Ngaraka: Shrine for Unknown KooriPrint Page Print this page

The art piece titled " Ngaraka: Shrine for Unknown Koori" honours the thousands of aborigines whose bodies were removed from their graves and exported to satisfy scientific curiosity about `primitive races`.

The centrepiece of Ngaraka (meaning "backbone" in the Djambarrpuyngu language of Arnhem Land) is a replica of a traditional Aboriginal burial platform on which lies a kangaroo carcass wrapped in paperbark. Metaphorically kangaroos are often thought of in Indigenous religious terms as human beings.On the ground below the platform the artists have piled a thick layer of kangaroo bones—two and a half tonnes of them—in the shape of midden sites. 

Grave-robbing was actively supported by the scientific and medical community from the late 1800s until the 1920s. Today this practice and its underlying theory, social Darwinism, are an embarrassment to the scientific community. All Australian public museums have repatriation programs to return remains to their communities of origin. 


Address:Balmain Road, Sydney College of the Arts, Rozelle, 2039
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.866111
Long: 151.165833
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Art
Monument Theme:Culture
Monument Designer:Djon Mundine, Fiona Foley, Joe Huist
Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
Proudly sponsored by UBC Web Design