Before Farming

Colonial collections of portable art and intercultural encounters in Aboriginal Australia

Before Farming (2003), 2003, (1), 1–21.

Abstract

From March to November 1948, 17 scientists made up the American-Australian Scientific Expedition (AASEAL) to Aboriginal North Australia. This expedition collected over 50,000 archaeological, ethnographic and natural history specimens from indigenous Australians. By examining a history of colonial collection strategies – especially those informed by modernism – it is possible both to understand the dynamics of AASEAL, from field experiences and encounters, collection strategies and general colonial attitudes towards indigenous Australians, to intercultural encounters.

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May, Sally

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