Lustre: Pearling & Australia

From a 2,000-year-old natural pearl found in a Kimberley rock shelter to modern lustrous pearl jewellery, Lustre: Pearling & Australia traces the fascinating heritage of pearling across the north of Australia, from Shark Bay to the Torres Strait Islands.

The exhibition delves into the gritty human story of pearling, weaving together intersecting strands of Aboriginal, Asian and European histories to reveal insights into one of Australia’s oldest industries.

Discover the intriguing stories behind northern Australia's unique pearling tradition. Immerse yourself in the qualities of the shell itself, its evolution and habitat, and the people who have collected and harvested these treasures from Saltwater Country.

The Museum of Tropical Queensland also unravels the layers of pearling in the Torres Strait from a time before Europeans through to the golden age of luggers and beyond.


Lustre was curated through a partnership between the Western Australian Museum and Nyamba Buru Yawuru, Broome’s Yawuru Aboriginal corporation. It was developed in close consultation with senior Yawuru, Karajarri, Bardi and Jawi, and Mayala elders. This exhibition is supported by Visions of Australia, an Australian Government program aiming to improve access to cultural material for all Australians.

 

 

Main image: Pearls scattered over an oyster shell, courtesy Cygnet Bay Pearls.

Page image: Detailed view of pearls, courtesy Cygnet Bay Pearls. 

 

 

Event Details

Dates
02 September 2017 09:30 AM - 28 January 2018 05:00 PM

Of Interest