History by design in the Kimberley

Book chapter


Konishi, Shino and Paterson, Alistair. (2021). History by design in the Kimberley. In In Sculthorpe, Gaye, Nugent, Maria and Morphy, Howard (Ed.). Ancestors, artefacts, empire : Indigenous Australia in British and Irish museums pp. 121-130 The British Museum Press.
AuthorsKonishi, Shino and Paterson, Alistair
EditorsSculthorpe, Gaye, Nugent, Maria and Morphy, Howard
Abstract

[Extract]... Several such objects from northwest Australia held in museum collections in the United Kingdom and Ireland allow us to explore Aboriginal design and its meaning. Design is often considered in aesthetic and technological terms, but it also often carries symbolic meaning. Many objects collected in the colonial period and twentieth century can be seen to document historical moments, something also captured by 'contact' rock art, which depicts the changing world since colonisation begain in this region in the late nineteenth century, and the loss of Aboriginal people's unfettered access to Country. Museum collections also reflect differeing historical contexts. Collections were made by a range of colonial agents: settlers, police, exploratory and scientific expeditions, visitors, religious practitioners and entrepreneurs. Objects were purchased, stolen, gifted or found, while the collector is often named and given pre-eminence in collection records, such collections can also provide significant insights about the usually unnamed Aboriginal makers and historical agents, and reveal changing Aboriginal design sensibilities across time.

KeywordsAboriginal design; museums; Australia; Kimberley; Pilbara; Western Desert; artefacts
Page range121-130
Year2021
Book titleAncestors, artefacts, empire : Indigenous Australia in British and Irish museums
PublisherThe British Museum Press
Place of publicationLondon, United Kingdom
ISBN9780714124902
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
PrintOct 2021
Publication process dates
Deposited16 May 2022
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