War Trophies Or Curios


Between 1915 and 1920 Australian soldiers who had occupied an area of New Guinea then known as German New Guinea, collected 'native curios' in response to a request for 'war trophies' for a planned War Museum. Over six hundred objects from German New Guinea were sent to the Department of Defence in Melbourne. By 1925, no longer considered 'trophies', these 'native curios' were instead transferred to the National Museum of Victoria (now Museum Victoria).

This book tells the story of how this collection was created providing historical background and context for Australia's military collecting in this period. Unconcerned with anthropology or ethnography, the collectors recorded little information about the objects. This research restores at least some of the meanings and cultural significance of this rich collection.

War Trophies or Curios? will appeal to anyone interested in the history of World War I in the Pacific region. The attention to detail presented in researching the War Museum Collection will be of interest to historians and museum studies students alike, as well as researchers working with museum collections from the Pacific region. Most importantly, it provides the peoples of the now independent state of Papua New Guinea access to their rich and continuing cultural heritage.

Size: 200x300 mm

Pages: 300

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