Story: Documentary film

Whanganui River, 1921 (1st of 2)

Whanganui River, 1921

In 1921 ethnologists Elsdon Best and Johannes Andersen, along with film-maker James McDonald, travelled to Koriniti (Corinth), Hiruhārama (Jerusalem) and Pipiriki in the Whanganui River valley, filming and photographing local Māori, as part of a Dominion Museum expedition. The film McDonald shot shows, among other things, people making and setting eel traps (hīnaki), cultivating land and playing string games. This photograph, from the same trip, shows women weaving flax outside a meeting house at Koroniti. 

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, James Ingram McDonald Collection (PA-Group-00083)
Reference: PA1-q-257-34-3
Photograph by James Ingram McDonald

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Helen Martin, 'Documentary film - Early documentary film', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 19 August 2022)

Story by Helen Martin, published 22 Oct 2014