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Anthropological Collecting and Colonial Violence in Colonial Queensland: A Response to 'The Blood and the Bone'


Turnbull, P, Anthropological Collecting and Colonial Violence in Colonial Queensland: A Response to 'The Blood and the Bone', Journal of Australian Colonial History, 17 pp. 133-158. ISSN 1441-0370 (2015) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2015 University of New England School of Humanities

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In 2008, I contributed a short essay to the Griffith Review exploring little known controversial aspects of Queensland history and politics. I wrote reflectively about researching the connections between scientific collecting of Aboriginal skeletal remains and frontier violence. I drew attention to what then, as now, struck me as a dark, and in various ways unresolved, legacy of Queensland's colonial past. This was that museum curators, evolutionary anatomists and anthropologists active in Queensland between 1860-1900 appeared to have had few qualms about being knowing beneficiaries of the violent dispossession and deaths of Aboriginal people that occurred with movement of the frontier of settlement. Rarely, if ever, did they let pass opportunities to secure the bones of Aboriginal people they knew to have been obtained by desecrating traditional burial sites. There were also occasions when they sought remains known to be those of Aboriginal people killed in frontier violence.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Indigenous Studies
Research Group:Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, language and history
Research Field:Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Understanding past societies
Objective Field:Understanding Australia's past
UTAS Author:Turnbull, P (Professor Paul Turnbull)
ID Code:103410
Year Published:2015
Deposited By:School of Humanities
Deposited On:2015-10-08
Last Modified:2016-03-10
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