ExxonMobil fails to find gas at Trapia-1 in PNG
Bougainville confident PNG will give promised funding

Clan leaders in Sydney to reclaim their stolen legacy

The Age

CLAN LEADERS FROM PAPUA NEW GUINEA’s Kerewo clan are to discover what an Australian adventurer stole from their people almost a century ago.

Kenneth Korokai and Andrew Dieri have travelled to the Australian Museum in Sydney to inspect photos and cultural items that could include the remains of their ancestors.

The University of Southern Queensland's Professor Bryce Barker said adventurer and photographer Frank Hurley took the items from the remote Kikori River Delta in 1921.

''We don't know what Frank Hurley collected,'' Professor Barker said. ''He didn't ask permission, he just stole stuff.

''The Australian governor didn't let him come back into PNG because he upset so many people.''

Mr Dieri said many stolen artefacts had a history that was not passed on with them.

''How can these two things not go together?'' he said.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Lapieh Landu

Many of our artefacts are very sacred. Some artefacts , due to their 'sacredness' , remain of high secrecy, only to be shared among certain genders and groups of people.

I believe that although Hurleys intentions may have been for the good, Kenneth and Andrew saw this as a violation of our culture and traditions to expose of things that have a deeper meaning them.

In a way these two men have every right in reacting the way they did. I would probably do the same thing if it were me. But nonetheless, I am happy that the Western Sydney University has preserved them well, for now we have a chance to revisiting and appreciating our past.

Mrs Barbara Short

I hope Kenneth Korokai and Andrew Dieri will get to see the Frank Hurley photographs that are on show at the University of Western Sydney at the moment.

I apologise for the "stuff that Frank Hurley stole". At least he gave it to the museum so it could be protected for you guys to study later!

I bought some of the Sepik sacred bamboo pipes when I was teaching music in the Sepik in the 1970s. I donated them to the University of Western Sydney so they could be used in the Music Department.

I hope you will be able to work out the stories of these artifacts you say Frank Hurley stole. I feel Frank Hurley's excellent photographs should be able to tell you a whole lot more about what it was like in your area back in the 1920s.

They are priceless PNG records. Until PNG gets its act together and learns how to protect their artifacts, they are probably safer in Australian museums and universities.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)