Three spears taken by Lieutenant James Cook from Kamay (Botany Bay) in 1770 are on display for the first time in Sydney since they were taken more than 250 years ago.
There are pages missing from the history of all this stuff. The spears are the first pages. The most important thing is our connection to the things like the spears, that were taken from Botany Bay, and how we're still making spears today – no one can take that away from us, because we've been doing it all our lives.
On April 29 1770, Dharawal people saw HMB Endeavour sail into Kamay (Botany Bay). During their first day there, the Endeavour voyagers removed a great quantity of spears from a campsite.
Three spears are on display in Sydney for the first time since they were taken in 1770. Displayed alongside 37 contemporary spears made through knowledge passed down by Dharawal men into the 21st century, together represent the 40 taken away by members of the Endeavour's crew.
The display is presented as part of a partnership between the University of Sydney with La Perouse Local Aboriginal Land Council, the Gujaga Foundation, the Cambridge Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, and the National Museum of Australia.
Header image: Kamay spears. Image reproduced with permission of University of Cambridge, Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology (MAA D 1914.1, MAA D 1914.2, MAA D 1914.3, and MAA D 1914.4)