Unpacking the Collection

Part of the series One World Archaeology pp 269-288


Hedley Takes a Holiday: Collections from Kanak People in the Australian Museum

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The Australian Museum holds over 1,000 cultural objects from New Caledonia. A quarter of the collection was obtained by a Museum zoologist, Charles Hedley, who visited La Grande Terre on his holidays late in 1897. He collected ethnographic and zoological specimens and organized an exchange of objects with the then Colonial Museum of Noumea. This chapter investigates the historical background to this exchange and the circumstances under which heritage and zoology were given equivalent values and objects and specimens literally swapped.