Basket made of vegetable fibre. Closely twined with complex painted decoration in white, red and dark green ochre, covering two thirds of basket leaving one section plain.
- 19thc(late)-20thc(early) (before 1912)
- Found/Acquired: Port Essington
- (Oceania,Australia,Northern Territory (Australia),Port Essington)
- Height: 47.3 centimetres
- Width: 21 centimetres
- Diameter: 8.6 centimetres (base)
Collected by H P Rogers, ornithologist, before 1914, in Australia.
Port Essington.Image of basket published in Cranstone, B.A.L. (1973), 'The Australian Aborigines', p.20 fig. 9Baskets were, and still are, made in this region by both men and women. They are often painted, and ancestral knowledge is passed on through the designs and through the significance of the colours used.
The design references the annual visits of Makassan fishermen to the northern coast of Australia. The white rectangular forms, with horizontal red stripes, are the sails of Makassan praus. The white diagonal crosses against a red background refer to women’s breast girdles, which represent the blooming clouds of the wet season, when the Makassan ships would arrive.
Not on display
2011 26 May-11 Sep, London, BM, G91, Baskets and Belonging: Indigenous Australian Histories
2015 23 Apr-2 Aug, London, BM, G35, Indigenous Australia: enduring civilisation
Register reads, for collection Oc1939,08: Collected by H P Rogers, ornithologist, before 1914, in Australia. However inspection of the original correspondence from Mathews reveals that this should be J P Rogers, who was Mathews' ornithological collector in Northern Australia. Thought to be collected in 1911-1912.
Africa, Oceania & the Americas
If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: email@example.com
Object reference number: EOC19012
British Museum collection data is also available in the W3C open data standard, RDF, allowing it to join and relate to a growing body of linked data published by organisations around the world.
The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.