Walter Edmund Roth: ethnographic collector and Aboriginal protector

McGregor, Russell, and Fuary, Maureen (2016) Walter Edmund Roth: ethnographic collector and Aboriginal protector. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum, Cultural Heritage Series, 10. pp. 43-58.

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Walter Roth ranks among the most prolific collectors of Aboriginal artefacts from North Queensland, including the Wet Tropics, as well as being one of the leading ethnographers in turn-of-the-twentieth-century Australia. He was also one of Queensland's first official Protectors of Aboriginals, appointed immediately after that colony introduced its now-infamous Aboriginals Protection and Restriction of the Sale of Opium Act, 1897. This paper explores Roth's twin careers as ethnographic collector and Aboriginal Protector, teasing out the connections and commonalities between the two. It was for his achievements in ethnography and collecting, as well as his medical expertise, that he was appointed to the Protectorship. He carried out both his anthropological work and his administrative duties with determination and dedication. Yet his continuing activities as an ethnographer and collector contributed substantially to his downfall as a senior figure in Aboriginal administration. The pape ralso positions Roth in the historical context of an evolving Australian anthropology, with particular pertinence to North Queensland.

Item ID: 46959
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1440-4788
Keywords: Walter Roth; ethnographic collecting; Aboriginal protection; North Queensland; Aboriginal artefacts; Australian anthropology
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC Discovery Grant DP110102291
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2017 00:16
FoR Codes: 21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2103 Historical Studies > 210301 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History @ 50%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1601 Anthropology > 160104 Social and Cultural Anthropology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950503 Understanding Australias Past @ 100%
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