Walter Baldwin Spencer was invited to participate as zoologist and photographer in the Horn Scientific Expedition, the first primarily scientific expedition to study the natural history of Central Australia. The expedition took place from May to August 1894. At the end of the Expedition, at Alice Springs in July of 1894, Spencer met Frank J. Gillen, the operator of the Alice Springs Telegraph Station. Gillen had for many years maintained an interest in and concern for the Arrernte Aboriginal people. In 1901 Spencer and Gillen set out on an expedition together, whose purpose was to study the Arrernte people, establish 'intimate relations with the natives' and study other groups between the Arrernte and the north coast. Sometime in September or October 1901, at Powell Creek, 690km south-southeast of Darwin, Spencer and Gillen took this photograph of a young Jingili woman with plaited hair. All Arrernte must periodically give up their hair to others who stand in a certain relationship - a woman, for example, to her son-in-law for a waist-belt, or a man to his mother-in-law for a head-ring. The Warumungu people, and the Jingili further north, also follow this practice, but the girls, when their hair is long enough, plait it and wind the plaits around the head, sometimes ornamenting the ends with fur string.