Axe (kodj). Wood, stone, resin. King George Sound, Albany, c. 1830s Oc.4768

An exhibition featuring historic objects made by Albany’s Menang people nearly 200 years ago will soon return to the British Museum after being on display temporarily at the Museum of the Great Southern.

Yurlmun: Mokare Mia Boodja means ‘returning to Mokare’s home Country’ and showcases the significant shared history of Albany’s Menang people and early European settlers through the historic objects on display. The objects, including stone axes, spears, spear throwers and knives were collected from the area in the early 1800s by settlers including local surgeon Dr Alexander Collie, who became close friends with significant Menang man, Mokare.

Collie was a British naval surgeon and a keen naturalist and collector who had a strong interest in Menang culture. The objects he collected were gifted to him by Mokare.

Collie died relatively young in Albany in 1835, and in line with his will his natural history collections were sent to various institutions in the United Kingdom. One of those collections, which included the Menang objects he had been given, went to the Royal Navy’s Haslar Hospital Museum in Portsmouth, and this was later donated by the Admiralty to the British Museum.

Yurlmun: Mokare Mia Boodja is the result of extensive engagement between the Western Australian Museum, the National Museum of Australia, the Menang community and the British Museum, where the objects have been held for more than 180 years.

The exhibition was co-curated by the Albany Heritage Reference Group Aboriginal Corporation.

The historic objects have been on display since 2 November 2016 and visitors have until 9 April 2017 to see them at the Museum of the Great Southern.

Yurlmun: Mokare Mia Boodja is supported by the British Museum, the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and the National Museum of Australia. Entry is free of charge.


Media contact
Sharna Craig
Media and Publicity Officer
Western Australian Museum