Collection Item

Map showing the distribution of the Aboriginal tribes of Australia 1940.

By Norman B. Tindale

In 1940, anthropologist Norman Tindale published his attempt at listing all Australian Aboriginal groups at the time of European settlement, based on his fieldwork and other sources. It was accompanied by this corresponding map which shows the diversity of Aboriginal language groups across Australia. It was among the first maps of the continent to suggest that Aboriginal language and nation groups are connected to specific places.

Tindale would continue his research, eventually expanding this map in 1974. While other maps showing Aboriginal language and nation groups have since been developed, Tindale’s work is regarded as having played a key role in helping to overturn the concept of Australia having been terra nullius (land belonging to no-one).

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Collection Item Type:
Cartographic material
Call Number:
M3 804eca/1788/1
Published date: