Tin Mosques & Ghantowns


Tin Mosques and Ghan towns covers one hundred and thirty neglected years of Australian history, for fifty years of which the camel trains criss-crossed the continent, carrying the necessities of life, and some few of its luxuries, to settlements in the isolated interior.  Throughout those years the turbaned camel drivers, exotically dressed and often fragrant with the oils and perfumes of the East, fought a bitter battle for the inland cartage trade with the quintessential symbol of outback adventure, the bullocky.  Christine Stevens has recreated the story of the Afghan camel men, their wives and their families, from a wealth of unpublished sources.  Supplemented by over one hundred rare and original photographs, the result is a mixture of adventure, courage, villainy, tragedy, high romance and low humour.  No one with an interest in Australian history should miss it.

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Feral camels roam among the saltbush, scrub and gibber plains of central Australia.  These magnificent beasts are so prized in their ancestral homelands that they are now the basis of a thriving export-bloodstock trade to the Middle East.  How camels came to Australia, the party they played in inland exploration and development, and, above all, the story of the men who accompanied them, are the subjects of this book.

The Afghan camel men were tribesmen and peasants from southern and eastern Afghanistan.  Their outback communities The Ghan towns were religious and cultural ghettoes, where no imam called the faithful to prayer from humble mosques of sun-baked mud or corrugated iron, but where, nonetheless, the traditions of Islam and of their ancestors were faithfully followed in an alien an often hostile land

Additional information

Weight1.280 kg
Dimensions25.5 × 19 × 2.5 cm


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