Gweagal Shield - more

Written on 10/12/2022
Robert Williams

The display board indicates the following about the bark shield:

'This is the earliest shield from New South Wales in the Museum. When Cook landed at Botany Bay in 1770, two men came forward with spears. Cook fired shot hitting a man in the leg, the men retreated, dropping a shield. It has been suggested, but not confirmed, that this is that shield. First contacts in the Pacific were often tense and violent.'

Controversy also surrounds the British Museum collection where collecting practices were often carried out with an imperialist and disrespectful attitude. Protest is also evident in the manner in which the British Museum treated the visiting display in Australia – check out this link to ABC news – here

Note that the protester in the video of the ABC news report is standing in front of the shield which is now back in the display cabinet at the British Museum.