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Central Australia

Central Australia

Warning: This exhibition and website contain some images of nudity and people in distressing circumstances. Visitors should also be aware that the exhibition and website include names and images of deceased people that may cause sadness or distress to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.


Artefacts collected by Basedow in central Australia

Herbert Basedow was a prolific collector of Aboriginal artefacts as well as geological, plant and animal specimens.

Rather than attempting to make a systematic collection of each type of Aboriginal artefact made and used in the areas where he travelled, Basedow appears to have acquired objects opportunistically. Records show that some were given to him as gifts, while others were exchanged for tobacco and other commodities.

A number of artefacts also reveal Basedow's interest in Aboriginal art. One example is a decorated spear-thrower, probably acquired by Basedow in 1913 while the maker, Erlikilyika or Jimmy Kite, a Lower Southern Arrernte man from near Charlotte Waters, was in Adelaide.

pdf View map of Australia outlining Basedow's expedition trails (PDF 73kb)