Indigenous Australia exhibit at the British Museum

Indigenous Australia exhibit at the British Museum

The British museum london inaugurated on April 23 the largest exhibition on the History of indigenous Australia. This exhibition is the first to be dedicated to the History and Culture of indigenous Australians, including the populations of the Torres Strait, a group of more than 270 islands located in the strait that separates the island of Australia from Papua New Guinea. .

The exhibition, which will end on August 2 of this year, is composed of objects from the British Museum, in addition to other elements borrowed from other British or Australian collections and its objective is to show the indigenous Australians as a living culture over time, with a history of more than 60,000 years.

Among the objects shown in the exhibition we can find a shield collected in Botany Bay in 1770 by the Captain Cook, a protest plaque from the Aboriginal Embassy founded in 1972, contemporary paintings and some special commissions from important local artists. Many of the objects in this exhibition have never been shown to the public.

The British Museum has obtained some of the objects in the collection for naval trips made to the area and through settlers and missionaries of an antiquity that goes until the year 1770. Many of these objects were collected before the first museums were founded in Australia and represent the first evidence of contact between Aborigines, the Torres Strait populations and the British.

Many of these encounters took place in very large and important cities today in Australia such as Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide or Perth and as a result of this, many of the objects collected during the 19th century were recovered from coastal areas and not from the arid areas of the interior, which are those that have always been associated with indigenous Australians.

The exhibition aims to show not only the way of understanding the sea and the land of the indigenous Australians but also the way in which Indigenous Australians have lived through the colonial period to the present. When Captain Cook landed on the east coast of Australia in 1770, there were numerous different Aboriginal groups who settled in different areas and had different languages, laws and traditions.

Australia became part of the British Empire until in 1901 a group of colonies came together to form what we know today as Australia. The Social History of Australia during the nineteenth century will be marked by the struggle of indigenous people for the recognition of their civil rights, a struggle that lasts until the 21st century, and the exhibition shows how some indigenous Australian issues continue to be debated today. from today.

The exhibition will show loans of special works from other British institutions such as the National Library, the Pitt Rivers Museum or the Cambridge Museum of Archeology and Anthropology. Also on display will be numerous works from the collection of the Australian National Museum, including the masterpiece "Yumari" by Uta Uta Tjangala, who was also a leader who developed a plan for the Pintupi community to return to their homes.

The exhibition has been supported for its realization by Aboriginals and Torres Strait inhabitants and has been organized in conjunction with the National Museum of Australia. Neil MacGregor, director of the British Museum, has emphasized the importance of indigenous people in both Australian and British history and has highlighted the great opportunity for the London public to learn about the history of these indigenous people, which extends over 60,000 years.


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