Large Aboriginal group posing in front of bark huts. Victoria, early 1860s.
Albumen print photograph, carte de visite format, 62 x 102 mm (mount); no photographer’s imprint; the print is slightly pale but retains excellent detail; in fine condition.
The group of six men, eight women and four children were arranged in a long line by the unknown photographer so that they fill the frame from left to right. The composition is artistically underlined by the timber fence rail in the foreground. In the background are a small group of bark huts typical of Victorian structures of the period, for example those found at Coranderrk and at Franklinford, near Mount Franklin. In the distant background can be seen a single-storey homestead with a high roof, which does not resemble any of the Coranderrk buildings – especially not the double-storey superintendent’s residence.
Franklinford was a pastoral property in the Loddon Valley owned by Edward Stone Parker, Assistant Protector of Aborigines, where between 1841 and 1864 Dja Dja Wurrung people lived and worked, until the last remaining group was removed to Coranderrk. The huts on the farm at Franklinford were photographed by Fauchery and Daintree in the late 1850s. The present image possibly shows these huts from the opposite side.