The Australia Catalogue in the Vatican Museums was launched in Rome on May 28th & Pedro attended as a representative of Jilamara.
The Catalogue is the result of a five-year collaboration between the Vatican Anima Mundi Museum, National Museum of Australia, Australian National University, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) and Indigenous communities.
It documents Australia’s Indigenous history and culture and includes artefacts held in the Anima Mundi Museum’s Australia Collection.
Several Tutuni poles created by Jilamara artists are featured as part of this collection. Pedro sang a Tiwi song at the event and said,
"The catalogue of the book, you know, it's a collection in a book from the people in Australia, in northern Australia and western Australia. The catalogue of the book is very magnificent. My art is the totem poles that my people did in the mission time and today we still make those totem poles. So those totem poles are also very specific and important to me and my people.”
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has welcomed the Catalogue for those unable to visit the Museum in-person as a “remarkable guide” to the “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander custodians who have cared for our country for over 60,000 years… and their elders who continue to hold the knowledge of their rich and diverse cultures”.
Interested? Watch the news segment featuring Pedro.