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National Museum of Australia

Where our stories come alive

Collection Explorer

4

Boomerang with red and white pigment

2006.0097.0009

Object information

What

Type

Collection

Dimensions

L 720mm x W 140mm x H 10mm

Material

Physical Description

A curved asymmetrical wooden boomerang with residual red and white pigmentation. The convex upper surface is covered with longitudinal grooves, and the flat underside with adze marks. It has a small hole drilled through the middle. There is some fine cracking on both surfaces, and both of the tips are chipped. The flat surface has a long crack from the tip almost to the midpoint.

Statement of Significance

The Daisy Bates - Herbert Browne collection consists of twelve Indigenous objects which belonged to Herbert Browne. Browne acquired a collection of objects from Daisy Bates while she was living at Ooldea in the 1920s and 1930s. The collection is comprised of eight boomerangs, two spearthrowers, a shield with a painted and incised design and an adze with a stone flake mounted in resin. Four of the boomerangs are small and light, typical of so-called 'returning' boomerangs, the other four are larger and heavier, typical of the hunting and fighting boomerangs of inland regions. One of the spearthrowers is plain, the other incised and has pigment staining consistent with use as a palette.

Daisy Bates and her relationship with Aboriginal people in Western Australia and at Ooldea are an important part of Australia's history of settler-Indigenous relations during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. These objects are significant for their link to the story of Bates and her sojourn in Ooldea. Their links to Herbert Browne also make them significant for understanding the history of the theatre in Australia during the early twentieth century, and the way in which theatre moved around the country. These objects are also significant for demonstrating the economics of material culture and artefact manufacture at Ooldea and the early development of Aboriginal arts and tourism industries in Australia.

Who

People / Organisations

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