Ethnographic artifacts and value transformations

Henry, Rosita, Otto, Ton, and Wood, Michael (2013) Ethnographic artifacts and value transformations. HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory, 3 (2). pp. 33-51.

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Transactions of ethnographic artifacts between Indigenous producers, European collectors, museums, and the state create and transform multiple notions of value. In this paper we discuss how an artifact's value is generated and transformed through various transactions linked to the documentation and property claims made by scientific collectors, such as Eric Mjöberg, Herman Klaatsch, and Ursula McConnel. Such artifacts have now entered a new dynamic given Aboriginal claims for repatriation and other forms of reappropriation. We argue that the entanglement of artifacts in the property claims of the collectors, the pro-ducers (or their descendants), the granting bodies, and the public institutions, exposes artifacts to complex processes of value accretion and transformation.

Item ID: 29209
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2049-1115
Keywords: anthropology of value, Aboriginal Australian artifacts, North Queensland, collectors, museums, Eric Mjöberg, Ursula McConnel
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© Rosita Henry, Ton Otto, and Michael Wood. This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported.

Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC Discovery grant DP110102291
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2013 00:00
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1601 Anthropology > 160104 Social and Cultural Anthropology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9503 Heritage > 950302 Conserving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage @ 50%
95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950503 Understanding Australias Past @ 50%
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