Some museums in Australia have no contact address so you can't ask any questions. Some supply an email address that can't be copied, so again, no contact. For those that do have a contact address the staff either don't reply, or when they do they are unable to help with any information.
Information on one museum site stated that Australian Aboriginal knife sheaths were made out of feathers. Now come on, please. I just find this hard to understand, I can't see how such a sheath can be functional.
This I THINK is supposed to be another type of knife sheath. There is no specific information on this object and I can't see what it is made of aside from having feathers attached to it in some manner.
If there are any Australian Museum staff reading this blog, this is a WAKE UP CALL!!! If you are under staffed, get more. If you are under-funded, fight for it. I cannot publish information that is not there to be found. I cannot recommend a museum that has nothing to offer. Objects in a collection are totally useless without information on that object.
There is a museum here in Armidale, in the collection on display is an object labelled "The Bushman's Friend" When I asked about this oject I was told it was a multi-tool with a corkscrew and an awl. Would you like to know what it really is? It is a muzzle-loading musket tool and the so called corkscrew is in fact a worm used for cleaning the barrel. The curator did not believe me, so I came back with images of originals. That object to the best of my knowledge is still labelled "The Bushman's Friend"!
Here is a similar combination gun tool. Top is a turnscrew, centre is a vent pricker, NOT an awl! Bottom shows an inverted worm (NOT a corkscrew!) which can be unscrewed and screwed onto a cleaning rod or ramrod.