Indigenous Art And Other Manifestations Of Indigenous Culture

1578 Words Dec 12th, 2015 7 Pages
Indigenous Art and other manifestations of Indigenous culture were discovered during the process of the colonization of Australia. The first Europeans to arrive in Australia made note of the cultural artifacts they encountered. Artifacts such as weapons, drawings, sheets of bark and engravings were collected as colonized culture and housed in scientific and natural history museums where they shared the space with geological, plant and animal specimens. These objects were initially collected as curiosities and as sources of information about the “exotic” native and places. Later they were ordered in typological sequence to demonstrate the evolution of culture across different societies. These manifestations of Indigenous culture were regarded as objective information about the diversity of human culture. They were objects of the exotic worlds not seen as art, however, but as ethnographic facts. This classification reflected contemporary socio-evolutionary thinking of the time which regarded the Indigenous as people without art. In the mid-twentieth century the discourse surrounding Indigenous Art began to change when major collections were acquired by art galleries as opposed to ethnographic museums. These great collections of Indigenous objects, reaching back to 1770, provide an early record of encounters between first Australians and European settlers--encounters that have irrevocably changed Indigenous societies. The Encounters exhibition at the National Museum houses some…
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