CAAMA: Erin Liddle / ‘Etched in Bone’ – The Disgraceful Story of Cultural Theft

Etched in Bone, produced and directed by Dr Martin Thomas and Dr Beatrice Bijon from the Australian National University, is a Documentary that follows the journey of the most recent and disgraceful case in cultural theft.

Back in 1948, during an American/Australian scientific expedition, a skull and jaw belonging to an ancestor, were stolen from one of the tradition burial sites in Gunbalanya. The bones were taken to the Smithsonian Institue in the United States before eventually being repatriated to Arnhem Land over 60 years later.

The film was launched on 4 October 2018, in Canberra.

CAAMA’s Erin Liddle spoke to Dr Beatrice Bjon and Farra Gumbula daughter of Joe Gumbula who is featured in the film and who was a prominent figure to his people.

The music you can hear at the start is a part from ‘Djiliwirri’.

Original interview:


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