War Trophies or Curios?

The War Museum collection in Museum Victoria 1915-1920

By Barry Craig, Ron Vanderwal and Christine Winter

During the Australian military occupation of German New Guinea 1914-1921, both soldiers and officers collected 'native curios' in response to a request for 'war trophies' for a planned war museum. By 1925, no longer considered 'trophies', these 'native curios' were transferred from the Department of Defence to the National Museum of Victoria (now Museums Victoria).

This is a fascinating story of how this impressive collection was created, providing historical background and context for Australia's military collecting in this period. Unconcerned with anthropology or ethnography, the collectors recorded little information about the objects. This book restores at least some of the meanings and cultural significance of this rich collection.

Most importantly, this book provides the peoples of the now independent state of Papua New Guinea access to their rich and continuing cultural heritage.

Large format paperback, colour illustrations, 292pp
RRP $80.00 Information on buying our books

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