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National Museum of Australia

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Kelp basket, made by Verna Nichols

2003.0047.0005

Kelp basket, made by Verna Nichols

Object information

Physical description

Small upright kelp basket, woven from thin strips of brown bull kelp which have hardened into its current shape as the organic material dried from exposure to air.

Statement of significance

The Aboriginal Collection from Tasmania 2003 comprises seventy-seven items representing twenty-four individuals/organisations. The collection features a range of materials including shell necklaces, kelp crafts, woven baskets, carved tools and weapons, postcards, clothing and contemporary artwork. As one of the key aims was to capture a cross section of Tasmanian Aboriginal life and culture in 2003, the items have all been recently made or produced and are in good condition.

Tasmania is a discrete regional and cultural grouping within Aboriginal Australia, partly because Bass Strait creates a geographical barrier and partly because of the unique cultural characteristics of past and present Tasmanian Aboriginal people. The collection expresses a range of contemporary perspectives in relation to identity, young people, repatriation of human remains, cultural revival, creativity, heritage maintenance and cultural practises such as necklace making, mutton birding and abalone diving. This collection is significant because there are few major collections featuring Tasmanian Aboriginal culture from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. More importantly, the collection's cultural value is enhanced by the fact that community members were involved in selecting the themes and content, thus creating a collection representing Tasmanian Aboriginal peoples in their own terms.

Object information

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