Object

Result 1 of 1

Record Image

Registration Number: QE2629

Name or Title: Breastplate

Brief Description: Cresentic; convex in vertical plane; hole at each apex. Both apex engraved with a sprig of foliage (six and seven leaves per sprig). Inscription engraved on the front of the plate.

Collection: Aboriginal Studies

Production Place: Australia

Production Date: Circa 1847

Materials: Brass

Measurement : H136 x W179.5mm

State/Province: Queensland
Queensland

Country: Australia
Australia

Signature/Marks: POONIPUN \ OF \ Amity Point \ REWARDED BY THE GOVERNOR, \ FOR THE ASSISTANCE HE AFFORDED, WITH SEVERAL OF HIS COUNTRYMEN, \ TO THE SURVIVORS OF THE WRECK OF THE STEAMER "SOVEREIGN" \ BY RESCUING THEM FROM THE SURF UPON MORETON ISLAND \ ON THE 11TH 0F MARCH 1847, \ UPON WHICH MELANCHOLY OCCASION 46 PERSONS WERE DROWNED \ AND BY THE AID OF THE NATIVES 10 WERE SAVED.

History and Use: This breastplate was awarded to Poonipun, an Aboriginal man from Stradbroke Island. Poonipun was among a group of Aboriginal men who rescued passengers and crew from a cargo vessel, the Sovereign, when it was wrecked at the south end of Moreton Island in 1847. Each man was awarded a breastplate in recognition of his heroic rescue efforts. This breastplate is one of only three known to survive from the Sovereign incident.

Breastplates such as this which were rewards for service and merit or for acts of bravery and heroism are a source of pride and honour for Aboriginal people. However, Aboriginal breastplates are complex and sometimes controversial objects.

For many Aboriginal people breastplates are a reminder of land dispossession, cultural dislocation, and mistreatment of ancestors. To others, breastplates are trophies of Aboriginal resistance, humanity, and survival. Regardless of these different views, breastplates are an important part of history and symbols of Aboriginal survival.

Uploaded to the Web 27 May 2011.

  • Select this result
  • Shortlist Functions
  • 0 results in shortlist


About the database

The Queensland Museum collection Online is a work in progress. New records, updates and images are added regularly.


Feedback

If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about an object or specimen, please email:
qm.vernon@qm.qld.gov.au