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National Museum of Australia

Where our stories come alive

Collection Explorer


Wooden container by Pampirla Hansen Boxer, 2008


Wooden container by Pampirla Hansen Boxer, 2008

Object information

Physical description

A large red-brown wooden concave oval container with a pale beige painted central section on the outer surface. The outer surface ends are vertically grooved whereas the painted area is smoothed. The inner surface is smoothed with a transparent wash like effect on it. There is a hairline crack down the centre of the container as well as structural cracks in the wood.

Statement of significance

The Canning Stock Route collection is comprised of 125 works and includes paintings, drawings, baskets, boomerangs, coolamons, headdresses, carved figures and shields.

The Canning Stock Route is a no-longer-used cattle droving route that traverses the Great Sandy and Gibson Deserts of central Western Australia. Comprised of 48 wells along an 1800 kilometres stretch of track, the route links Wiluna in the south with Sturt Creek in the north and traverses the traditional lands of nine Aboriginal language groups. The route was founded in 1905 when Alfred Canning was commissioned to investigate a route suitable for the droving of 500 head of cattle, with water sources spaced at intervals of no more than one day's walk apart. Although Canning's map records observations of the land and water resources, it makes no mention of Indigenous places and their associated meanings which the route traversed. This collection, composed of 'painting stories', sculptural works and oral histories, re-dresses Canning's omission and records the impact of the stock route on Indigenous lives and country. A six week journey with traditional owners held in July and August of 2007 inspired the artworks, many of which were produced during the journey, and provided an opportunity for more than 70 senior and emerging artists to reconnect with traditional lands..

Object information

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