King Ng Tja Large

"Ngadjon-Jii people of the Atherton Tablelands. The tall man on the right is thought to be King Ng:tja." (Fernbach,2017)

Ng:tja (aka Nacha / Naicha) died in 1903 and was ceremonially mummified by his people. In 1904-05 a German-born Darwinian anthropologist, Herman Klaatsch, traveled the Atherton tablelands to “attack the problem of the origin of Australian blacks, and of their import in relation to the whole development of mankind”. He stole Narcha, whose mummified body was bound in a crouching position, and several other mummified adults and children. He took Narcha to the Australian Museum in Sydney, and on to Berlin where he was placed on display in a glass case in a museum. Tentative moves, supported by the federal government, are under way to repatriate Narcha.

Berlin Society for Anthropology, Ethnology, and Prehistory returned the mummified remains of Clarke to a smoking ceremony Australian Embassy in Berlin.

King Ng:tja (also known as Barry Clarke) was an elder of the Ngadjon-Jii people of Malanda in far north Queensland. His mummified remains were removed from Australia in 1905 and had been in the possession of the Berlin Society for Anthropology, Ethnology and Prehistory for decades.

His body was returned to Australia in March 2017, then transferred to the Museum of Tropical Queensland in Townsville. About 20 members of King Ng:tja's family held a smoking ceremony and viewed his body at the museum as part of his repatriation process. King Ng:tja's body is the first full mummified body to be repatriated to Australia and the first to be handed back to direct descendants.


ABC North Qld By Nathalie Fernbach. (2017, May 02). Mummified Aboriginal remains returned to family in Queensland. Retrieved October 26, 2017, from

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