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Akubra brand broad-brimmed fur felt hat worn by anthropologist by Dr Peter Sutton when he was doing fieldwork

1998.0032.0001

Akubra brand broad-brimmed fur felt hat worn by anthropologist by Dr Peter Sutton when he was doing fieldwork

Object information

Physical description

Akubra brand broad-brimmed khaki fur felt hat with a brown leather cord hat band.

Statement of significance

This collection comprises a fawn-coloured Akubra hat belonging to South Australian anthropologist and academic, Professor Peter Sutton. Worn while conducting fieldwork in the Northern Territory, the hat is of rabbit fur-felt with a brown leather cord hatband and was purchased by Sutton in Adelaide, circa 1981.

Born in 1946, Peter Sutton BA (Hons) (Sydney), MA (Hons) (Macq), PhD (Qld) is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia. A social anthropologist and linguist, Sutton has assisted with over fifty Aboriginal land claims, and carried out other applied research, since 1969. The issue of Native Title is still highly contested throughout Australia. Through his work in the area of Native Title research, Sutton has provided strong evidence of the enduring connections and spiritual attachments of Aboriginal peoples to their traditional homelands. Although he has also worked with Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory and in rural and urban centres, SuttonÂ?s primary research has focused on the Wik people of Aurukun, Cape York Peninsula. In 1988, Sutton curated the remarkable Dreamings: The Art of Aboriginal Australia exhibition in New York. The exhibition attracted record crowds and wide media attention and was instrumental in establishing Australian Aboriginal art and sculpture as high art, rather than as Â?primitiveÂ? objects of ethnographic interest. The author of a number of books, anthropological and linguistic papers, unpublished academic studies, papers on professional issues, public policy and current events, and book reviews, Sutton has drawn public attention to the inequities facing Aboriginal people in rural and remote Aboriginal communities as well as to the profound sense of community, spirituality and place which sustains them. In doing so, he has made significant contributions to the lives of Aboriginal people he has worked with, as well as to furthering anthropological debate in Australia. His iconically Australian Akubra hat accompanied him on all his fieldwork trips from 1981 to 1996, occasionally being replaced by a beret on cold nights.

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