Historic revelation as more Indigenous Australian artefacts found in Sweden

Bermagui’s Rodney “Murrum” Kelly is heading back to Europe after it was confirmed further Gweagal artefacts are being held in the Swedish Ethnographic Museum in Stockholm.

Mr Kelly was aware the museum had a spear during his first visit, but the revelation the museum has more yet to be identified artefacts is historic, the 39-year-old decedent of a Gweagal warrior named Cooman who was shot at by the British in 1770 said.

“It is a feeling I can't explain, it feels like one of those historical moments where you find something that holds so much historical value that you can't wait to learn everything there is to know about it,” Mr Kelly said ahead of his October flight.

“I feel proud to be able to do something for my elders who have passed on, and the more I find and bring home the stronger our culture will be.”

The trip will be Mr Kelly’s second to Europe has he battles to have artefacts stolen during Luetenant James Cook’s 1770 voyage to Australia repatriated from museums.

“This is an original spear uncut, not like the Cambridge museum spears which have been cut to fit displays, so this spear is very special,” Mr Kelly said.

According to the Swedish Ethnographic Museum, the artefacts were given to Swedish industrialist Baron Johan Alströmer by Sir Joseph Banks during a visit to London in 1777, becoming part of his private museum in Stockholm.

It is believed Alströmer also received boomerangs, a woomera and a club.

Mr Kelly said the artefacts prove, especially a musket hole in a shield held in the British Museum, the British invaded Australia when they landed in what is now Kamay Botany Bay National Park.

“Australia really needs the Gweagal artefacts returned so we can stop the lies, and start to tell the true history, so many more Australians can start to appreciate the oldest surviving culture in the world,” he said.

“I hope one day all of the things that were stolen on that day in 1770 can be together again, back home, so my ancestors spirits can be at rest.

“The pride and soul of my people go into making those artefacts, and they are part of our culture, our history, they are all connected, which is why I won't stop looking for them until they are home.

“The only reason they take Aboriginal artefacts is for personal gain, it's sad that my culture was thought of as a quick way to gain a profit.”


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