Menang Elders and community – Smoking Ceremony

On Tuesday 1st of November, MBCC Follow the Dream students were invited to join local Menang Elders and community at the WA Museum Albany for a smoking ceremony to welcome home the Yurlmun artefacts.

Yurlmun: Mokare Mia Boodja, which means ‘Returning to Mokare’s Home Country’ features 14 rare, significant objects that originated from the Menang Noongar people, the traditional inhabitants of the Albany area. These objects have been carefully stored within the British Museum’s collections since the 1830s. For the first time, they return together to Menang Country.

The objects include stone axes, spears, spearthrowers, knives and a postcard. Several of these were collected by the Government Resident, Dr Alexander Collie, in the 1830’s. During his time in Menang Country he developed a special friendship with Menang leader Mokare, who became an interpreter and guide on a number of expeditions and shared knowledge about the customs and beliefs of his people. So close was their bond, that when Collie was dying in 1835, four years after Mokare, he asked to be buried alongside his friend.

The exhibition explores these early encounters between Menang people and the British colonists. It presents a unique opportunity to share knowledge and understanding, in the spirit of friendship and that defined Mokare and Collie.

The exhibition was held at the WA Museum Albany until Sunday 9th April 2017. 

It is presented by the Albany Heritage Reference Group Aboriginal Corporation and the Western Australian Museum in partnership with the British Museum and the National Museum of Australia. It is supported by the Department of Aboriginal Affairs.