Introduction: ‘To What Strange Uses’
The large shelf was drawn out to reveal a glass display case trimmed with Australian hardwood. In the case lay a body carefully prepared for burial. I was with Dr. Michaela Appel, the curator of Oceanic ethnology at Munich’s Five Continents Museum. We had gone to see the body, kept in one of the museum’s storerooms, which the Australian Government had requested the state of Bavaria to release to the care of the National Museum of Australia, in the hope that further research might identify the man’s community of origin and enable his reburial in his ancestral country.