Nugent, Maria, and Gaye Sculthorpe. "A Shield Loaded with History: Encounters, Objects and Exhibitions." Australian Historical Studies 49, no. 1 (2018/01/02 2018): 28-43.
This article discusses an Aboriginal shield in the British Museum which is widely believed to have been used in the first encounter between Lieutenant James Cook's expedition and the Gweagal people at Botany Bay in late April 1770. It traces the ways in which the shield became ‘Cook-related’, and increasingly represented and exhibited in that way. In the wake of its exhibition at the National Museum of Australia in late 2015 and early 2016, the shield gained further public prominence and has become enmeshed within a wider politics of reconciliation. A recent request from the La Perouse Local Aboriginal Land Council to the British Museum to review knowledge about the shield has contributed to a reappraisal of claims about its connection to Cook's 1770 expedition. Preliminary findings of this review are presented. In the process, the article addresses larger questions concerning the politics surrounding the interpretation of the shield as a historically ‘loaded’ object.
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