'Red Indian' costume, home-made from hessian Colonial Sugar bags. Used by Bill Boyd in the 1950s, probably for playing 'Cowboys and Indians'. The costume was made by Bill's mother Lillian using available materials, including chicken feathers from the backyard.

The William Boyd Childhood Collection includes most of the childhood possessions of William (Bill) Boyd, who was born in 1947 and raised in the Victorian town of Maryborough. Kept by Lillian Boyd (Bill's mother) for decades, upon her death the Collection was donated by Bill to the former Museum of Childhood at Edith Cowan University in Western Australia. When the Museum of Childhood closed it was transferred to Museum Victoria.

Physical Description

Red Indian costume. Hessian pants and shirt with deliberately frayed outer seams of legs/sleeves. Chief's headdress, hessian strip/multicolour feathers.


Encompassing toys, books, clothing and other items, the William Boyd Childhood Collection is rare in its comprehensiveness: even ephemera such as the back of a Cornflakes box are included. The Collection demonstrates a range of prominent themes in the lives of postwar Victorian children, such as the ability to 'make do' under austere circumstances; the shift in toy manufacture towards plastic materials and mass production; the continuing cultural influence of Britain; the increasing embrace of American popular culture; the prominence of gender roles; and the popularity of transport and war themed toys for boys.

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