Yurlmun: Mokare Mia Boodja

Returning to Mokare's Home Country

Wed 2 Nov 2016Sun 9 Apr 2017

10:00am4:30pm

Museum of the Great Southern

Yurlmun: Mokare Mia Boodja (Returning to Mokare's Home Country)

Over the school holiday period the Museum of the Great Southern will be open daily from 10am – 4:30pm, except on Wednesdays when it will be open from 12pm – 7pm.

About the exhibition

Yurlmun: Mokare Mia Boodja, which means ‘Returning to Mokare’s Home Country’ features 14 rare, significant objects that originated from the Menang Noongar people, the traditional inhabitants of the Albany area. These objects have been carefully stored within the British Museum’s collections since the 1830s. For the first time, they return together to Menang Country for community engagement, response and the sharing of cultural knowledge.

The objects include stone axes, spears, spearthrowers, knives and a postcard. Several of these were collected by the Government Resident, Dr Alexander Collie, in the 1830’s. During his time in Menang Country he developed a special friendship with Menang leader Mokare, who became an interpreter and guide on a number of expeditions and shared knowledge about the customs and beliefs of his people. So close was their bond, that when Collie was dying in 1835, four years after Mokare, he asked to be buried alongside his friend.

The exhibition explores these early encounters between Menang people and the British colonists. It presents a unique opportunity to share knowledge and understanding, in the spirit of friendship and that defined Mokare and Collie.

Portrait of Mokare by de Sainson, who was the artist on the French ship Astrolabe. Louis de Sainson (after), Nouvelle Hollande (Port du Roi Georges), 1833 (published) (detail).Portrait of Mokare by de Sainson, who was the artist on the French ship Astrolabe. Louis de Sainson (after), Nouvelle Hollande (Port du Roi Georges), 1833 (published) (detail).
State Art Collection, Art Gallery of Western Australia (purchased 1961)
An artist’s representation of Alexander Collie.An artist’s representation of Alexander Collie.
Malcolm Uren papers, courtesy State Library of Western Australia Acc 3778A/115
Spearhead of Eucalyptus doratoxylon, spearwood mallee, King George Sound, 1831–33. Spearhead of Eucalyptus doratoxylon, spearwood mallee, King George Sound, 1831–33.
British Museum Oc 1980 Q.740 L 16 cm W 1.5 cm. ©Trustees of the British Museum.
Boomerang, Allocasuarina fraseriana, sheaok, King George Sound, 1870. Boomerang, Allocasuarina fraseriana, sheaok, King George Sound, 1870.
British Museum Oc. 1895,-.467 L 53.5 cm W 5.5 cm. ©Trustees of the British Museum.
Knife, taap, with quartz flakes, handle of Corymbia calophylla, marri, King George Sound,1831–33. Knife, taap, with quartz flakes, handle of Corymbia calophylla, marri, King George Sound,1831–33.
British Museum Oc 4774 L 40 cm W 1.5 cm. ©Trustees of the British Museum.
Knife, taap, with quartz flakes, handle of Eucalyptus astringens, brown mallet, King George Sound, 1831–33. Knife, taap, with quartz flakes, handle of Eucalyptus astringens, brown mallet, King George Sound, 1831–33.
British Museum Oc 4772 L 40 cm W 1.5 cm. ©Trustees of the British Museum.
Knife, taap, with glass flakes, handle of Corymbia calophylla, marri, King George Sound, 1831–33. Knife, taap, with glass flakes, handle of Corymbia calophylla, marri, King George Sound, 1831–33.
British Museum Oc 4771 L 39.5 cm W 2 cm. ©Trustees of the British Museum.
Axe, kodj, with handle made of Taxandria juniperina, swamp wattle, King George Sound, c. 1855–70. Axe, kodj, with handle made of Taxandria juniperina, swamp wattle, King George Sound, c. 1855–70.
British Museum Oc 4769 L 28 cm. ©Trustees of the British Museum.
Axe, kodj, with handle made of Agonis flexuosa, peppermint, King George Sound, 1831–33.Axe, kodj, with handle made of Agonis flexuosa, peppermint, King George Sound, 1831–33.
British Museum Oc 4768 L 28 cm W 11 cm. ©Trustees of the British Museum.
Spearthrower of Eucalyptus marginata, swamp jarrah, King George Sound, 1870. Spearthrower of Eucalyptus marginata, swamp jarrah, King George Sound, 1870.
British Museum Oc 1929, 0114.6 L 57 cm W 12.5 cm. ©Trustees of the British Museum.
"Spearthrower of Eucalyptus marginata, jarrah, with tooth or bone set in resin on end, King George Sound, 1831–33.   ""Spearthrower of Eucalyptus marginata, jarrah, with tooth or bone set in resin on end, King George Sound, 1831–33. "
British Museum Oc 4758 L 69.8 cm W 8 cm. ©Trustees of the British Museum.
Spearthrower with wooden peg fixed with gum and stone chip in handle, Eucalyptus marginata (jarrah), King George Sound, 1821.Spearthrower with wooden peg fixed with gum and stone chip in handle, Eucalyptus marginata (jarrah), King George Sound, 1821.
British Museum Oc. 980 L 75.5 cm, W 7.2 cm. ©Trustees of the British Museum.
"Spear with wooden barb, Eucalyptus doratoyxlon (spearwood mallee), King George Sound, 1821. ""Spear with wooden barb, Eucalyptus doratoyxlon (spearwood mallee), King George Sound, 1821. "
British Museum Oc. 961 L 251 cm W 1.7 cm. ©Trustees of the British Museum.
"Detail view of spear with wooden barb, Eucalyptus doratoyxlon (spearwood mallee), King George Sound, 1821. ""Detail view of spear with wooden barb, Eucalyptus doratoyxlon (spearwood mallee), King George Sound, 1821. "
British Museum Oc. 961 L 251 cm W 1.7 cm. ©Trustees of the British Museum.
Spear with wooden barb, Eucalyptus doratoyxlon (spearwood mallee), King George Sound, 1821. Spear with wooden barb, Eucalyptus doratoyxlon (spearwood mallee), King George Sound, 1821.
British Museum Oc. 960, L 284 cm W 2 cm. ©Trustees of the British Museum.
Detail view of spear with wooden barb, Eucalyptus doratoyxlon (spearwood mallee), King George Sound, 1821. Detail view of spear with wooden barb, Eucalyptus doratoyxlon (spearwood mallee), King George Sound, 1821.
British Museum Oc. 960, L 284 cm W 2 cm. ©Trustees of the British Museum.
Spear, Taxandria juniperina (swamp wattle), King George Sound, 1821. Spear, Taxandria juniperina (swamp wattle), King George Sound, 1821.
British Museum Oc. 958 L 274 cm W 1.8 cm. ©Trustees of the British Museum.
Detail view of spear, Taxandria juniperina (swamp wattle), King George Sound, 1821. Detail view of spear, Taxandria juniperina (swamp wattle), King George Sound, 1821.
British Museum Oc. 958 L 274 cm W 1.8 cm. ©Trustees of the British Museum.
Native Women at Albany. Postcard printed for Todd’s Book Arcade, Albany, probably early 1900s. Native Women at Albany. Postcard printed for Todd’s Book Arcade, Albany, probably early 1900s.
British Museum Oc B141.11 H 8.8 cm W 14 cm. ©Trustees of the British Museum.

Project Overview

In 2012, curators from the British Museum visited Albany and spoke with the Menang community and the Western Australian Museum about stories and knowledge around Menang objects in their collection. Three of these objects were selected to be a part of the exhibition Encounters: Revealing Stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Objects from the British Museum at the National Museum of Australia, which featured rare Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander objects from the British Museum’s collections and explored the voices, emotions and stories connected to these objects.

When the Menang community expressed a desire for all Menang objects held by the British Museum to return to Country for a visit, Yurlmun: Mokare Mia Boodja (Returning to Mokare’s Home Country) was conceived.

The extensive engagement between the British Museum and the Menang community – and the loan of these objects back to home Country and community – is unprecedented in Australia and a significant step in reconnecting communities with their cultural heritage.

The lead project partners are the Albany Heritage Reference Group Aboriginal Corporation and the Western Australian Museum as co-curators, and the British Museum. Encouragingly, there is extensive support and enthusiasm across a range of other parties, including the Department of Aboriginal Affairs, the National Museum of Australia, the City of Albany, the Great Southern Development Commission, and the National Trust. We would like to express our sincere thanks to our partners and supporters, and their commitment to this significant project.

The productive dialogue that has led to the co-curation of this exhibition will, we hope, lead to future conversations and collaborations between museums and Aboriginal communities across Australia.

This exhibition is presented by the Albany Heritage Reference Group Aboriginal Corporation and the Western Australian Museum in partnership with the British Museum and the National Museum of Australia. It is supported by the Department of Aboriginal Affairs.

 

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Yurlmun: Mokare Mia Boodja (Returning to Mokare's Home Country)

WA Museum

Getting Here

Western Australian Museum - Albany Map

Address

Residency Road,
Albany,
Western Australia,
6330,
Australia

Phone
(08) 9841 4844

Western Australian Museum - Albany Map

By Bus
The Museum of the Great Southern is located within walking distance of the town centre, which is serviced by the several bus services, visit the PTA website for timetables.

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Parking is available in onsite.