The National, Thursday 20th September, 2012
CLAN leaders from Kikori, Gulf, will soon discover what an Australian adventurer stole from their people almost a century ago.
Kenneth Korokai and Andrew Dieri, from the Kerewo clan, will be at the Australian Museum in Sydney today to inspect photos and cultural items that could include remains of their ancestors.
University of Southern Queensland (USQ) Prof Bryce Barker said Australian adventurer and photographer Frank Hurley took the items from the remote Kikori River delta, in southern PNG, in 1921.
“We don’t know what Frank Hurley collected,” Barker said.
“He didn’t ask permission, he just stole stuff.
“The Australian governor didn’t let him come back into PNG because he upset so many people.”
Dieri said many stolen artefacts had a history that wasn’t passed on with them.
“How can these two things not go together?” he asked.
Dieri and Korokai yesterday visited Barker’s laboratory at the university to learn about his clan-approved research into their cultural sites.
“This provides a physical underpinning for oral traditions,” he said.
Korokai believes the research will also help tribal members maintain links with their ancestors. – AAP