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There was even an award-winning children’s book tracing their origins.The more famous photographs of the Australian pygmies were reproduced in both the academic and the popular literature.Keith Windschuttle and Tim Gillin From the 1940s until the 1960s, it was fairly widely known there were pygmies in Australia.They lived in North Queensland and had come in from the wild of the tropical rainforests to live on missions in the region.They wouldn’t believe us until we emailed them the photographs.The Encyclopedia of Aboriginal Australia (1994), published by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, today does its best to disguise these people.Outside the mission, however, no one paid these people any special attention until an Adelaide researcher came across them in the late 1930s.

To test just how complete this process has been, over recent months we have questioned a wide range of friends and acquaintances.In the mission’s first five years, about 150 Kongkandji periodically visited to receive rations but only a small number remained there permanently.After the Queensland Government passed its Aboriginal Protection Act in 1897, which forced Aborigines to be legally confined to reserves and missions, Yarrabah grew to a settlement of 150 residents drawn not only from the three local tribes but also from people all over North Queensland who bore no physical or cultural resemblance to the Cape Grafton Aborigines.It showed a wet weather hut thatched with what Tindale, a keen naturalist, recognized as the broad leaves of the wild banana tree.He could also tell that, if these were banana leaves, the people by comparison were very small.

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