Meeting the Waylo

Meeting the Waylo is a history of story-making about the experiences of Migeo, Boongaree and Bundle, three Indigenous Australians who were intermediaries on board maritime expeditions in the early nineteenth century. These Indigenous men travelled to the archipelagos of the north-west of Western Australia, where they became central figures in encounters between the crew and local Indigenous groups onshore.

This book captures the splintering of stories by explorers, later archivists and collecting institutions. By following the footsteps and fingerprints of the archivists as well as explorers, Shellam reminds us that the archive is never a neutral storehouse for history. While explorers sometimes acknowledged the key positioning of Indigenous intermediaries in their raw archives, later refinements rendered them absent. The expedition stories of these men appear unevenly in archives as a result of archival acquisitions, dictated by changing political climates of remembering and forgetting.

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