Objects of Possession

Objects of Possession: Artefact Transactions in the Wet Tropics of North Queensland, 1870-2013

This project provides a history of ethnographic collecting in the Wet Tropics of North Queensland.


2011 – 2017


ARC Discovery Project (DP110102291)

Academic Group:Social Sciences and Human Services
Key Words:

Artefact Collectors, Material Anthropology, Australian Rainforest Artefacts, Australian Rainforest Artists, Aboriginal History, Material Culture

Project description

Covering the period from the 1870s to the present, we explore the diverse ways in which Aboriginal peoples, collectors and museums have expressed their interests and property rights in the collected artefacts. We also analyse the ways in which Aboriginal peoples of the Wet Tropics have vested these artefacts with their regional and other identities. By doing so, we shed new light on current debates about the ownership and value of Indigenous artefacts and contribute to the development of innovative ways of presenting Indigenous peoples’ connections with their material cultural heritage.

Project team

  • Rosita Henry
  • Russell McGregor
  • Michael Wood
  • Shelley Greer
  • Ton Otto
  • Corinna Erckenbrecht
  • Maureen Fuary
  • George Skeene
  • Rhonda Duffin
  • Rhonda Brim
  • Roy Gibson
  • Bard Aaberge

Key contact: Chief Investigator and Team leader, Professor Rosita Henry at rosita.henry@jcu.edu.au