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Queensland Museum, Marks Aboriginal Studies collection

Family links to the collection

The Marks family have been associated with the Queensland Museum since the first of their donations to its collections, from Charles Ferdinand Marks, in 1919. CF Marks was also responsible for a significant collection of indigenous items, comprising items relating both to Papua New Guinea and other Pacific islands, and to Australian Aboriginal people. His donation of July 1920 included both Pacific and Aboriginal material. The bulk of the Aboriginal collection was donated by him, but in following years other members of the family also contributed, including EO (Ted) Marks, EMB (Edris) Marks, AH (Alex) Marks and EN (Pat) Marks.

Hardwood club from the Balonne district, Qld
Hardwood club from the Balonne district, Qld.
Image courtesy of Aboriginal Studies, Queensland Museum

Dates of donation

CF Marks’s major donation of July 1920 included 69 Aboriginal items. Further donations were made by EO (Ted) Marks (1 item in April 1930, another in August 1945, and another in April 1978), EN (Pat) Marks (9 items in April 1978, and a further 16 in January 1982.) Five items were also donated by AH (Alex) Marks.

Numbers and types of items

The Marks Aboriginal Studies collection comprises 207 items. It includes weapons (such as boomerangs, spears and spear throwers, shields, swords, clubs), cutting tools (such as axe heads and adzes), food preparation items (such as grinding stones and firesticks), and food gathering items (such as nets, bags and baskets). Places of origin are not known for many of the collection, but it includes material from Acton Station (north of Richmond – 10 items); Aramac (seven items); the Balonne district (two items); Binna Burra, Beechmont, Candle Mountain, Cardwell, Marathon Station, Richmond, and Tambo (one each), and the Marks property at Camp Mountain, Samford (eight items).

Notable items

The following items give a sense of the nature of the collection.

QE1335Hardwood club from the Balonne district
QE1342Hardwood club from Aramac
QE1343Hardwood club from Aramac
QE1362.4Two-shafted spear

Marks Family Collections

Queensland Museum: Aboriginal Studies items

Contact details

The Senior Curator, Cultures, Customs & Country
Queensland Museum
PO Box 3300
Link http://www.qm.qld.gov.au/