Thursday, 6 October 2016
Culture and the Arts Minister John Day said the Yurlmun: Mokare Mia Boodja exhibition was the result of extensive engagement between the Albany Menang community, the WA Museum, and the British Museum, where the objects have been held for more than 180 years. The National Museum of Australia also played a vital role in helping to secure the exhibition.
"Yurlmun: Mokare Mia Boodja means 'returning to Mokare's home country'," he said. "The loan of these 14 objects, through the WA Museum, is a truly significant occasion that will allow present generations to learn more of the rich history of this area and its people.
"Co-curated by the Albany Heritage Reference Group Aboriginal Corporation, the exhibition features stone axes, spears, spear throwers, knives and a postcard, including seven pieces which were collected in the 1830s by local surgeon Dr Alexander Collie. It focuses on the special friendship that developed between Dr Collie and Menang leader Mokare, and how relationships between the Menang community and settlers evolved as Albany developed."
Yurlmun: Mokare Mia Boodja also features other objects on loan from the local Menang community as well as artworks including lithographs, stencils and paintings and drawings that capture 19th century views of Albany and the Menang traditional owners.
"This exhibition has taken years of planning and highlights the important role museums play in the sharing of cultural knowledge," Mr Day said. "This unique collaboration represents a significant step in reconnecting communities with their heritage and I congratulate everyone involved."
Aboriginal Affairs Minister Peter Collier said the Albany Heritage Reference Group Aboriginal Corporation would care for the objects and supervise their eventual return to the United Kingdom in April 2017.
"The objects travelling from the British Museum will arrive in late October and will be welcomed back onto Menang country by local elders and Aboriginal youth ambassadors in a special ceremony in Albany," Mr Collier said.
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