This jacket is a real treasure of the Migration Museum collection and in popular demand. It has recently been touring with the South Australian Museum exhibition Australia’s Muslim Cameleers: Pioneers of the Inland, 1860s - 1930s http://www.samuseum.sa.gov.au/whatson/whattosee/touring/cameleers now an online exhibition and resource: http://www.cameleers.net/.
The jacket was a present to Mr Frederick Budge of Farina some time in the 1890s. It was a gift from a Muslim trader who promised him a turban, but on returning from a pilgrimage to Mecca presented Mr Budge with the jacket instead.
Mr Budge ran the JW Manfield general stores in Marree, Farina, Oodnadatta, Innamincka & Birdsville. He frequently traded with the ‘Afghan’ camel train drivers who transported goods in the region.
The jacket is a rare piece of material history representing the Muslim community from the 19th century British colony of South Australia and the important role that community played. It is also a very beautiful garment that captures many peoples’ attention. Quite a few of the staff have been asking ‘When is it coming back?’!