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SEMINAR: Archaeology Seminar

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Today's date is Thursday, May 24, 2018
Archaeology Seminar : When, why and by whom was the controversial ‘ship motif’ painted at walganha (Walga Rock)? Other events...
For nearly 100 years people have wondered who painted a European ship with two masts, a row of gun ports and an apparent funnel at walganha, the most profusely decorated, ceremonially and mythologically significant, pictogram site known in southern Western Australia. Is the ship meant to be VOC Batavia or Zuytdorp, or is it the SS Xantho; they wrecked near Geraldton in 1629, 1712 and 1872, respectively. Does the stylised four-line pattern beneath the ship’s hull represent ‘waves’ or mimic Arabic or Asian ‘writing’? Is the motif simply graffiti, made in the 1890s during the Murchison gold rush? Was the artist a blonde, blue-eyed (part-Dutch?) girl who was killed and buried nearby for desecrating a men’s site? Did Sammy Malan/Hasssan, a ‘Malaysian’ ex-pearl diver, paint the ship after he settled at Walga Soak in about 1917? These questions will be considered in the light of several mutually-corroborative newspaper articles overlooked by previous commentators. They indicate that the ship was probably painted by an Aboriginal man before 1890; when pastoralism was being introduced into the Cue region. While difficult to ‘prove’, definitively, this scenario makes historic sense and has implications for post-colonial cultural collapse in this under-studied region.
Speaker(s) Esmee Webb
Location Physics Building Romm 215
Contact Ana Paula Motta <anapaula.motta@research.uwa.edu.au>
Start Thu, 17 May 2018 16:00
End Thu, 17 May 2018 17:00
Submitted by Karen Eichorn <karen.eichorn@uwa.edu.au>
Last Updated Mon, 14 May 2018 09:42
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