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National Museum of Australia

Where our stories come alive

Collection Explorer



  • Ray and Dallas Maple Family collection no. 2(11)


    The Ray and Dallas Maple Family collection no. 2 consists of six miniature, or model, Aboriginal artefacts and three pokerwork animal scultptures made during the 1930s and two pokerwork decorated boomerangs from the Flinders Ranges made in the late 1960s or early 1970s.

    The artefacts were collected during police work undertaken by two generations of the Maple family in rural South Australia. They are examples of Indigenous objects produced primarily for the Australian tourist market during two different eras. Objects of this type have been under-represented in museum collections in the past, as such objects were often viewed as less authentic than those produced in more traditional settings.

  • Ray and Dallas Maple Family collection no. 1(1)

    Dingo skin rug

    The Ray and Dallas Maple Family Collection consists of a dingo skin rug. The rug is made of twelve dingo pelts varying in colour from the common tan with brown markings to the rarer dark brown/black. The pelts have been sewn together and are backed with red felt which has a scalloped edge. Four dingo tails have been sewn along one edge of the rug. The rug is dated 1871.

    A wedding present from early settler James Pridham to his wife Rebecca, this dingo skin rug was made and used in the late nineteenth century when the hunting of native and introduced species in Australia was widespread. Animals were shot, trapped and poisoned for meat, to protect livestock and for their skins - for both the developing fur trade and private use. The dingo skin rug is a rare example of a well-provenanced use of Australian native animal skin from the colonial period. It conveys information about the impact European settlement had on the Australian environment and reflects the attitudes of early settlers as they sought to domesticate the bush and make use of the natural environment. Furthermore, the rug provides insight into the domestic sphere of early settlement in rural Australia and assists with telling the story of a family who were pioneers in the settlement of the Aldinga-McLaren Vale area of South Australia.