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24 March 2018


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Philip Fitzpatrick

Hello Heather.

I was a kiap at Nomad in the early seventies when Tom was still living there and I also spent about ten years living in Hervey Bay, not too far from where Tom lives. I hope he is in good health.

I've seen various spellings of both Bedamuni and Mougulu over the years from all sorts of different sources. Changing the spelling of people and places seems to be a perennial occupation of linguists and anthropologists.

I was at Mougulu a few years ago and couldn't believe the changes. A great credit to Tom and the SDA mission.

Heather-lee Ollington (nee Hoey)

Just to let you know that the proper name and spelling for the ‘Biami’ people who appear in this photo is Bedamuni, and the name of the place where they were taken is spelt Mougulu. I know because it’s my home and I was living there at the time.

Philip Fitzpatrick

The people in the photograph are Biami (Bedami) and it was probably taken around Mogalu.

National Geographic has just brought out a special edition in which there is an apology for its racism in the past.

They are referring to stereotyping and all the articles about 'savages', 'cannibals' etc. and photographs of 'unclothed' people in traditional dress.

I've got a small collection of old 'National Geographics' that I've picked up in op shops with New Guinea articles and a quick flick through them proves the point. A reflection of the times through 2018 eyes I think.

The Australian publication 'Walkabout' carried more balanced articles. I think that was because a lot of the writers were PNG based expatriates.

Remember the covers of the 'Pacific Islands Monthly' in the 1970-80s. Every month a photograph of topless young Pacific Island women.

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