Wooden shield, Western Desert, W.A.
The Western Desert Collections
The Western Desert cultural bloc occupies an area of approximately 670,000 sq. km. and extends across much of Western Australia as well as parts of South Australia and the Northern Territory. One of the last areas to be explored by European-Australians, it remains the homeland of about 7,500 Aboriginal people, many of whom live on former
government and mission stations and local outstations, where they are largely responsible for the management of their own affairs.
A map of the Western Desert region will be available here shortly.
The Museum has more than 1,400 objects from the Western Desert region, mostly from Western Australia. They include weapons, tools, toys and objects used in love magic.
Some highlights of the Western Desert collections can be seen in the Virtual Tour
Many items are multi-purpose, being used for fighting, hunting and music.
Collections of stone materials are usually given a single registration number.
| Object Type
|Habit (e.g. smoking)
|Raw materials (e.g. ochre, spinifex resin)
|Trade and status (e.g. pearl shell)
|Fine art (e.g. acrylic paintings)
The Museum has an extensive photographic collection
. It contains photographs, negatives and colour slides, and consists of many small collections donated to the Museum.
The following collections contain significant Western Desert material.
Ernabella and Amata
* A.O. Neville was the Chief Protector of Aborigines between 1915 and 1953. Station owners, missionaries and welfare workers from all over Western Australia sent him their photographs to use in his public talks.