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Charles Chewings
Papers related to the Aranda Vocabulary

MSS 499.6 C529
MSS 499.6 C529c


Charles Chewings (1859-1937), geologist and anthropologist, was born on 16 April 1859. He was a stock and station agent, sharebroker and commission agent in Adelaide. He opened and ran a camel transport service, impressed by their efficiency during his travels to Central Australia. He would later go on to study geology at the University College, London, and the University of Heidelberg, Germany (Ph.D., 1894). After completing he studies he returned to Australia taking up work as a mining consultant in Western Australia, then returning to South Australia to spend almost two decades in Central Australia as a mining consultant and camel-carrier of supplies from the railhead, Oodnadatta, to Northern Territory stations and mines.

All his life Chewings had much contact with Aboriginals and he published a popular account of them, Back in the Stone Age (1936). In retirement he compiled an Aranda vocabulary including all the words previously recorded by other students and himself.

Chewings was an earnest, energetic man with the practicality to work successfully in adverse conditions: he accomplished notable pioneer work in geology and the study of Aboriginal culture.

Adapted from the Australian Dictionary of Biography.


MSS 499.6 C529

Aranda Vocabulary [manuscript]: words collecected from various sources in collaboration with J.A. FitzHerbert. Transcribed by Charles Chewings.

Ms. on unnumbered sheets in bundles, also a list of words to enter or verify in Aranda vocabulary cards. (6 boxes, ca. 108cm)

MSS 499.6 C529c

Correspondence re: Aranda Vocabulary. (2 letters, 6 leaves)

  • Letter to Professor FitzHerbert, 2/6/1931.
  • Letter to Prof. FitzHerbert and Mr N. B. Tindale, 1/4/1932
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