Image: Tombs on Maria Island

Tombs on Maria Island

Tombs on Maria Island (Off the east coast of Tasmania). Etched by Pillement and Duparc, after Leseur. From Péron, François and Freycinet, Louis. Voyage de découvertes aux Terres Australes: Atlas Historique. Paris, 1824.

© Australian Museum Research Library


During the 1801-1802 expedition to Tasmania, Nicolas Baudin noticed that ashes or calcined bones were carefully preserved and carried about by some people. Later accounts describe ashes and relics being kept in little skin pouches, often hung around the neck of close relatives.

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Tags Death Online, disposing of the dead, cremation, Indigenous Australians, Tasmania, Maria Island,