In the early days of colonial Australia the governors and the land holders saw advantage in singling out certain Aboriginal people as leaders and distinguishing them in some way, so as to ensure their cooperation in the Europeans' efforts to open up the land. A type of mili-tary gorget was chosen as a suitable badge of office. It had already been used in North America for the same purpose. In Australia these became known as 'king' or 'brass plates'. They were presented not only to perceived 'chiefs' but to faithful servants and to the specially courageous -- to anyone, in fact, who helped in some way to ease the white people's progress in the new land. They were presented from the earliest times through to the first decades of the twentieth century. The main purpose of this book is to describe and illustrate the large collection of Aboriginal gorgets held by the National Museum of Australia. But the author, Jakelin Troy, has produced far more than a mere catalogue. She gives a comprehensive history of king plates, describes other gorgets not in the collection, and provides a list of references to pictures of Aboriginal people wearing gorgets.
She also includes a useful bibliography. "King Plates" provides not only encouragement to scholars to engage in research in an area that has had little attention, but to Aboriginal people seeking information about their forebears.
Buy King Plates book by Jakelin Troy from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(180mm x 260mm x 10mm)
Aboriginal Studies Press
Publisher: Aboriginal Studies Press
Country of Publication:
Author Biography - Jakelin Troy
Jakelin Troy headed the New South Wales (NSW) Aboriginal Languages Research and Resource Centre (ALRRC), established by the NSW Government within the NSW Department of Aboriginal Affairs, to play a key role in the preservation and revitalization of indigenous languages in New South Wales. She has extensive experience researching and documenting Aboriginal languages.