Article ID: CBB001421882

The Divided History of Dugong Oil: The Cross-Cultural Circulation of an Indigenous Medicine in 1940s Queensland (2014)


Through the effects of colonisation, materials such as food, tools and medicines are appropriated and transformed to appeal to different consumer groups creating new points of interaction and combined histories. These products flow through colonial pathways between indigenous peoples and Europeans and create a connection in which interactions are inevitable. In Australia, dugong oil was a product that traversed the spatial and racial divide being consumed by both Aboriginal and white people. I argue that whether used as a `scientific' medicine bought at the local chemist, a detested medicine enforced by colonial authorities, or a remedy passed down through generations, the story of dugong oil uncovers the duality of objects and complicates the history of Aboriginal-European interaction.

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Authors & Contributors
Anderson, Warwick H.
Barbosa, Benedito Costa
Bigelow, Allison Margaret
Bombardi, Fernanda Aires
Burnett, Kristin
Chambouleyron, Rafael
História, Ciências, Saúde---Manguinhos
Health and History
Environmental history
British Journal for the History of Science
Comparative Studies in Society and History
Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences
Rutgers University
UBC Press
Duquesne University
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick
University of California, Santa Barbara
Indigenous peoples; indigeneity
Science and race
Cross-cultural interaction; cultural influence
Medicine, traditional
Australian races
Birdsell, Joseph B.
Stanner, William Edward Hanley
Time Periods
20th century
Early modern
19th century
17th century
20th century, early
20th century, late
North America
World Health Organization (WHO)

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