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Biographical entry Strehlow, Carl Friedrich Theodor (1871 - 1922)

23 December 1871
Fredersdorf, Uckermark, Germany
20 October 1922
Horseshoe Bend, South Australia, Australia


Carl Strehlow was head of the Finke River Mission, Hermannsburg from 1894-1922. He became fluent in the languages of the Aranda and Loritja people and his seven-volume work on their myths, legends, material culture and customs was published between 1907and 1920. He is commemorated by the Carl Strehlow Memorial Hospital at Hermannsburg and the Strehlow Research Centre in Alice Springs.



Education - Graduated from the Neuendettelsau seminary in Germany
Career position - Ordained
1892 - 1894
Career position - Worked for the Immanuel Synod near Cooper's Creek in South Australia
1894 - 1922
Career position - Head of Finke River Mission in Hermannsburg, Northern Territory

Published resources


  • Bandhauer, Andrea and Veber, Maria, eds, Migration and Cultural Contact: Germany and Australia (Sydney: Sydney University Press, 2009), 254 pp. Details
  • Kenny, Anna, The Aranda's Pepa: an introduction to Carl Strehlow's masterpiece Die Aranda- und Loritja-Stämme in Zentral-Australien (1907-1920) (Canberra: ANU Press, 2013), 310 pp. Details
  • Strehlow, T. G. H., Journal to Horseshoe Bend (Artarmon, N.S.W.: Giramondo Publishing, 2015), 220 pp. Details

Book Sections

  • Kenny, Anna, 'Early ethnographic work at the Hermannsburg mission in Central Australia 1877 - 1910' in German ethnography in Australia, Peterson, Nicolas and Kenny, Anna, eds (Canberra: Australian National University Press, 2017), pp. 169-93. Details
  • Veit, Walter F., 'Strehlow, Carl Friedrich Theodor (1871-1922), Missionary, [Anthropologist]' in Australian Dictionary of Biography, John Ritchie, ed., vol. 12 (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1990), pp. 121-122. Details

Journal Articles

  • Brock, Peggy, 'Evangelism, ethnography and linguistics: Carl Strehlow and J. R. B. Love', Anthropological Forum, 27 (3) (2017), 224-39. Details
  • Monteath, Peter, 'Erhard Eylmann's missionary position', Anthropological Forum, 27 (3) (2017), 240-55. Details
  • Veit, Walter F., 'Missionaries and their ethnographic instructions', Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria, 127 (1) (2015), 73-82, Details


See also

  • Jensz, Felicity, '"Poor heathens", "cone-headed natives" and "good water": the production of knowledge of the interior of Australia through German texts from around the 1860s', Postcolonial studies, 21 (1) (2018), 96-112. Details

Rosanne Walker