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National Museum of Australia

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Collection Explorer


Wooden container

Object information

Physical description

A long narrow wooden container with roughly parallel sides and rounded ends. It has a long crack down the centre which has been secured in one place with sinew. It is labelled 'WD 67 - A' in black ink.

Statement of significance

The collection comprises 18 Aboriginal artefacts, including spearthrowers, wooden dishes and stone tools, mainly acquired by filmmaker Ian Dunlop in the 1960s from the Western Desert in Western Australia, northern Queensland and the Northern Territory. The collection also includes Dunlop's briefcase and a Foundation for Aboriginal Affairs plastic bag.

The Aboriginal artefacts are significant for their high level of documentation. They largely comprise items made by people living in the 'desert' for their own use or that Dunlop filmed in the 1960s being made or used. The names of the people who made or used them are also often known. As a filmmaker who produced a number of important films on Aboriginal cultures from the 1960s to the 1990s, Dunlop is an important figure in the history of Australian ethnographic film production. He was involved with the Foundation for Aboriginal Affairs, an early Australian civil rights organisation.

Object information

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