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The wedge collection and the conundrum of humane colonisation


Taylor, R, The wedge collection and the conundrum of humane colonisation, Meanjin, 76, (4, Summer 2017) pp. 34-55. ISSN 0025-6293 (2017) [Refereed Article]


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© Rebe Taylor 2017

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The first encounter

Saffron Walden Museum is a place of wonderment. For £2.50 visitors can see an Egyptian mummy, a lock of Napoleon’s hair and Wallace the lion, stilled by his taxidermist since 1838. When I first visited the museum nearly ten years ago, my interest took me up a wooden staircase to a space perhaps less visited. The ‘Worlds of Man’ gallery was filled with indigenous-made artefacts from around the world, many of which had been there for more than 150 years.1 African statues, Hawaiian bark cloths, American tomahawks, and what I had come to see: the wooden Indigenous artefacts collected by surveyor John Helder Wedge at the close of the Tasmanian ‘Black War’ and in the first months of settlement in Victoria in 1835.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Victorian, Tasmanian, New South Wales, Aboriginal history, humanitarianism, archives, collecting, museums
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:Indigenous
Objective Group:Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage and culture
Objective Field:Conserving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage and culture
UTAS Author:Taylor, R (Dr Rebe Taylor)
ID Code:126284
Year Published:2017
Deposited By:College Office - CALE
Deposited On:2018-06-04
Last Modified:2018-07-26
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