chapter  2
18 Pages

Tourism as theatre: performing and consuming indigeneity in an Australian wildlife sanctuary: David Picard, Celmara Pocock and David Trigger

In the early 1940s, Alex Griffiths, a beekeeper and flower grower living in the coastal town of Currumbin on Queensland’s Gold Coast in eastern Australia saw swarms of wild lorikeets ravaging his fields. Lorikeets are small arboreal parrots characterized by their specialized brush-tipped tongues for feeding on nectar of blossoms and soft fruits.1 To lure the birds away from his fields, Griffiths started to feed them with a mixture of milk, water and sugar. His strategy worked and his feeding sessions started to attract hundreds of birds. Early images of such sessions show Griffiths literally within a cloud of lorikeets, sitting on his arms, head and shoulders (Figure 1).