Created September 1998
Last changed 23 January 2021

Artefact collections

Several dozen items collected by Laves are held at the National Museum of Australia.

The items were collected from Karajarri at La Grange, and Bardi at Cape L'Eveque.

- pp.120-1, Kingsley Palmer's July 1992 report Aboriginal Men's Restricted Collection of the National Museum of Australia. Strategies for the Future..

The Laves objects in Canberra were originally at the University of Sydney.

The Macleay Museum in Sydney have two wooden spearheads and some pearlshells collected by Laves.

The Illinois State Museum held Bardi and Jawi artefacts from 1942 to 2019. Details are in 'Return of Bardi Jawi artefacts to Country report' https://aiatsis.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-11/aiatsis-roch-community-reports-bardi-jawi.pdf
linked from 'Return of Cultural Heritage project reports' https://aiatsis.gov.au/about/what-we-do/return-cultural-heritage/project-reports

'Bardi Jawi artefacts returned from the United States after nearly a century'
https://www.sbs.com.au/nitv/article/2020/10/26/bardi-jawi-artefacts-returned-united-states-after-nearly-century

'ATSI artefacts to return from US museum' AAP 2019
'US museum to return indigenous artefacts' (by Taylor Thompson-Fuller)
13 September  2019 - 5:32PM

https://www.9news.com.au/national/atsi-artefacts-to-return-from-us-museum/e74dca73-2da1-4a12-b423-fb91ad1cabaf
https://www.newcastleherald.com.au/story/6385064/us-museum-to-return-indigenous-artefacts/
More than 40 sacred indigenous artefacts held by an American museum are to be returned to their traditional owners as part of a groundbreaking cultural heritage repatriation project.
The artefacts will be returned to the Bardi Jawi people of Western Australia and the Aranda people from central Australia after 10 months of talks between the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) and the Illinois State Museum.
[…] Most of the artefacts being returned were collected by linguistic anthropologist Gerhardt Laves in northern and Western Australia between 1929 and 1931.
But the Illinois State Museum has no records of how Laves acquired them, only that he took the objects back to Chicago University, who gave them to Illinois State Museum for an exhibit on Indigenous cultures in 1942.

Comments welcome

Return to Laves page

1998

URL: http://www.anu.edu.au/linguistics/nash/aust/laves/artefacts.html