Indigenous motifs on a silver brooch, Christine Erratt

Vol 44 no 2, May 2022
Article from Vol 44 no 2, May 2022

Indigenous motifs on a silver brooch, Christine Erratt


We often recognise Australiana by the presence of motifs depicting Australia’s unique flora and fauna and, especially in the 19th century, representations of Indigenous figures. Anthropologists studied Indigenous people, while the things they made – much of it, what we would describe today as art – were regarded as artefacts of ethnological interest. Non-Indigenous artists sometimes adopted Indigenous motifs freely in works on paper, ceramics or fabric. It is rare however to have a non- Indigenous craftsman adapt Indigenous motifs in precious metal. Christine Erratt pursued the story behind a silver brooch with Indigenous motifs.

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The Australiana Society acknowledges Australia’s First Nations Peoples – the First Australians – as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of this land and gives respect to the Elders – past and present – and through them to all Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.