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Old objects, new stories

Old objects, new stories

Encounters will feature rare, early Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander objects from the British Museum. They will be displayed with new objects from the Indigenous communities represented in the exhibition.

These are powerful objects. They are all part of the living cultural traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. They connect us to the histories of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

Below are some of the objects that will be coming out to Canberra as part of the Encounters exhibition.

‘Whiteman’s Justice’, engraved boab nut by Jack Wherra, 1963-66, Mowanjum, West Kimberley, Western Australia. National Museum of Australia. 2003.0057.0001.
Collection record for boab nut

Boab nut

'Parrot’ basket by Patsy Cameron, 2006–09, white flag iris fibre and rosella feathers, Tasmania. National Museum of Australia. 2009.0022.0029.
Collection record for basket

Parrot basket

Wangkangurru/Yarluyandi pituri bag, Birdsville, Queensland. Collected by W Finucane in about 1891. Acquired by the British Museum in 1897. Oc1897,-.636.
Catalogue entry for pituri bag

Pituri bag

Rainforest shield, Rockingham Bay, Queensland. Collected by JE Davidson in 1866–68. Acquired by the British Museum in 1872. Oc.7696.
Catalogue entry for shield

Shield

Bundjalung dulloom (dillybag), Richmond River, New South Wales. Collected by M Bundock in the 1870s. Acquired by the British Museum in 1928. Oc1928,0110.107.
Catalogue entry for dulloom

Dillybag

Shield, inland New South Wales. Collected by Thomas Mitchell in 1836. Donated to the British Museum in 1839. Oc1839,1012.3.
Catalogue entry for shield

Shield

Noongar honey-gathering hook, Swan River, Perth, Western Australia. Collected by SN Talbot in 1838. Donated to the British Museum in 1839. Oc1839,0620.65.
Catalogue entry for hook

Honey gathering hook

Yolngu larrakitj (memorial pole) featuring Barama and Captain Cook, by Gawarrin Gumana, 2002, Yirrkala, Northern Territory. Acquired by the British Museum in 2003. Oc2003,01.2.
Catalogue entry for pole

Yolngu larrakitj (memorial pole)

Tunga (basket), Tiwi Islands, Northern Territory. Collected by Dr WC Dawson in 1912. Acquired by the British Museum in 1913. Oc1913,-.145.
Catalogue entry for tunga

Basket

Gweagal shield, Botany Bay, New South Wales. Identified as the shield collected on 27 April 1770, during Lieutenant Cook's first Pacific voyage. Acquired by the British Museum in the late 18th century. Oc1978,Q.839.
Catalogue entry for shield

Gweagal shield

August 23, 1898, print by Brian Robinson, 2012. National Museum of Australia. 2013.0001.0001.
Collection record for print

Print by Brian Robinson

Didgeridoo, Port Essington, Northern Territory. Collected before 1855. Acquired by the British Museum in 1855. Oc1855,1220.177.
Catalogue entry for didgeridoo

Didgeridoo

Stone spearhead, Hanover Bay, Western Australia. Collected by PP King on 8 August 1821. Donated to the British Museum in 1873. Oc.8767.
Catalogue entry for spearhead

Stone spear point

Rainforest shield, Cairns region, Queensland. Collected by D Vallance in the late 19th century. Acquired by the British Museum in 1933. Oc1933.1403.5.
Catalogue entry for shield

Rainforest shield

Dugong figure, Tudu, Torres Strait. Collected by AC Haddon in 1888. Donated to the British Museum in 1889. Oc,89+.184.
Catalogue entry for figure

Dugong figure

Turtle-shell mask, Mer (Murray Island), Torres Strait. Acquired by the British Museum in 1855. Oc1855,1220.169.
Catalogue entry for mask

Turtle-shell mask

Menang taap (knife), Albany, Western Australia. Collected by A Collie in about 1831–33. Donated to the British Museum in the 1860s. Oc 4771.
Catalogue entry for taap

Knife

Riji (pearl-shell ornament), Kimberley, Western Australia. Collected by E Clement in the 1920s. Acquired by the British Museum in 1954. Oc1954,06.378.
Catalogue entry for riji

Pearl-shell ornament

Wooden shield, Nowra region, New South Wales. Collected by H Moss before 1862. Acquired by the British Museum in the 1860s. Oc.1809.
Catalogue entry for shield

Back of a wooden shield which shows a hand with figures pointing to the end.

Gulidjan spear-thrower, Birregurra, Victoria. Collected by E Bromfield in 1867. Acquired by the British Museum in 1873. Oc.8067.
Catalogue entry for spear-thrower

Spear-thrower

Fishing spear, Port Jackson, New South Wales. Probably collected in the 1830s by Rev R Mansfield for G Annesley. Acquired by the British Museum in the 1860s. Oc.944.
Catalogue entry for spear

Fishing spear

Tasmanian Aboriginal shell necklace, Flinders Island, Tasmania. Donated to the British Museum by Lord Stanley in 1846. Oc1846.0729.2.
Catalogue entry for necklace

Shell necklace

Gudang headband, Somerset, Queensland. Collected by WT Kennett in 1867–68. Acquired by the British Museum in 1870. Oc.6944.
Catalogue entry for headband

Headband

Wooden shield, Nowra region, New South Wales. Collected by H Moss before 1862. Acquired by the British Museum in the 1860s. Oc.1809.
Catalogue entry for shield

Wooden shield

Ngunnawal/Ngambri/Ngunawal stone scraper, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory. Collected by WHP Kinsela in 1932–33. Acquired by the British Museum in 1933. Oc1933,1115.58.
Catalogue entry for scraper

Stone scraper

Mask, Erub (Darnley Island), Torres Strait. Collected by JB Jukes in March 1845. Acquired by the British Museum in 1846. Oc1846,0731.3.
Catalogue entry for mask

Mask

Model of a Tasmanian Aboriginal kelp water container, Oyster Cove, Tasmania. Collected by J Milligan in 1850–51. Acquired by the British Museum in 1851. Oc1851,1122.2.
Catalogue entry for container

Model kelp basket

Yirandali fringed woollen girdle, Lammermoor, Queensland. Collected by R Christison in the late 19th century. Donated to the British Museum in 1904. Oc1904,1002.5a.
Catalogue entry for girdle

Fringed woollen girdle

Gunditjmara/Kirrae-Whurrong wallaby-tooth necklace, St Marys, Warrnambool, Victoria. Collected by TA Strong in about 1842–44. Acquired by the British Museum in 1847. Oc1847,0413.1.
Catalogue entry for necklace

Wallaby tooth necklace

Dja Dja Wurrung bark engraving, Fernyhurst, Victoria. Collected by JH Kerr before 1855. Acquired by the British Museum in 1866. Oc.1827.
Catalogue entry for engraving

Bark engraving

Dieri boomerang, Killalpaninna, South Australia. Collected by HJ Hillier in 1893–1905. Acquired by the British Museum in 1908. Oc1908,0620.67.
Catalogue entry for boomerang

Boomerang

Kaurna shield, Adelaide, South Australia. Collected by W Hexter probably in about 1840–42. Acquired by the British Museum in 1848. Oc1848,0821.3.
Catalogue entry for shield

Shield

Basket by Zoe Rimmer, 2006–09, white flag iris fibre, Tasmania. National Museum of Australia. 2009.0022.0015.
Collection record for basket

Open weave basket made from white flag iris.

Bunuba glass spearhead, West Kimberley, Western Australia. Collected by CH Ord in the late 1890s. Acquired by the British Museum in 1899. Oc1899,-.467.
Catalogue entry for spearhead

Spearhead

All images courtesy British Museum unless otherwise indicated.