail.

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  7. Wonderful turtle photos! We have a very big and very old desert tortoise in our city zoo which I'm certain I photographed with the kids when they were young (the kids that is, not the tortoise). I searched in vain for that photo hoping to include it in my post. It would have been interesting to compare it with your Australian turtle.

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  8. Great photos to have and the story of your connection with the aboriginal children reminded me of a treasured book I own. It's called 'Piccaninny Walkabout' by Alex Poignant and is full of such photographs (though no turtles) of the aboriginals in Arnhem Land. It was sent to me more than 55 years ago by my great uncle who emigrated there as a young man.

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  9. I keep learning more about Australia from sepia blogs like this than I ever learned at school. Fascinating photos.

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  10. I saw a very interesting episode of "Africa" last week, narrated by David Attenborough, which showed baby turtles being born and digging themselves out of the sand in the Comoros Islands.

    Who says you can't use colourised sepia photos?

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    1. Yes, I saw that episode as well. It's amazing how the little turtles find their own way down to the water, because their parents are not around at all.

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  11. Wow! you had photos with turtles! What a great experience living and working up there must have been.

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  12. Sepia, for our purposes, means old and interesting. The photographs date back to the 1970s so they get a tick on the first point and they certainly get a great big tick for the second point. Consider yourself promoted to silver gelatin status.

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  13. Thank goodness :) I'm having so much fun in this group.

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  14. There is something unsubtle about turtle tracks in the sand, how could the Aborigine child fail to find the eggs if he was there before the tide? How will evolution handle this issue...if its given a chance?

    Nigel

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  15. I loved the sea turtles that are on the beaches in Hawaii.

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  16. So very interesting. I like the photo of the little girl with the baby turtle. She looks and holds it so gentle. I have just bought the book Maralinga, The Anangu Story, to read it together with my grand daughter just 10 now, to give her an insight what happened to the People for whom Maralinga is lost for ever.

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    1. I'll have to have a look at that book - we heard so much about it in the news when it was current.
      Thanks for visiting and commenting on my USA blog. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the National Parks in the west.

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  17. I hate the thought of turtles being eaten but I'm glad they're protected now. Come to think of it I hate the thought of any animals being eaten, too. Now what am I going to have for dinner???
    Very interesting post and wonderful photos.
    Barbara

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  18. I love the sea turtle pics. . . altered or not.

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  19. No, not yet...
    Photo editing is allowed!!!
    :D~
    While I cringe at the idea that turtles end up being food,
    I can understand it is part of their culture
    and I figure the size of their community was not big enough to actually threaten
    the survival of this species... I hope so, at least...
    :)~
    HUGZ

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I love to read your comments. Thankyou for your interest.

Lorraine