- Museum number
Bag made of grass fibre woven to show diagonal lines across the bag and the red of the plant fibre.
- Production date
- 19thC (before 1888)
Height: 6 centimetres
Width: 43 centimetres
Depth: 57 centimetres
- Curator's comments
James Backhouse's 'A Narrative of a Visit to the Australian Colonies' in 1836 (1843:374) noted of the bags made at Stradbroke Island: 'The base of the rushes is of a pale colour, the portion included in the sheaths at the base, or just emerging from them, is of a pinky hue, and the top green. By arranging the knots, so as to form diagonal lines across the bag, the colours are brought into a tasteful order, by these poor creatures, who have been erroneously represented as below all other human beings in capacity. In forming huts, and making their nets and bats, and various implements, those here excel their more southern neighbours'.
1954 Wellcome register description:
'Grass fibre dilly-bag, loop netting.'
'Cleveland, Moreton Bay, Queensland. 1888'.
Looped and knotted bags were made on the east coast of Australia from the Richmond River area north to Moreton Bay. Basket-makers worked with the colour of the rushes – deeper near the stem – to great effect. There is only one known historic photograph of people with this type of bag, housed in the Anthropology Museum of the University of Queensland: a studio portrait taken between 1886 and 1870 in the Marquis Studio, George Street, Brisbane, showing three women and a young girl at front.
- On display (G24/dc2)
- Exhibition history
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
- Acquisition date
- Africa, Oceania and the Americas
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Previous owner/ex-collection number: 194279 (Wellcome Historical Medical Museum accession number)