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National Museum of Australia

Where our stories come alive

Collection Explorer

4

Kimberley point preform

2009.0003.0012

Kimberley point preform

Object information

Physical description

A white stone Kimberley point pre-form.

Statement of significance

The Gwen and Wayne Masters No2 collection consists of eighteen objects relating to the the Mowanjum mission in north-west Australia. It is comprised of three spears with glass tipped "Kimberley poin" blades, two boomerangs, two decorated boab nuts, a wooden spindle with hair string attached, a coolamon, a turtle shell, a spear point, and two paintings, one by Jack Wherra and one by Basel Rangea, as well as two biblical texts in the Worora language and three issues of the mission 'Encounter' magazine.

Mowanjum, a Worora word meaning 'settled at last', is a remote Aboriginal community located near Derby in north-west Australia. Members of the Worora, Ngarinyin, and Wunumbul clan groups form the majority of Mowanjum's residents, who were brought together by missionaries in the early twentieth century at the Kunmunya Presbyterian Mission and were forcibly moved across three different locations before arriving at the present site. Since the departure of the missionaries in the 1970s, Mowanjum has operated as an Indigenous corporation with an elected governing committee. The collection was assembled by the Masters whilst working on the Mowanjum mission during the late 1960s and early 1970s and is related to a collection that they donated to the National Museum in 1982. The collection reflects the diverse range of Indigenous objects manufactured for sale by mission residents of Mowanjum during the latter twentieth century, as well as the collecting interests of Mowanjum mission workers of the time. The objects were highly prized by the Masters. The cultural practices reflected in these objects include the maintenance of language, as evidenced by the bible translations, the maintenance of traditional hunting practices as evidenced by the spears, boomerangs and hair string, and the maintenance of story telling traditions as evidenced by the carved boab nuts and the painting, believed to have been done in the Broome gaol sometime between 1966 and 1970.

Object information

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