Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: https://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.766661
Title: Stuck in limbo : the repatriation of unprovenanced Australian indigenous ancestral remains from UK and Australian museums
Author: Tredan, Stephanie Alexandra Westwood
ISNI:       0000 0004 7655 9193
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2018
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Abstract:
Within the last 30 years, the repatriation of Australian Indigenous ancestral remains from both UK and Australian museums has progressed extensively, with institutions recognising Australian Indigenous concerns for the public display and treatment of their ancestral remains, and appeals for their return. Since the late 1980s, hundreds of repatriation claims have been considered on a global scale, and the return of ancestral remains to associated communities or families conducted. Nevertheless, a subsequent result of the repatriation process has been the ever-increasing number of 'unprovenanced' Australian Indigenous ancestral remains within the UK and Australian museum collections. As a relatively new concern, 'unprovenanced' ancestral remains pose a particularly problematic dilemma for both museums and Australian Indigenous communities. With the repatriation process playing an integral role in the development of the 'unprovenanced' predicament, the purpose and function of repatriations for both Australian Indigenous communities and museums must be acknowledged. This thesis will examine the challenges 'unprovenanced' remains pose for Australian Indigenous communities and both Australian and UK museums, highlighting the historical context surrounding the initial fascination and the subsequent acquisition of Australian Indigenous human remains by the British during the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries. This will include observations of various institutional attitudes, policies, and procedures developed surrounding the care and repatriation of Australian Indigenous ancestral remains within both the UK and Australia. As provenance is of particular significance in the process of repatriating human remains, provenancing techniques and schemes, young and old, must be examined, providing a plausible means for future development and insight. As a growing concern, the future of 'unprovenanced' ancestral remains must be considered, with various options deliberated, such as the proposed development of a National Resting Place within Australia, which would ensure cultural respect is acknowledged and moral obligations maintained for Australian Indigenous community members, UK and Australian museums, and perhaps most importantly, the ancestral remains themselves.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.766661  DOI:
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