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Gwoja Tjungurrayi as ‘one pound Jimmy’: Aboriginalia in the post


Gleeson, P, Gwoja Tjungurrayi as one pound Jimmy': Aboriginalia in the post, Aboriginal History, 44, (2020) pp. 89-115. ISSN 0314-8769 (2020) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.22459/AH.44.2020.04


Postage stamps act as ‘tiny transmitters’ of nationalist and colonial ideology due both to their capacity for movement and as sites of official, statesanctioned visual propaganda. The representation of Aboriginal people and motifs on stamps in mid-twentieth-century Australia are visual clues that reference shifts in thinking about nation-building from the interwar to the postwar period. Stamps provide a concentrated visual snapshot of the tense and unstable positioning of Aboriginal people both within settler imagination and the Australian nation during this period of change. Changing understandings of the place of Aboriginal people within Australia resulted in the proliferation of visual representations that drew upon earlier colonial visual language, and hence images of Aboriginal Australians form their own moving historical trajectory, as mobile as the postage stamps on which they came to feature. This article seeks to trace the genealogy of this representational flux through analysis of the images of Aboriginality that featured on postage stamps, as well as exploring the unique interaction of government and popular influence on the postage stamp as form. It uncovers a previously unknown image of the historically significant Aboriginal Australian man Gwoja Tjungurrayi, whose likeness features on the Australian two dollar coin.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:indigenous history, visual history, cultural history, Australian history
Research Division:History, Heritage and Archaeology
Research Group:Historical studies
Research Field:Australian history
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in history, heritage and archaeology
UTAS Author:Gleeson, P (Ms Paige Gleeson)
ID Code:151408
Year Published:2020
Deposited By:History and Classics
Deposited On:2022-07-28
Last Modified:2022-07-29

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