MUSEUM DUNIA MAYA DR IWAN S.
Dr IWAN ‘S CYBERMUSEUM
THE FIRST INDONESIAN CYBERMUSEUM
MUSEUM DUNIA MAYA PERTAMA DI INDONESIA
DALAM PROSES UNTUK MENDAPATKAN SERTIFIKAT MURI
PENDIRI DAN PENEMU IDE
Dr IWAN SUWANDY, MHA
WELCOME TO THE MAIN HALL OF FREEDOM
SELAMAT DATANG DI GEDUNG UTAMA “MERDEKA
The Driwan’s Cybermuseum
(Museum Duniamaya Dr Iwan)
Dr Iwan Book :” The Australia and Pacific Island Historic Collections”
Showcase: “THe Australian and New Zealand Historic Collections”
Frame One :
The Australian Aborigin Pictures
Bock, Thomas 1790-1855 :Jemmy, native of the Hampshire Hills, Van Diemen’s Land / T Bock del. ; Hullmandel & Walton lithographers – [London ; s.n., 1845?]
Half-length frontal portrait of a young Tasmanian Aboriginal man. He is wearing a necklace of twisted kangaroo sinews and clothing of animal skins
|Truganini, Douglas Nicholls, Oodgeroo Noonuccal, Ernie Dingo, David Wirrpanda, Adam Goodes, Jade North, Bronwyn Bancroft|
2.3% of Australia’s population
|Regions with significant populations|
|Several hundred Indigenous Australian languages, many no longer spoken, Australian English, Australian Aboriginal English, Kriol|
|Mixture of Christian, small numbers of other religions, various locally indigenous religions grounded in Australian Aboriginal mythology|
|Related ethnic groups|
|see List of Indigenous Australian group names|
In the High Court of Australia, Australian Aborigines have been specifically identified as a group of people who share, in common, biological ancestry back to the original occupants of the continent.
Justice Deane of the High Court famously described and defined an Australian Aboriginal person as “a person of Aboriginal descent, albeit mixed, who identifies himself as such and who is recognised by the Aboriginal community as an Aboriginal”.
Definitions from Australian Aborigines
Eve Fesl, a Gabi Gabi woman, wrote in the Aboriginal Law Bulletin describing how she and other Australian Aborigines preferred to be identified:
The word ‘aborigine’ refers to an indigenous person of any country. If it is to be used to refer to us as a specific group of people, it should be spelt with a capital ‘A’, i.e. ‘Aborigine’.
While the term ‘indigenous’ is being more commonly used by Australian Government and non-Government organizations to describe Aboriginal Australians, Lowitja O’Donoghue AC, CBE, commenting on the prospect of possible amendments to Australia’s constitution, was reported as saying:
I really can’t tell you of a time when ‘indigenous’ became current, but I personally have an objection to it, and so do many other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. […] This has just really crept up on us … like thieves in the night. […] We are very happy with our involvement with indigenous people around the world, on the international forum […] because they’re our brothers and sisters. But we do object to it being used here in Australia.
O’Donoghue went on to say that the term indigenous robbed the traditional owners of Australia of an identity because some non-Aboriginal people now wanted to refer to themselves as indigenous because they were born there.
Definitions from academia
Dean of Indigenous Research and Education at Charles Darwin University, Professor MaryAnn Bin-Sallik, has publicly lectured on the ways Australian Aborigines have been categorised and labelled over time. Her lecture offered a new perspective on the terms urban, traditional and of Indigenous descent as used to define and categorise Aboriginal Australians. She said:
“Not only are these categories inappropriate, they serve to divide us. […] Government’s insistence on categorising us with modern words like ‘urban’, ‘traditional’ and ‘of Aboriginal descent’ are really only replacing old terms ‘half-caste’ and ‘full-blood’ – based on our colouring.“
She called for a replacement of this terminology by the word: Aborigine or Torres Strait Islander, “irrespective of hue.”
Groups of Aborigines
Four hundred and more distinct Australian Aboriginal peoples have been identified across the Australian continent, each distinguished by unique names for groups of people’s ancestral languages, dialects, or distinctive speech mannerisms.
|This section requires expansion.|
- ^ 4705.0 – Population Distribution, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2006, Australian Bureau of Statistics.
- ^ Plevitz, Loretta D & Croft, Larry (2003) “Aboriginality Under The Microscope: The Biological Descent Test In Australian Law” QUT Law & Justice Journal Number 7 Accessed 25 March 2008.
- ^ Dean, J (1984) Tasmania v Commonwealth. 158 CLR. p. 243.
- ^ Fesl, Eve (1986) “‘Aborigine’ and ‘Aboriginal’” Aboriginal Law Bulletin. Number 39. Accessed 25 March 2008.
- ^ a b “Don’t call me indigenous: Lowitja”. The Age. Australian Associated Press (Melbourne). 1 May 2008. http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/dont-call-me-indigenous-lowitja/2008/05/01/1209235051400.html. Retrieved 12 April 2010.
- ^ a b Charles Darwin University newsroom (12 May 2008) “First public lecture focuses on racist language” Accessed 13 May 2008.
- ^ Horton, David (1994) The Encyclopedia of Aboriginal Australia: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History, Society, and Culture Aboriginal Studies Press. Canberra. ISBN 0-85575-234-3.
|Regions with significant populations|
|Tasmanian languages and Palawa kani|
The Tasmanian Aborigines (i /æbɵˈrɪdʒ
ɪniːz/; Aboriginal name: Parlevar) were the indigenous people of the island state of Tasmania, Australia. Before British colonisation in 1803, there were an estimated 3,000–15,000 Parlevar. A number of historians point to introduced disease as the major cause of the destruction of the full-blooded Aboriginal population. Geoffrey Blainey wrote that by 1830 in Tasmania: “Disease had killed most of them but warfare and private violence had also been devastating.” Other historians regard the Black War as one of the earliest recorded modern genocides. Benjamin Madley wrote: “Despite over 170 years of debate over who or what was responsible for this near-extinction, no consensus exists on its origins, process, or whether or not it was genocide” however, using the “U.N. definition, sufficient evidence exists to designate the Tasmanian catastrophe genocide.”
By 1833, George Augustus Robinson, sponsored by Lt.Governor George Arthur, had persuaded the approximately 200 surviving Tasmanian Aborigines to surrender themselves with assurances that they would be protected, provided for and eventually have their lands returned to them. These ‘assurances’ were in fact lies – promises made to the survivors that played on their desperate hopes for reunification with lost family and community members. The assurances were given by Robinson solely to remove the Aborigines from mainland Van Diemen’s Land. The survivors were moved to Wybalenna Aboriginal Establishment on Flinders Island, where diseases continued to reduce their numbers even further. In 1847, the last 47 living inhabitants of Wybalenna were transferred to Oyster Cove, south of Hobart, on the main island of Tasmania. There, a woman called Trugernanner (often rendered as Truganini), who is widely believed to be the very last of the full blooded Aborigine, died in 1876. However, in 1889 Parliament recognized Fanny Cochrane Smith (d:1905) as the last surviving full blooded Tasmanian Aborigine, giving her a land grant of 300 acres (120 ha) and an annuity of £50.
All of the Indigenous Tasmanian languages have been lost. Currently there are some efforts to reconstruct a language from the available wordlists. Today, some thousands of people living in Tasmania and elsewhere can trace part of their ancestry to the Parlevar, since a number of Parlevar women were abducted, most commonly by the sealers living on smaller islands in Bass Strait; some women were traded or bartered for; and a number voluntarily associated themselves with European sealers and settlers and bore children. Those members of the modern-day descendant community who trace their ancestry to Tasmanian Aborigines have mostly European ancestry, and did not keep the traditional Parlevar culture.
Other Aboriginal groups within Tasmania use the language words from the area where they are living and/or have lived for many generations uninterrupted. Many aspects of the Aboriginal Tasmanian culture are continually practised in various parts of the state and the islands of the Bass Strait.
Before European settlement
The Shoreline of Tasmania and Victoria about 14,000 years ago as Sea Levels were rising showing some of the human archaeological sites – see Prehistory of Australia
People are thought to have crossed into Tasmania approximately 40,000 years ago via a land bridge between the island and the rest of mainland Australia during the last glacial period. According to genetic studies, once the sea levels rose flooding the Bassian Plain, the people were left isolated for approximately 8,000 years until European exploration during the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
In 1990 archaeologists excavated materials in the Warreen Cave in the Maxwell River valley of the south-west proving Aboriginal occupation from as early as 34,000 BP making indigenous Tasmanians the southern-most population in the world during the Pleistocene era. In 2010, following protests that the construction of the Jordan River valley bridge that was part of the new Brighton bybass would disturb a tradition Aboriginal meeting place that had been identified in 2008, the government agreed to an archaeological investigation although stating that while artifacts would be protected the construction would go ahead. Archaeologists excavating a 600 metre long section of river bank found a large number of stone tools and later estimated that the bank contains up to three million artifacts. Preliminary dating indicates that the site was continuously occupied from 40,000 BP to 28,000 BP making the site 6,000 years older than the Warreen cave if confirmed.
After the sea rose to create Bass Strait, the Australian mainland and Tasmania became separate land masses, and the Aborigines who had migrated from mainland Australia became cut off from their cousins on the mainland. Because neither side had ocean sailing technology, the two groups were unable to maintain contact.
It has been a long held view that because of the ocean divide, and unlike other populations around the world, the small population of Tasmania was not able to share any of the new technological advances being made by mainland groups such as barbed spears, bone tools of any kind, boomerangs, hooks, sewing, and the ability to start a fire thus making Tasmanian Aborigines the simplest people on Earth. However, they did possess fire with the men entrusted in carrying embers from camp to camp for cooking and which could also be used to clear land and herd animals to aid in hunting practices. Another school of thought holds that because food was so abundant compared to mainland Australia the Aborigines had no need for a better technology, pointing out that they did in fact originally possess bone tools which dropped out of use as the effort to make them began to exceed the benefit they provided.
It has been suggested that approximately 4,000 years ago, the Tasmanian Aborigines largely dropped scaled fish from their diet, and began eating more land mammals such as possums, kangaroos, and wallabies. They also switched from worked bone tools to sharpened stone tools. The significance of the disappearance of bone tools (believed to have been primarily used for fishing related activities) and fish in the diet is heavily debated. Some argue that it is evidence of a maladaptive society while others argue that the change was economic as large areas of scrub at that time were changing to grassland providing substantially increased food resources. Fish were never a large part of the diet, ranking behind shellfish and seals, and with more resources available the cost/benefit ratio of fishing may have become too high. Archaeological evidence indicates that around the time these changes took place the Tasmanian tribes began expanding their territories, a process that was still continuing when Europeans arrived.
It is now believed that they also constructed basic wooden shelters and small domed ‘huts’ to protect themselves during chilly winter months, although it seems they preferred to live in cave dwellings.
Very little is known about the nature of social, cultural or territorial history of the Tasmanian Aborigines, but archaeological research has provided ethnographic evidence debunking many long-held myths.
Tasmanian Aboriginal Tribes
The social organisation of Tasmanian Aborigines had three distinct levels: the domestic unit or family group, the social unit or band which had a self-defining name with 40 to 50 people, and collections of bands comprising tribes which owned territories. Even though territories were owned there was substantial movement and migration by bands to utilise and share abundant food resources in particular seasons.
Estimates made of the combined population of the Aboriginal people of Tasmania, before European arrival in Tasmania, are in the range of 3,000 to 15,000 people. Genetic studies have suggested much higher figures which is supported by oral traditions that Aborigines were “more numerous than the white people were aware of” but that their population had been decimated by a sudden outbreak of disease prior to 1803. It is speculated that early contacts with sealers before colonisation had resulted in an epidemic. Using archaeological evidence, Stockton (I983:68) estimated 3,000 to 6,000 for the northern half of the west coast alone, or up to six times the commonly accepted estimate, however he later revised this to 3,000 to 5,000 for the entire island based on historical sources. The low rate of genetic drift indicates that Stockton’s original maximum estimate is likely the lower boundary and, while not indicated by the archaeological record, a population as high as 100,000 can “not be rejected out of hand”. This is supported by carrying capacity data indicating greater resource productivity in Tasmania than the mainland.
The Tasmanian Aborigines were a primarily nomadic people who lived in adjoining territory, moving from area to area not only based on seasonal changes in food supplies such as seafood, land mammals and native vegetables and berries but also to allow food resources to regenerate for future use. The different tribes shared similar languages and culture. They socialized, intermarried and fought ‘wars’ against other tribes.
According to Ryan, the population of Tasmania was aligned into nine tribes composed of six to fifteen bands each, with each band comprising two to six extended family units (clans) who were distantly related to each other. Individual bands had a specific home range with elaborate rites of entry required of visitors. However, the band was a land using group not a land owner with the clans making up the band each owning the rights to their own “estate” in the range. There were more than 60 bands before European colonisation, although only 48 have been located and associated with particular territories. The Eastern and northern Group consisted of the Oyster Bay Tribe, North East Tribe, and the North Tribe. the Midlands Group consisted of the Big River Tribe, North Midlands Tribe and Ben Lomond Tribe. The Maritime Group consisted of the North West Tribe, South West Tribe and South East Tribe.
Oyster Bay (Paredarerme)
The Paredarerme tribe was estimated to be the largest Tasmanian tribe with ten bands totalling 700 to 800 people (Ryan:1996:17). The Paredarerme Tribe had good relations with the Big River tribe, with large congregations at favoured hunting sites inland and at the coast. Relations with the North Midlands tribe were mostly hostile, and evidence suggests that the Douglas-Apsley region may have been a dangerous borderland rarely visited (Ferguson 1986 pg22). Generally, Paredarerme tribe bands migrated inland to the High Country for Spring and Summer and returned to the coast for Autumn and Winter, but not all people left their territory each year with some deciding to stay by the coast. Migrations provided a varied diet with plentiful seafood, seals and birds on the coast, and good hunting for kangaroos, wallabies and possums inland (Ryan:1996:17). The High Country also provided opportunities to trade for ochre with the North-west and North people, and to harvest intoxicating gum from Eucalyptus gunnii, found only on the plateau. The key determinant of camp sites was topography. The majority of camps were along river valleys, adjacent north facing hill slopes and on gentle slopes bordering a forest or marsh (Brown 1986).
|Leetermairremener||St Patricks Head near St Marys||Winter in the coastal areas of their own lands. Between August and October congregating around Moulting Lagoon and Schouten Island. In October they would move inland to St Pauls and Break o’ Day Rivers or up the Meredith River to the Elizabeth River area.
In January, the band would move back to the coast.
|Linetemairrener||North of Great Oyster Bay||As above.|
|Loontitetermairrelehoinner||North Oyster Bay||As above.|
|Toorernomairremener||Schouten Passage||As above.|
|Poredareme||Little Swanport||Winter in the coastal areas of their own lands. In August moving west to the Eastern Marshes, and through St Peters pass to Big River Country before returning to the coast in January.|
|Laremairremener||Grindstone Bay||As above.|
|Tyreddeme||Maria Island||As above.|
|Portmairremener||Prosser River||As above.|
|Pydairrerme||Tasman Peninsula||As above.|
|Moomairremener||Pittwater, Risdon||As above.|
The North East tribe consisted of seven bands totalling around 500 people. They had good relations with the Ben Lamond tribe, who were allowed access to the resources of the north east coast.
The North tribe consisted of four bands totalling 200–300 people (Ryan:1996:22). Their country contained the most important ochre mines in Tasmania, accessed by well defined roads kept open by firing. They traded the ochre with all adjacent tribes. They would spend part of the year in the country of the North West Tribe to hunt seals and collect shells from Robbins Island for necklaces. In return, the North West Tribe had free access to the ochre mines (Ryan:1996:23-26). Relatively isolated, the region was first explored by Europeans in 1824 with the Van Diemen’s Land Company being given a grant of 250,000 acres (100,000 ha), which included the greater part of the tribes hunting grounds. The settlement was a failure, with the inland areas described as “wet, cold and soggy”, while the coastal region was difficult to clear, as Superintendent Henry Hellyer noted the “forest [was] altogether unlike anything I have seen in the Island”. However, in 1827 a port was established at Emu Bay. In 1828 Tarerenorerer (Eng:Walyer), a woman who had escaped from sealers, became the leader of the Emu Bay people and attacked the settlers with stolen weapons, the first recorded use of muskets by Aborigines.
|Punnilerpanner||Port Sorell||Winter spent on the coast. In summer they would move inland.|
|Pallittorre||Quamby Bluff||As above|
|Noeteeler||Hampshire Hills||As above|
|Plairhekehillerplue||Emu Bay||As above|
|Pangerninghe||Clyde – Derwent Rivers Junction|
|Braylwunyer||Ouse and Dee Rivers|
|Larmairremener||West of Dee|
The Ben Lomond tribe consisted of three and possibly four bands totalling 150-200 people who occupied 260 km2 (100.4 sq mi) of country surrounding the 182 km2 (70.3 sq mi) Ben Lomond plateau. Until 12,000 years ago, the plateau was covered by an ice cap, leaving it largely devoid of soil and lacking in resources. Walter George Arthur, son of a Ben Lomond elder, was the Wybalenna “activist” who petitioned Queen Victoria in 1847. Mannalargenna, who organized guerrilla attacks against British soldiers in Tasmania during the period known as the Black War, was a Plangermaireener elder, and in 1835 became the first Aborigine in Tasmania to be given a “christian” burial.
The North West tribe numbered between 400 and 600 people at time of contact with Europeans and had at least eight bands. They had good relations with the North tribe, who were allowed access to the resources of the north west coast. First explored by Europeans in 1824, the region was considered inhospitable and only lightly settled, although it suffered a high rate of Aboriginal dispossession and killings.
|Manegin||Arthur River mouth|
|Peternidic||Pieman River mouth|
South West Coast
|Lowreenne||Low Rocky Point|
Risdon Cove, the first Tasmanian settlement, was located in South East country. There is eyewitness evidence that the South East tribe may have consisted of up to ten bands, totalling around 500 people. However, only four bands totalling 160-200 people were officially recorded as the main source by Robinson, whose journals begin in 1829. By this time, Europeans had settled in most of the South East tribe’s country, with the majority of bands dispossessed and food resources depleted. Their country contained the most important silcrete, chert and quartzite mines in Tasmania. Truganini was a Nuenonne from Bruny Island, which they called Lunawanna-Alonnah. The first two European towns built on the Island were named Lunawanna and Alonnah, and most of the island’s landmarks are named after Nuenonne people. The island was the source of the sandstone used to build many of Melbourne‘s buildings, such as the Post Office and Parliament House.
Early European Contact
Abel Jansen Tasman, credited as the first European to discover Tasmania (in 1642) and who named it Van Diemen’s Land, did not encounter any of the Tasmanian Aborigines when he landed. In 1772, a French exploratory expedition under Marion Dufresne visited Tasmania. At first, contact with the Aborigines was friendly; however the Aborigines became alarmed when another boat was dispatched towards the shore. It was reported that spears and stones were thrown and the French responded with musket fire killing at least one Aborigine and wounding several others. Two later French expeditions led by Bruni d’Entrecasteaux in 1792-93 and Nicolas Baudin in 1802 made friendly contact with the Tasmanian Aborigines; the d’Entrecasteaux expedition doing so over an extended period of time. The Resolution under Captain Tobias Furneaux (part of an expedition led by Captain James Cook) had visited in 1773 but made no contact with the Tasmanian Aborigines although he left gifts in unoccupied shelters found on Bruny Island. The first known British contact with the Tasmanian Aborigines was on Bruny Island by Captain Cook in 1777. The contact was peaceful. Captain William Bligh also visited Bruny Island in 1788 and made peaceful contact with the Tasmanian Aborigines.
Contact with Sealers on the North and East Coasts.
More extensive contact between Tasmanian Aborigines and Europeans resulted when British and American seal hunters began visiting the islands in Bass Strait as well as the northern and eastern coasts of Tasmania from the late 1790s on. Shortly thereafter (by about 1800), sealers were regularly left on uninhabited islands in Bass Strait during the sealing season (November to May). The sealers established semi-permanent camps or settlements on the islands, which were close enough for the sealers to reach the main island of Tasmania in small boats and so make contact with the Tasmanian Aborigines.
Trading relationships developed between sealers and Tasmanian Aboriginal tribes. Hunting dogs became highly prized by the Aborigines, as were other ‘exotic’ items such as flour, tea and tobacco. The Aborigines traded kangaroo skins for such goods. However, a trade in Aboriginal women soon developed. Many Tasmanian Aboriginal women were highly skilled in hunting seals, as well as in obtaining other foods such as sea-birds, and some Tasmanian tribes would trade their services, and more rarely those of Aboriginal men, to the sealers for the seal-hunting season. Others were sold on a permanent basis. This trade incorporated not only women of the tribe engaged in the trade but also women abducted from other tribes. Some may have been given as ‘gifts’ meant to incorporate the new arrivals into Aboriginal society through marriage.
Sealers engaged in raids along the coasts to abduct Aboriginal women and were reported to have killed Aboriginal men in the process. By 1810 seal numbers had been greatly reduced by hunting so most seal hunters abandoned the area, however a small number of sealers, approximately fifty mostly ‘renegade sailors, escaped convicts or ex-convicts’, remained as permanent residents of the Bass Strait islands and some established families with Tasmanian Aboriginal women.
Some of the women were taken back to the islands by the sealers involuntarily and some went willingly, as in the case of a woman called Tarerenorerer (Eng:Walyer). Walyer was later to gain some notoriety for her attempts to kill the sealers to escape their brutality. Walyer, a Punnilerpanner, joined the Plairhekehillerplue band after eventually escaping and went on to lead attacks on employees of the Van Diemen’s Land Company. Walyer’s attacks are the first recorded use of muskets by Aborigines. Captured, she refused to work and was banished to Penguin Island. Later imprisoned on Swan Island she attempted to organise a rebellion. Although Aboriginal women were by custom forbidden to take part in war, several Aboriginal women who escaped from sealers became leaders or took part in attacks. According to Lyndall Ryan, the women traded to, or kidnapped by sealers became “a significant dissident group” against white authority.
Historian James Bonwick reported Aboriginal women who were clearly captives of sealers but he also reported women living with sealers who ‘proved faithful and affectionate to their new husbands’, women who appeared ‘content’ and others who were allowed to visit their ‘native tribe’, taking gifts, with the sealers being confident that they would return. Bonwick also reports a number of claims of brutality by sealers towards Aboriginal women including some of those made by George Augustus Robinson. An Aborigine by the name of Bulrer related her experience to Robinson, that sealers had rushed her camp and stolen six women including herself “the white men tie them and then they flog them very much, plenty much blood, plenty cry.” Sealing captain, James Kelly, wrote in 1816 that the custom of the sealers was to each have “two to five of these native women for their own use and benefit.” A shortage of women available “in trade” resulted in abduction becoming common and in 1830 it was reported that at least fifty Aboriginal women were “kept in slavery” on the Bass Strait islands.
“Harrington, a sealer, procured ten or fifteen native women, and placed them on different islands in Bass’s Straits, where he left them to procure skins; if, however, when he returned, they had not obtained enough, he punished them by tying them up to trees for twenty-four to thirty-six hours together, flogging them at intervals, and he killed them not infrequently if they proved stubborn.” (H.W.Parker The Rise, Progress, and Present State of V. D. Land 1833)
The raids for, and trade in, Aboriginal women contributed to the rapid depletion of the numbers of Aboriginal women in the northern areas of Tasmania, “by 1830 only three women survived in northeast Tasmania among 72 men”  and thus contributed in a significant manner to the demise of the full-blooded Aboriginal population of Tasmania. However many modern day Tasmanian Aborigines trace their descent from the 19th century sealer communities of Bass Strait.
There are numerous stories of the sealers’ brutality towards the Aboriginal women; with some of these reports originating from George Augustus Robinson. In 1830, Robinson seized fourteen Aboriginal women from the sealers, planning for them to marry Aboriginal men at the Flinders Island settlement. Josephine Flood, an archaeologist specialising in Australian mainland Aboriginal peoples, notes: “he encountered strong resistance from the women as well as sealers”. The sealers sent a representative, James Munro, to appeal to Governor Arthur and argue for the women’s return on the basis that they wanted to stay with their sealer husbands and children rather than marry Aboriginal men unknown to them. Arthur ordered the return of some of the women. Shortly thereafter, Robinson began to disseminate stories, told to him by James Munro, of atrocities allegedly committed by the sealers against Aborigines and against Aboriginal women, in particular. Brian Plomley, who edited Robinson’s papers, expressed scepticism about these atrocities and notes that they were not reported to Archdeacon Broughton‘s 1830 committee of inquiry into violence towards Tasmanians. Abduction and ill-treatment of Aborigines certainly occurred, but the extent is debated.
After European Settlement
Robert Dowling, Group of Natives of Tasmania, 1859. Critic Bernard William Smith assessed the work as a “history painting in the full sense of the word”, with the natives “seated—emblematic of their situation—around the dying embers of a burnt-out log near a great blackened stump, and in the far left corner there is a leafless tree with shattered branches.”
Between 1803 and 1823, there were two phases of conflict between the Aborigines and the British colonists. The first took place between 1803 and 1808 over the need for common food sources such as oysters and kangaroos, and the second between 1808 and 1823, when the small number of white females among the farmers, sealers and whalers, led to the trading, and the abduction, of Aboriginal women as sexual partners. These practices also increased conflict over women among Aboriginal tribes. This in turn led to a decline in the Aboriginal population. Historian Lyndall Ryan records seventy-four Aborigines (almost all women) living with sealers on the Bass Strait islands in the period up to 1835.
By 1816, kidnapping of Aboriginal children for labour had become widespread. In 1814, Governor Thomas Davey issued a proclamation expressing “utter indignation and abhorrence” in regards to the kidnapping of the children and in 1819 Governor William Sorell not only re-issued the proclamation but ordered that those who had been taken without parental consent were to be sent to Hobart and supported at government expense. A number of young Aboriginal children were known to be living with settlers. An Irish sealer named Brien spared the life of the baby son of a native woman he had abducted explaining, “as (he) had stolen the dam he would keep the cub.” When the child grew up he became an invaluable assistant to Brien but was considered “no good” by his own people as he was brought up to dislike Aborigines who he considered “dirty lazy brutes.” Twenty-six were definitely known (through baptismal records) to have been taken into settlers’ homes as infants or very small children, too young to be of service as labourers. Some Aboriginal children were sent to the Orphan School in Hobart. Lyndall Ryan reports fifty-eight Aborigines, of various ages, living with settlers in Tasmania in the period up to 1835.
Some historians argue that European disease did not appear to be a serious factor until after 1829. Other historians including Geoffrey Blainey and Keith Windschuttle, point to introduced disease as the main cause of the destruction of the full-blooded Tasmanian Aboriginal population. Keith Windschuttle argues that while smallpox never reached Tasmania, respiratory diseases such as influenza, pneumonia and tuberculosis and the effects of venereal diseases devastated the Tasmanian Aboriginal population whose long isolation from contact with the mainland compromised their resistance to introduced disease. The work of historian James Bonwick and anthropologist H. Ling Roth, both writing in the 19th century, also point to the significant role of epidemics and infertility without clear attribution of the sources of the diseases as having been introduced through contact with Europeans. Bonwick, however, did note that Tasmanian Aboriginal women were infected with venereal diseases by Europeans. Introduced venereal disease not only directly caused deaths but, more insidiously, left a significant percentage of the population unable to reproduce. Josephine Flood, archaeologist, wrote: “Venereal disease sterilised and chest complaints – influenza, pneumonia and tuberculosis – killed.” 
Bonwick, who lived in Tasmania, recorded a number of reports of the devastating effect of introduced disease including one report by a Doctor Story, a Quaker, who wrote: “After 1823 the women along with the tribe seemed to have had no children; but why I do not know.” Later historians have reported that introduced venereal disease caused infertility amongst the Tasmanian Aborigines.
Bonwick also recorded a strong Aboriginal oral tradition of an epidemic even before formal colonisation in 1803. “Mr Robert Clark, in a letter to me, said : “I have gleaned from some of the aborigines, now in their graves, that they were more numerous than the white people were aware of, but their numbers were very much thinned by a sudden attack of disease which was general among the entire population previous to the arrival of the English, entire tribes of natives having been swept off in the course of one or two days illness.” “  Such an epidemic may be linked to contact with sailors or sealers.
Henry Ling Roth, an anthropologist, wrote: “Calder, who has gone more fully into the particulars of their illnesses, writes as follows….: “Their rapid declension after the colony was founded is traceable, as far as our proofs allow us to judge, to the prevalence of epidemic disorders….”” Roth was referring to James Erskine Calder who took up a post as a surveyor in Tasmania in 1829 and who wrote a number of scholarly papers about the Aborigines. “According to Calder, a rapid and remarkable declension of the numbers of the aborigines had been going on long before the remnants were gathered together on Flinders Island. Whole tribes (some of which Robinson mentions by name as being in existence fifteen or twenty years before he went amongst them, and which probably never had a shot fired at them) had absolutely and entirely vanished. To the causes to which he attributes this strange wasting away … I think infecundity, produced by the infidelity of the women to their husbands in the early times of the colony, may be safely added. . . . Robinson always enumerates the sexes of the individuals he took; . . . and as a general thing, found scarcely any children amongst them; . . . adultness was found to outweigh infancy everywhere in a remarkable degree. . . .”
George Augustus Robinson recorded in his journals a number of comments regarding the Tasmanian Aborigines’ susceptibility to diseases, particularly respiratory diseases. In 1832 he revisited the west coast of Tasmania, far from the settled regions, and wrote: “The numbers of aborigines along the western coast have been considerably reduced since the time of my last visit . A mortality has raged amongst them which together with the severity of the season and other causes had rendered the paucity of their number very considerable.” 
Between 1825 and 1831 a pattern of guerrilla warfare by the Aborigines was identified by the colonists, some of whom acknowledged the Aborigines as fighting for their country. Rapid pastoral expansion and an increase in the colony’s population triggered Aboriginal resistance from 1824 onwards when it has been estimated by Lyndall Ryan that 1000 Aborigines remained in the settled districts. Whereas settlers and stock keepers had previously provided rations to the Aborigines during their seasonal movements across the settled districts, and recognised this practice as some form of payment for trespass and loss of traditional hunting grounds, the new settlers and stock keepers were unwilling to maintain these arrangements and the Aborigines began to raid settlers’ huts for food. The official Government position was that Aborigines were blameless for any hostilities, but when Musquito was hanged in 1825, a significant debate was generated which split the colonists along class lines. The “higher grade” saw the hanging as a dangerous precedent and argued that Aborigines were only defending their land and should not be punished for doing so. The “lower grade” of colonists wanted more Aborigines hanged to encourage a “conciliatory line of conduct.” Governor Arthur sided with the “lower grade” and 1825 saw the first official acceptance that Aborigines were at least partly to blame for conflict. In 1826 the Government gazette, which had formerly reported “retaliatory actions” by Aborigines, now reported “acts of atrocity” and for the first time used the terminology “Aborigine” instead of “native.” A newspaper reported that there were only two solutions to the problem, either they should be “hunted down like wild beasts and destroyed” or they should be removed from the settled districts. The colonial Government assigned troops to drive them out. A Royal Proclamation in 1828 established military posts on the boundaries and a further Proclamation declared martial law against the Aborigines. As it was recognized that there were fixed routes for seasonal migration, Aborigines were required to have passes if they needed to cross the settled districts with bounties offered for the capture of those without passes, £5 (around 2010:$1,000) for an adult and £2 for children, a process that often led to organised hunts resulting in deaths. Every dispatch from Governor Arthur to the Secretary of State during this period stressed that in every case where Aborigines had been killed it was colonists that initiated hostilities. While many aboriginal deaths went unrecorded the Cape Grim massacre in 1828 demonstrates the level of frontier violence towards Tasmanian aborigines.
The Black War of 1828-32 and the Black Line of 1830 were turning points in the relationship with European settlers. Even though many of the Aborigines managed to avoid capture during these events, they were shaken by the size of the campaigns against them, and this brought them to a position whereby they were willing to surrender to Robinson and move to Flinders Island.
Tasmanian aboriginals and settlers mentioned in literature 1800-1835.
|South West Coast||47||0||0|
In late 1831 George Augustus Robinson, a Christian missionary, brought the first 51 Aboriginals to a settlement on Flinders Island named The Lagoons, which turned out to be inadequate as it was exposed to gales, had little water and no land suitable for cultivation. Supplies to the settlement were inadequate and if sealers had not supplied potatoes, the Aborigines would have starved. The Europeans were living on oatmeal and potatoes while the Aborigines, who detested oatmeal and refused to eat it, survived on potatoes and rice supplemented by mutton birds they caught. Within months 31 Aborigines had died.
“They were lodged at night in shelters or “breakwinds.” These “breakwinds” were thatched roofs sloping to the ground, with an opening at the top to let out the smoke, and closed at the ends, with the exception of a doorway. They were twenty feet long by ten feet wide. In each of these from twenty to thirty blacks were lodged… To savages accustomed to sleep naked in the open air beneath the rudest shelter, the change to close and heated dwellings tended to make them susceptible, as they had never been in their wild state, to chills from atmospheric changes, and was only too well calculated to induce those severe pulmonary diseases which were destined to prove so fatal to them. The same may be said of the use of clothes… At the settlement they were compelled to wear clothes, which they threw off when heated or when they found them troublesome, and when wetted by rain allowed them to dry on their bodies. In the case of Tasmanians, as with other wild tribes accustomed to go naked, the use of clothes had a most mis-chievous effect on their health.
By January 1832 another 44 captured Aboriginals had arrived and conflicts arose between the tribal groups. To defuse the situation sergeant Wight took the Big River group to Green island where they were abandoned and he later decided to move the rest to Green Island as well. Two weeks later Robinson arrived with Lieutenant Darling, the new commander for the station, and moved the Aborigines back to The Lagoons. Lieutenant Darling ensured a supply of plentiful food and permitted “hunting excursions.” In October 1832, a decision was made to build a new camp with better buildings (Wattle and daub) at a more suitable location, Pea Jacket Point. Pea Jacket Point was renamed Civilisation Point but became more commonly known as Wybalenna, which in the Ben Lomond language meant “Blackman’s Houses”.
Robinson befriended Truganini, learned some of the local language and in 1833 managed to persuade the remaining 154 “full-blooded” people to move to the new settlement on Flinders Island, where he promised a modern and comfortable environment, and that they would be relocated to the Tasmanian mainland as soon as possible. At the Wybalenna Aboriginal establishment on Flinders Island, described by historian Henry Reynolds as the ‘best equipped and most lavishly staffed Aboriginal institution in the Australian colonies in the nineteenth century’, they were provided with housing, clothing, rations of food, the services of a doctor and educational facilities. Convicts were assigned to build housing and do most of the work at the settlement including the growing of food in the vegetable gardens. After arrival all Aboriginal children aged between six and 15 years were removed from their families to be brought up by the storekeeper and a lay preacher. The Aborigines were free to roam the island and were often absent from the settlement for extended periods of time on hunting trips as the rations supplied turned out to be inadequate. By 1835 the living conditions had deteriorated to the extent that in October Robinson personally took charge of Wybalenna, organising better food and improving the housing. However, of the 220 who arrived with Robinson, most died in the following 14 years from introduced disease and inadequate shelter. As a result of their loss of freedom, the birth rate was extremely low with few children surviving infancy.
In March 1847 six Aboriginals at Wybalenna presented a petition to Queen Victoria, the first petition to a reigning monarch from any Aboriginal group in Australia, requesting that the promises made to them be honoured. In October 1847, the 47 survivors were transferred to their final settlement at Oyster Cove station. Only 44 survived the trip (11 couples, 12 single men and 10 children) and the children were immediately sent to the orphan school in Hobart. Although the housing and food was better than Wybalenna, the station was a former convict station that had been abandoned earlier that year due to health issues as it was located on inadequately drained mudflats. According to the guards, the Aborigines developed “too much independence” by trying to continue their culture which they considered “recklessness” and “rank ingratitude.” Their numbers continued to diminish, in 1859 their numbers were estimated at around a dozen and by 1869 there was only one, who died in 1876.
Commenting in 1899 on Robinsons claims of success, anthropologist Henry Ling Roth wrote:
While Robinson and others were doing their best to make them into a civilised people, the poor blacks had given up the struggle, and were solving the difficult problem by dying. The very efforts made for their welfare only served to hasten on their inevitable doom. The white man’s civilisation proved scarcely less fatal than the white man’s musket.
The Oyster Cove people attracted contemporaneous international scientific interest from the 1860s onwards, with many museums claiming body parts for their collections. Scientists were interested in studying Tasmanian Aborigines from a physical anthropology perspective, hoping to gain insights into the field of paleoanthropology. For these reasons, they were interested in individual Aboriginal body parts and whole skeletons.
In one case, the Royal Society of Tasmania received government permission to exhume the body of Truganini in 1878, within 2 years of her death, on condition that it was “decently deposited in a secure resting place accessible by special permission to scientific men for scientific purposes.” Her skeleton was on display in the Tasmanian Museum until 1947. Another case was the removal of the skull and scrotum — for a tobacco pouch — of William Lanne, known as King Billy, on his death in 1869.
Aborigines have considered the dispersal of body parts as being disrespectful, as a common aspect within Aboriginal belief systems is that a soul can only be at rest when laid in its homeland.
20th century to present day
Body parts and ornaments are still being returned from collections today, with the Royal College of Surgeons of England returning samples of Truganini’s skin and hair (in 2002); and the British Museum returning ashes to two descendants in 2007.
During the 20th century, the absence of “full blood” Aboriginals and a general unawareness of the surviving populations, mean that many non-Aboriginals assumed they were extinct, after the death of Truganini in 1876. Since the mid 1970s Tasmanian Aboriginal activists such as Michael Mansell have sought to broaden awareness and identification of Aboriginal descent.
There is a dispute within the Tasmanian Aboriginal community over what constitutes Aboriginality. Since splitting from the Lia Pootah in 1996, the Palawa minority were given the power to decide who is of Tasmanian Aboriginal descent at the state level (entitlement to government Aboriginal services). Palawa recognise only descendants of the Bass Strait Island community as Aboriginal and do not consider as Aboriginal the Lia Pootah, who claim descent, based on oral traditions, from Tasmanian mainland Aboriginal communities. The Lia Pootah feel that the Palawa controlled Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre does not represent them politically.
In April 2000, the Tasmanian Government Legislative Council Select Committee on Aboriginal Lands discussed the difficulty of determining Aboriginality based on oral traditions. An example given by Prof. Cassandra Pybus was the claim by the Huon and Channel Aborigines who had an oral history of descent from two Indigenous women. Research found that both were white convict women. A further problem was the number of non-European settlers. Up to 600 of the convict settlers were Afro-American and it is also known that a percentage of free settlers were not of European descent. An Aboriginal community that survived on Bruny Island is possibly descended from two Africans who took up land grants on the island. The 1818 Hobart census lists 20 Afro-Americans and Lascars and the passenger list of one vessel, the Lady Nelson included ten Indians and Africans who had been given land grants in the Tasmanian interior. The children of these settlers effectively disappeared into the community as they were never identified as “negro” or “coloured” as no distinction was made between them and the European settlers.
More recently[when?] there have been initiatives to introduce DNA testing to establish family history in descendant subgroups. This has drawn an angry reaction from some quarters, as some have claimed “spiritual connection” with aboriginality distinct from, but not as important as the existence of a genetic link. The Tasmanian Palawa Aboriginal community is also making an effort to reconstruct and reintroduce a Tasmanian language, called palawa kani out of the various records on Tasmanian languages. Other Tasmanian aboriginal communities use words from traditional Tasmanian languages, according to the language area they were born or live in.
In June 2005, the Tasmanian Legislative Council introduced an innovated definition of aboriginality into the Aboriginal Lands Act. The bill was passed to allow Aboriginal Lands Council elections to commence, after uncertainty over who was ‘aboriginal’, and thus eligible to vote.
Under the bill, a person can claim “Tasmanian Aboriginality” if they meet the following criteria:
- Community recognition
Government compensation for “Stolen Generations”
On 13 August 1997 a Statement of Apology (specific to removal of children) was issued – which was unanimously supported by the Tasmanian Parliament – the wording of the sentence was
That this house, on behalf of all Tasmanian(s)… expresses its deep and sincere regret at the hurt and distress caused by past policies under which Aboriginal children were removed from their families and homes; apologises to the Aboriginal people for those past actions and reaffirms its support for reconciliation between all Australians.
There are many people currently working in the community, academia, various levels of government and NGOs to strengthen what has been termed as the Tasmanian Aboriginal culture and the conditions of those who identify as members of the descendant community.
In November 2006 Tasmania became the first Australian state or territory to offer financial compensation for the Stolen Generations, Aborigines forcibly removed from their families by Australian government agencies and church missions between about 1900 and 1972. Up to 40 Tasmanian Aborigine descendants are expected to be eligible for compensation from the $5 million package.
Some notable Tasmanian Aborigines
- Trugernanner (Truganini) and Fanny Cochrane Smith, who both claimed to be the last “full blooded” Palawa.
- William Lanne or “King Billy”
- The play The Golden Age by Louis Nowra
- The novel English Passengers by Matthew Kneale
- Historical novel Doctor Wooreddy’s Prescription for Enduring the Ending of the World by Mudrooroo
- The poem Oyster Cove by Gwen Harwood
- ^ a b c From Terror to Genocide: Britain’s Tasmanian Penal Colony and Australia’s History Wars
- ^ Rhys Jones:3,000-5,000, N. J. B. Plomley: 4,000–6,000, Henry Reynolds: 5,000–7,000, Colin Pardoe: 12,000+ and David Davies: 15,000.
- ^ a b c Bonwick, James: Daily Life and Origins of the Tasmanians, Sampson, Low, Son and Marston, London, 1870, p84-85
- ^ Bonwick, James: The Last of the Tasmanians, Sampson Low, Son & Marston, London, 1870, p388
- ^ Flood, Josephine: The Original Australians: Story of the Aboriginal People, Allen & Unwin, 2006, pp 66-67
- ^ Windschuttle, Keith, The Fabrication of Aboriginal History, Volume One: Van Diemen’s Land 1803-1847, Macleay Press, 2002, pp 372-375
- ^ Geoffrey Blainey, A Land Half Won, Macmillan, South Melbourne, Vic., 1980, p75
- ^ Colin Tatz, With Intent To Destroy
- ^ ‘Van Diemen’s Land’ James Boyce 2009 p.297
- ^ For discussion of the Truganini claim, and the other candidates, Suke and Fanny Cochrane Smith, see Rebe Taylor, Unearthed: the Aboriginal Tasmanians of Kangaroo Island,Wakefield Press, 2004 pp.140ff.
- ^ Lyndall Ryan, The Aboriginal Tasmanians, Allen & Unwin, 1996 p.220, denies Truganini was the last ‘full-blood’, and makes a case for Suke (d.circa 1888)
- ^ a b Pardoe, Colin (1991). “Isolation and Evolution in Tasmania”. Current Anthropology 32 (1): 1–27. doi:10.1086/203909.
- ^ Archaeology News March 2010
- ^ Jared Diamond. Guns, Germs, and Steel (1999 ed.). Norton. pp. 492. ISBN 0393061310.
- ^ a b c “Aboriginal Occupation”. ABS. 26 March 2008. http://www.abs.gov.au/Ausstats/abs@.nsf/dc057c1016e548b4ca256c470025ff88/F6FA372655DCC15FCA256C3200241893?opendocument. Retrieved 26 March 2008.
- ^ a b Lyndall Ryan, pp10-11, The Aboriginal Tasmanians, Second Edition, Allen & Unwin, 1996, ISBN 1863739653
- ^ a b Manne, Robert (2003). Whitewash. 317-318: Schwartz Publishing. ISBN 0 9750769 0 6.
- ^ Tasmania 2005: Aboriginal occupation Australian Bureau of Statistics 13 September 2002
- ^ a b c d Lyndall Ryan, pp13-44, The Aboriginal Tasmanians, Second Edition, Allen & Unwin, 1996, ISBN 1863739653
- ^ Cornwall Coal: Cullenswood 2 Environmental Effects Report pdf
- ^ Burnie: A Thematic History pdf Burnie City Council
- ^ Ben Lomond National Park Parks and Wildlife Service
- ^ Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Survey Jan 2001 pdf
- ^ Tasmania Regional Guide Series. Lonely Planet 2008 pg 136-137 ISBN 1741046912
- ^ Flood, Josephine: The Original Australians: Story of the Aboriginal People, Allen & Unwin, 2006, pp 58-60
- ^ Bonwick, James: The Last of the Tasmanians, Sampson Low, Son & Marston, London, 1870, pp 3-8
- ^ a b c Flood, Josephine: The Original Australians, pp58-60, p 76
- ^ Differing opinions have been given on Walyer’s involvement with the sealers. McFarlane writes that she voluntarily joined the sealers with members of her family, and was responsible for attacking Aborigines and white settlers alike (McFarlane, 2008: 119). However, Ryan comes to a different conclusion, that Walyer had been abducted at Port Sorell by Aborigines and traded to the sealers for dogs and flour (Ryan, 1996: 141).
- ^ a b c Kay Merry The Cross-Cultural Relationships Between the Sealers and the Tasmanian Aboriginal Women at Bass Strait and Kangaroo Island in the Early Nineteenth Century pdf, Flinders University Department of History 2003
- ^ Bonwick, James: The Last of the Tasmanians, pp 295-297
- ^ Bonwick, James: The Last of the Tasmanians, pp 295-301
- ^ a b c d Henry Ling Roth The Aborigines of Tasmania 1899
- ^ Flood, Josephine: The Original Australians, p 76
- ^ Smith, Bernard (1971). Australian Painting, 1788-1970. Melbourne: Oxford University Press. p. 57. ISBN 0195503724.
- ^ Ryan, Lyndall, The Aboriginal Tasmanians, Second Edition, Allen & Unwin, 1996, ISBN 1863739653, Appendix p 313
- ^ a b c Bringing them Home – The Report Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission
- ^ Flood, Josephine. The Original Australians, p 77
- ^ Ryan, Lyndall, The Aboriginal Tasmanians, Second Edition, Allen & Unwin, 1996, ISBN 1863739653, p 176
- ^ Boyce, James: Van Diemen’s Land, Black Inc, 2008, ISBN 9781863954136, p65
- ^ Flood, Josephine: The Original Australians, p 77, p 90, 128
- ^ Windschuttle, Keith, The Fabrication of Aboriginal History, Volume One: Van Diemen’s Land 1803-1847, Macleay Press, 2002, pp 372-376
- ^ Bonwick, Last of the Tasmanians, p388
- ^ Flood, Josephine, The Original Australians, p 90
- ^ Windschuttle, Keith, The Fabrication of Aboriginal History, pp 375-376
- ^ Flood, Josephine: The Original Australians, pp 66-67
- ^ Roth, Henry Ling, The Aborigines of Tasmania, Second Edition, Halifax (England): F. King & Sons, Printers and Publishers, Broad Street, 1899, p 18
- ^ Roth, Henry Ling, The Aborigines of Tasmania, 1899, pp 172-173
- ^ Plomley, N. J. B. (ed), Friendly Mission, Tasmanian Historical Research Association, Hobart, 1966, at p 695, Robinson writing to Edward Curr, 22 Sept 1832
- ^ John J. Cove What the bones say: Tasmanian aborigines, science, and domination McGill-Queen’s University Press 1995 Pg 25-29 ISBN 0886292476
- ^ Ryan L. 1996, The Aboriginal Tasmanians pg 313-314 . Europeans killed and Aborigines captured can be considered correct. The figures for tribal people shot is likely to be a substantial undercount.
- ^ The Lagoons was located on a narrow sandbank, covered with ferns and scrub. It was bounded on one side by the sea, and on the other side by a saltwater lagoon bordered with thick tea-tree which cut off access to the main island.
- ^ Roth The Aborigines of Tasmania 1899 pg 3
- ^ Flood, Josephine, The Original Australians: Story of the Aboriginal People, Allen & Unwin, 2006, p88, citing Reynolds
- ^ Since the 1980s this petition has been the focus of a major argument in the legal battle regarding the promises that Robinson and Governor Arthur made to the Tasmanian Aborigines.
- ^ Bonwick, James: The Last of the Tasmanians, p 270-295
- ^ Trugernanner (Truganini) (1812? – 1876), Australian Dictionary of Biography
- ^ “Bodies of Knowledge”. The Museum. 17 May 2007. No. 2, season 1.
- ^ “WHO MAKES UP THE TASMANIAN ABORIGINAL COMMUNITY?”. Lia Pootah Community. 26 March 2008. http://www.tasmanianaboriginal.com.au. Retrieved 26 March 2008.
- ^ Interview with Kaye McPherson (Lia Pootah elder) Four Corners Australian Broadcasting Corporation 26 August 2002
- ^ Legislative Council Select Committee on Aboriginal Lands 10 April 2002
- ^ Matthew Denholm, “A bone to pick with the Brits”, The Australian, 17 February 2007.
- ^ Tasmanian Legislation – Aboriginal Lands Act 1995
- ^ STOLEN GENERATIONS PUBLIC RELEASE, Premier Paul Lennon http://www.premier.tas.gov.au/speeches/stolen.html
European perceptions of New Zealand
in the early nineteenth century
At the close of the eighteenth century, European knowledge of New Zealand was confined to the very few coastal contacts made by visitors like Abel Tasman, James Cook and Marion du Fresne. A handful of paintings of the country had been exhibited in London by William Hodges and John Webber, artists who accompanied Cook on his voyages of 1772-1775 and 1776-1780, although a number of prints and engravings were published after these, as well as after works by Sydney Parkinson, Herman Diedrich Spöring, John Cleveley and Moses Griffith.1A considerable quantity of other images were included in publications of the various European voyages to the Pacific, and these continued to stimulate popular interest in the region well into the nineteenth century. For the learned gentlemen who attended these voyages, the chief interest was cataloguing geological, botanical and biological difference, a process that located New Zealand largely within the confines of eighteenth-century scientific discourse. With the arrival of the first convict settlements in Australia during the 1780s, however, a base was established for trade that was to greatly change the nature of British contacts with the country and British appraisals of its native inhabitants.
British and other European vessels soon began to visit the islands to obtain flax and timber, principally at coastal areas in the North Island, while offshore whalers began to stop over for water, food and hospitality. The first European settlements of any permanence were established with large-scale sealing in the 1810s, and then bay and shore whaling in the 1820s. The Church Missionary Society arrived in 1814 to erect a station at Rangihoua in the Bay of Islands, followed in 1822 by the Wesleyan Missionary Society at Hokianga. From a metropolitan viewpoint, however, the country appeared too far away and of too little economic or strategic importance to hold the attention of a nation at war in Europe until 1815 and then, in the 1820s and 1830s, preoccupied with social unrest and political dissent at home. Besides, there were other destinations for the prospective British emigrant that were tried and tested, and far easier to reach like America and Canada, or where settlement would serve the national interest, as in the Cape Colony where, following the 1814 Anglo-Dutch Treaty, colonisation was securing a British foothold in the predominantly Dutch hinterland. Nonetheless, proposals did surface sporadically for British settlement in New Zealand. A Lieutenant-Colonel Edward Nicholls suggested the British Government found a military colony there in 1823. In 1825, two Members of Parliament approached the Colonial Secretary, Earl Bathurst, with a scheme. As a result, the first New Zealand Company was formed in London, promptly despatching two ships to establish a base in the country for trading timber and flax.
At the same time, a set of New Zealand presences was emerging in metropolitan Britain, deposited there by the backwash of an increasingly globalising economy. Māori who worked European vessels debarked in Britain, either by choice or because they were set ashore, while others arrived as guests of recent visitors to New Zealand. One at least became a Sunday School teacher in Marylebone, while others featured in the popular press, made appearances in provincial shows, were mobbed in the streets or entertained in the homes of the wealthy.2 European crewmen who had deserted their vessels or been kidnapped by Māori also returned with tales of survival. They brought preserved heads for London shop windows or to display at local fairs, and those who had been tattooed or adopted Māori ways, like John Rutherford, a crewman from the American brig Agnes, allegedly plundered by Māori at Hawke’s Bay in 1817, might exhibit themselves as ‘wonders’.3 Details of Rutherford’s captivity and the scenes of violence he purportedly witnessed, were recounted at length in George Craik’s New Zealanders, one of the relatively few books dealing with New Zealand published in the first decades of the nineteenth century. Almost all of these works agreed, however, that the country’s native inhabitants were war-like, easily angered and ruthless in vengeance; propensities then frequently adduced as major impediments to their becoming, in contemporary European terms at least, ‘civilised’. Even Māori appeared to concur in this view. In 1824, Richard Cruise recorded a Bay of Islands chief had informed him it was impossible to convert Māori to settled ways because of their love of war: ‘if you told a New Zealander to work, he fell asleep; but if you spoke of fighting, he opened his eyes as wide as a teacup;…the whole bent of his mind was war’.4
To a considerable extent, early nineteenth-century metropolitan imaginings also blurred New Zealand into a contemporary conceptualisation of the ‘South Seas’, a loosely bounded region incorporating what is now known as Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia, but which extended in the early nineteenth-century imagination as far as the Indian Ocean and the coasts of Australia and the Americas. This was the setting for the late eighteenth-century voyages of John Byron, Louis de Bougainville and James Cook, reports of which had done so much to stimulate popular interest in the area and its inhabitants.5 Byron had been quite matter of fact in his descriptions of the Pacific islanders, and his Voyage Round the World made no suggestion that they might be happier or superior in any way to their British visitors. Bougainville, by contrast, was captivated by a highly Rousseauan idea of the noble savage, and represented the Pacific as a pre-lapsarian alternative to the artificial constraints of European civilisation, an unspoiled paradise in which ‘the freedom of the golden age still prevails’.6 It was Cook, however, who provided the most disturbing account of the Pacific, and one that darkened Bougainville’s bright, Arcadian vision.
On his first voyage, Cook had speculated that Māori sometimes consumed their slain enemies and, on his second visit to New Zealand, his suspicions appeared horribly realised when Māori aboard the Resolution were seen to devour flesh cut from the head of a dead warrior.7 During the decades that followed, European charting of the South Seas was coupled with reports of mutiny and shipwreck, native attacks and cannibalism, the latter emerging as a new co-ordinate in European understandings of the South Seas: a barbarous negative of European civilisation and moral order, a shocking reversal of Bougainville’s noble savage evincing a swirling immixture of shocked revulsion and prurient fascination.8 In 1814, for example, Matthew Flinders prefaced Voyage to Terra Australis with a collation of European voyages featuring native murder and plunder, heaped human skulls and severed hands strung up in the gloom of native huts.9 By the 1820s, its grisly horrors were being offered as enticements to prospective readers of titles like John Anderson’s Mission to the east coast of Sumatra in MDCCCXXIII …including…a visit to the Batta cannibal states, or Peter Dillon’s Narrative…of a Voyage in the South Seas, the full title of which promised gruesome details of the ‘Cannibal Practices of the South Sea Islanders’.10 It was a promise realised in Dillon’s frontispiece illustration, Massacre at the Fejee Islands in Septr. 1823, (figure 1), a contrast between heroically posed European sang froid and a confused mêlée of dark bodies, in the background of which the pale, naked carcasses of Dillon’s fellow crewmen were being ‘dissected, baked, and devoured’.11
To varying degrees and with different emphases, reports of Māori cannibalism appeared in nearly every British title dealing with New Zealand during this period. One of the earliest, John Savage’s 1807 Account of New Zealand, had paid scant attention to the practice, describing it briefly as a form of ritual vengeance.12 Cruise, by contrast, saw it practised ‘not only as a superstition, but as sensual animal gratification’. He reported Māori found European flesh ‘tough and unpalatable’, a reassurance of little use to those who fell victim to Māori cannibalism, and an example of the off-hand manner in which the subject was sometimes handled in metropolitan accounts.13 Both the Quarterly Review and Edinburgh Review lingered over the detail of Augustus Earle’s reports of Māori cannibalism, the latter devoting almost one quarter of its review of Narrative of a Nine Months’ Residence in New Zealand to the topic.14 As Earle described it, cannibalism was a bloody gash that rent an otherwise ordered landscape without warning, exposing a gross, barbaric side to the Māori character. Idly musing on the rude landscape at Pakanae, for example, his ramblings were brought to a sudden and shocking halt when he stumbled over the butchered remains of a human body fought over by pigs and dogs, ‘ocular proof’ of their ‘abominable ceremonies’.15 Dillon quite relished Moehanga’s description of the Māori attack fourteen years earlier on the European vessel the Boyd,
|Figure 2. Patoos, Clubs, &c. Artist unknown. Wood engraving from “The New Zealanders”, p. 264 (Permission of the author must be obtained before any re-use of this item.)|
in which seventy European passengers and crew were said to have been killed and eaten, an account that culminated in a scene ‘at which humanity must shudder–namely, the dissecting, baking, and devouring of our unfortunate countrymen’.16 Craik devoted nine pages to the ‘wild and indiscriminate slaughter’ of the Boyd incident and a further thirteen to Māori cannibalism which, like Cruise, he thought to satisfy a wholly unnatural appetite.17His small volume was peppered with illustrations of Māori weapons. Their placing, like surgical instruments on an otherwise blank ground
|Figure 3. After Te Pehi Kupe, Tattooing on the face of Tupai Cupa, from a drawing by himself. Artist unknown. Wood engraving from “The New Zealanders”, p. 332 (Permission of the author must be obtained before any re-use of this item.)|
essentialised their primitive function, fixed by the descriptions of human slaughter, skull-splitting and beheading (figure 2).18 Amidst this armoury were arrayed the tattooed features of Te Moranga, Hongi Hika and Te Pēhi Kupe; as well as other, nameless, grimacing faces, their tongues protruding fiercely; armed warriors looming against the horizon; and war canoes overspilling with violently gesticulating figures (figures 3, 4 and 5). This was not going to be the way to sell New Zealand as a prospective home for British settlers!
Cash, convicts and Christianity
By the late 1830s, growing commercial contacts were weaving New Zealand into a global economy, with whale oil landed in London and Boston, seal furs sold in Java and China, and timber carried to India and the Cape for shipbuilding. Māori and European traders exported pork, potatoes and flax, principally to Sydney, and in return came blankets, ironware, axes and muskets. Growing European interest in colonising the islands saw increasing numbers of volumes dedicated to describing the country and its native inhabitants and, with these, the image of Māori began to change. There was no one moment for this shift, which was imaginatively highly complex and which must be set, in any case, within a contemporary current of positive images of Māori, but its features can be registered in a comparison of two works by Edward Gibbon Wakefield, a figure central to the drama of mid nineteenth-century British settlement in both New Zealand and Australia.
Wakefield had propounded his theory of ‘systematic colonisation’ in a series of anonymously published articles in the London Morning Chronicle in late 1829, subsequently republished as A Letter from Sydney.19 It represented an interest in the antipodes that was to remain with him until his death in 1862 but, in 1833, he had briefly turned his attention to America. England and America purported to be an impartial comparison of the political, social and economic conditions of the two nations but was, in fact, another exercise in the logic of his system of ‘British’ colonisation, shortly to achieve a form of official sanction in arrangements for the colonisation of South Australia.20 His interest in colonisation and emigration had made Wakefield an enthusiastic reader of political economy, and England and America was dotted with references to works by Adam Smith, Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill and John McCulloch.21 The volume was largely polemic, however, laced with highly wrought passages on the Poor House and factory children, working class distress and the gin house, along with lengthy diagnoses of the uneasy affairs of the British middle class. It also included a peculiar dream sequence in which the author attempted to convince a slightly bewildered Robinson Crusoe to set Friday making ornaments to trade with neighbouring islands. This rather laboured essay in the relationship between land, labour and capital on which Wakefield based his colonisation scheme, was politely refused by Crusoe on the grounds that, ‘Our neighbours would make food of us if they could’.
‘Oh!’, Wakefield retorted blithely, ‘I had forgotten that restriction on trade’.22
This is cannibalism in what we might consider its slapstick mode, a mildly amusing impediment to trade, a kind of cooking-pot alternative to the busy logic of European commerce. It reveals, however, how the idea of cannibalism could be woven through the discourses of European exploration and colonisation as a cause, a reason for European interest, as the most extreme point of a savagery ordained to surrender to forms of commercial exchange.
Most commentators saw European trade with Māori as an important stimulus to civilisation, and a corrective to their barbarous ways. The Reverend William Marsden believed commercial pursuits combined with the ‘civilised arts’ would naturally inculcate industriousness and good moral habits amongst primitive Māori, thereby opening the way to Christianity. John Nicholas, who accompanied Marsden on his trip to the Bay of Islands to establish the Church Missionary Society’s first station, shared his enthusiasm for the civilising and christianising power of commerce. He urged that ‘artificial wants’ shaped by European material goods must inevitably excite a spirit of commerce amongst Māori and cautioned against the practice of giving gifts,
…for depending on this sort of casual liberality, [Māori] neglect those useful employments to which they would otherwise apply themselves, and their exertions being once relaxed, a morbid idleness, with a settled disinclination to labour, are the sure consequences.
By making commercial relations the basis of exchange, he countered, ‘the hope of gain would act as an incitement to diligent application’.23 Craik evidenced the apparent power of European commodities to influence Māori-European relations in Pomare’s decision to set aside his ‘murderous propensities’ in favour of the rewards derived from trade with Europeans.24 Earle conveyed a similar message in Te Whareumu’s protection of the Brampton at Kororareka in September 1823, when he prevented gathering crowds of local Māori from pillaging the grounded vessel because of his desire to maintain good trading relations with Europeans.25
Accounts like this appeared to convey a sympathetic attitude to Māori, their recognition of the superiority of European civilisation demonstrating their innate improvability but, simultaneously, this iconography of exchange represented the surrender of Māori cultural autonomy as the inevitable effect of use-values that were simply inherent in European commodities. It suggested that even the simplest European artefact had an autonomous, preordained purpose that could be read more or less successfully according to the relative cultural development of the race and which, once mastered, secured its inevitable progress. In fact, as Nicholas Thomas has observed, material technologies are highly dependent on forms of cultural competence and learned behaviour.26 The ‘irresistible magnetism’ imagined of European commodities consequently carried far more complex connotations than were allowed by writers like Nicholas, Craik or Earle.27 European material goods assumed new meanings and entered into very different value networks when appropriated by Māori; while relations of power between the two races, represented as the ‘natural’ product of material culture, were far more contingent in their actual operation. Cruise’s Journal of a Ten Months’ Residence in New Zealand, for example, reveals how jealously Bay of Islands Māori guarded their trade with the British vessel the Dromedary, using warnings of attack and plunder at other harbours and deliberate control of the crew’s access to kauri to detain the ship for as long as possible. Immediately the Cumberland whaler arrived, however, they deserted the Dromedary in favour of the muskets and powder they could obtain from the newly arrived vessel.28
Nor did Māori make the same distinctions as metropolitan observers between ‘good’ missionaries and ‘bad’ convicts and traders. During the first few decades of the nineteenth century, they valued material goods, particularly muskets, far more than they did the alien beliefs of a handful of unhappy proselytisers, and the missionaries clearly struggled in those ‘Strong Holds of Satan’.29 In 1820, Cruise had found them very much troubled by Māori depredations and observed they had made not a single convert during their six years in the country.30 Eight years later, Earle declared missionary work well intentioned but could see no good coming of it. There was little benefit in missionaries preaching ‘abstruse points of the Gospel’ to Māori, he argued, remarking dismissively that he ‘never yet saw one proselyte of their converting’.31
The missionaries came to New Zealand with the intention of changing Māori, and it followed they must acknowledge Māori could be redeemed, converted or improved, despite what they considered their barbaric ways. The Reverend William Yate, for example, remarked cautiously that ‘[v]iewed as an uncivilized people’, Māori were actually comparatively industrious. He proudly recorded the introduction of the ‘British plough’ by the Church Missionary Society, and delighted at the sight of ‘the youth of New Zealand themselves, the drivers of that plough, and the conductors of the whole business, after they have received their instructions from their [European] teachers and friends’.32 The missionaries argued stridently against the colonisation of New Zealand and yet, ironically, their representations of the country were instrumental in securing even greater metropolitan interest in that very outcome.33 In Yate’s Account of New Zealand, for example, the lengthy description of the country’s mountains, valleys, forests and plains, its trees, animals and fishes, climate, soil and minerals, along with details of their potential value and use, spoke of commercial more than spiritual objectives; and his language produced a form of symbolic colonisation by establishing prospective transitions from wilderness to farmland, native products to manufactured, natural landscape to cultivated.34
From cannibal to commerce
It was this kind of potentiality that pervaded the second of Wakefield’s volumes, a stubby, nondescript volume jointly authored with John Ward, published in November 1837 and entitled The British Colonization of New Zealand. It was not the first nineteenth-century British title devoted to New Zealand, but it was the first concerned principally with the progressive colonisation of the islands by British settlers.35 Earlier writers may have suggested European contacts of one kind or another, but they were far less ardent in their designs, and just as likely to press for civilisation or conversion of the existing population as a prelude to an antipodean Māori nation. That the writers of British Colonization had a different prospect in mind was clear from William Whewell’s quotation featured on the reverse of the title page:
It is not to be doubted that this country has been invested with wealth and power, with arts and knowledge, with the sway of distant lands, and the mastery of the restless waters, for some great and important purpose in the Government of the world. Can we suppose otherwise, than that it is our office to carry civilization and humanity, peace and good Government, and, above all, the knowledge of the true God, to the uttermost ends of the earth?36
Here was an undertaking worthy of the Lords, Members of Parliament, men of the cloth and other gentlemen who comprised the Committee of the recently formed New Zealand Association, whose names were dutifully listed, and whose objectives the volume was published to promote.37 In the pages that followed, Whewell’s vision of moral necessity, national imperative and Church of England philanthropy was enthusiastically embraced in a project which, it was promised, would reclaim a ‘moral wilderness’ at the other end of the globe.38
The Association’s scheme was a curious combination of personal greed and national enterprise, commercial avarice and religious philanthropy, to which was added a good measure of foolhardy conjecture. Its authors admitted little was yet known about the geology of the islands, but this did not prevent them from conjecturing wildly on the existence of rich veins of coal and iron, sulphur deposits, granite, quartz, marble and slate, to which they added immense forests, verdant plains and pastures sloping gently to the sea, with soil ‘superior to anything that imagination can conceive’.39 Earlier writers had not seen the country in quite such emphatic terms. Savage, for example, devoted only one page to potential European settlement and, even then, made no assumption that Britain would be the colonising power. Whatever their accuracy, his observations fixed New Zealand and its Māori inhabitants against metropolitan reference points rather than imaginatively mapping an entirely new geography of European commerce in the distant New Zealand landscape. He related Māori lifeways to those of European nations, making out a complex hierarchy of Māori social class, an aristocratic, national government and a polity of principalities lying in the islands’ hinterland. Very little of his account attended to the New Zealand landscape and, where it did, his interest was provisional, conditional. Flax and timber might be found valuable ‘at some time in the future’, he remarked and, although he noted an abundance of fish, he made no suggestion that this might one day supply a European population settled in the country. New Zealand instead offered opportunities for botanical, mineralogical and ornithological investigation, or for obtaining ‘rare and beautiful shells for the cabinets of the curious’.40 The country effectively derived meaning only when transported back and placed within metropolitan orders, just as what he wrote about his protégé Moehanga, who had returned with him to England, illuminated metropolitan schema rather than Māori. ‘The immense metropolis has amazed the most enlightened’, Savage declared, ‘[and] it will not therefore appear extraordinary that an uncultivated native of the antipodes should be struck with the greatest possible degree of wonder’.41 In this account, his stock exclamations at the newness of everything revealed little about Moehanga. Instead, they confirmed the enormity of Britain’s cultural wealth, the marvellous extent of its commercial power and the sophistication of its social forms.
Nicholas, who spent much longer in New Zealand than Savage, published a more complex account of his experiences there. A ‘votary of unaffected Nature’, he rhapsodised over the country’s landscapes. The ‘romantic wilderness’ of the Three Kings Islands, for example, was ‘worthy of a Claude or Rosa’ and, encountering Whangaroa harbour, he exclaimed,
…a pen more capable than mine of doing justice to the sublime scenes which nature presents in this quarter, would not be ill-employed in pourtraying [sic] them. A Barry or a Radcliffe may inspire delight by the peculiar force of their respective delineations; but for me, I can only attempt those rude and desultory sketches, which, though ill-according with the original, may still give some faint idea of these nobler objects which every traveller is expected to notice.42
Nicholas represented himself as an observer struggling simply to describe what was there, but these passages solicited understandings of the landscape that relied on a set of culturally determined framings popularised amongst Nicholas’s intended audience, the metropolitan leisured classes. The references to Claude, Rosa, Barry and Radcliffe mobilised a set of aesthetic conventions that demonstrated Nicholas’s own cultural competence, as well as inviting the reaffirmation of his reader’s. His use of the romantic, the picturesque and sublime as formal devices should not, however, be seen as separate from his narrative intent. The ubiquity of the picturing gaze in early nineteenth-century Britain, as well as its global reach, ensured that however alien or curious, the distant could always be made comprehensible. Looking, seeing, registering the characteristic facets of landscape constituted the distant prospect and its features as a space already colonised by the observing eye/I, a form of visual mastery subtly confirmed by Nicholas’s handling of Māori presences in the New Zealand landscape.
Where Savage had made native cultivations part of a characteristically Māori landscape at the Bay of Islands, Nicholas rendered them as painterly touches in a set of picturesque views.43 Far more than Savage, he saw the New Zealand landscape in terms of economic potential. Its uncommonly fertile soil was ‘highly favourable to the growth of all kinds of European grain’, he enthused, and there were mighty forests and mountains, the latter almost certainly ‘pregnant’ with valuable ores.44 He also went much further than Savage in extolling the potential benefits of planting a European colony in the country, weaving a web of prospective commercial contacts with Australia, South America, India, China and England, the ‘immense surplus’ of its native products drawing it ineluctably into a global marketplace,45 but Nicholas’s landscapes, like Earle’s, were savage as well as sublime, beautiful and brutal. Whangaroa, for example, was also a scene stained with the blood of the Boyd incident and, bringing the ill-fated crew to mind, Nicholas shivered with horror at being surrounded by the very ‘cannibals who had butchered them’ and the very weapons employed in their slaughter.46
|Figure 6. New Zealand Village. Artist unknown. Wood engraving from “British Colonization”, opp., p. 85 (Permission of the author must be obtained before any re-use of this item.)|
With their upbeat message about New Zealand, promulgated enthusiastically by magazines like Blackwood’s and the Spectator,47 Wakefield and Ward played down Māori warfare and violence. British Colonization ignored the Boyd incident entirely and included only four short sections on Māori cannibalism, suggesting this was either a primitive aberration destined to fall quickly to the march of European civilisation, or countering with examples of countries ‘nearer home’ that were once considered cannibal.48 It also largely ignored Māori material culture, portraying Māori society as materially impoverished and in need of the advantages of European civilisation. Evidence of this impoverishment was figured in New Zealand Village, (figure 6), one of five woodcut images included in the volume, but a scene stripped of the kind of detailed ornament featured in earlier illustrations such as
|Figure 7. Earle, Augustus, 1793-1838, A dance of New Zealanders. Drawn by A. Earle. Engraved by J. Stewart. Published by Longman & Co., London, May 1832. From “Narrative of a nine months residence in New Zealand”, opp. p. 70. Reference Number: PUBL-0022-3 (Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand, must be obtained before any re-use of this item.)|
Dance of New Zealanders, (figure 7), from Earle’s Narrative of a Nine Months’ Residence in New Zealand. The engraving also countered Earle’s violently staring, tattooed gesticulation with a form of somnolent black-face and primitive labour, the pig snuffling amidst the family group suggesting a people living quite literally close to an animal existence. Difference inscribed by Earle through artefactuality, nakedness, tattoo and martial defiance was eliminated by British Colonization in favour of a set of signifiers derived from the popular British genre of rustic scenes by the likes of George Morland, David Wilkie or William Collins, in which the subject’s setting, pose, attitude and relationship to the viewer were important cues to contemporary class relations. By invoking this cottage-door genre, the image attuned Māori existence to familiar European prototypes, but possibly the most important aspect of New Zealand Village was its depiction of all the central figures engaged in work of some kind. Just as signs of deference and industriousness in contemporary metropolitan images codified the rural poor as deserving of middle class interest and benevolence, in this image, Māori absorption in domestic labour rendered the race deserving of British attention, and fit to receive the benefits of British civilisation.
|Figure 8. Read, Richard, 1765-ca 1843, Tetoro, chief of New Zealand. Drawn by R Read from life, 1820. Engraved by Edward Finden. London, Longman & Co., 1823. Reference Number: A-114-036 (Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand, must be obtained before any re-use of this item.)|
Earlier nineteenth-century illustrations of Māori in volumes by Savage and Cruise had much in common with eighteenth-century images like those from Cook’s voyages. Edward Finden’s engraving of Tetoro, a Chief of New Zealand, (figure 8), for example, standing statuesquely on a barren shore in Cruise’s Journal of a Ten Month Residence in New Zealand, belongs to a European typology characterised by Bernard Smith as ‘hard primitivism’, a strongly classicised alternative to the luxe et douceur of the tropical Pacific.49 While Smith’s typologisation works relatively well when applied to late eighteenth-century ‘cabinet-of-curiosities’ approaches to human diversity such as Hawkesworth’s, Cook’s or the Forsters’, the nineteenth century saw growing European acquaintance with Pacific peoples, both individuals and cultures, and a shifting complex of environmental, moral and gendered outlooks that precipitated a confusion of references and rhetorics. The anonymous engraving of Craik’s New Zealander, with Spear, (figure 4 – see end of page 2), for example, started from the familiar mode employed by eighteenth-century illustrators of New Zealand, but the figure was placed in a more characteristically tropical landscape, with palm trees punctuating the background. This easily executed, instantly recognisable feature triggered a set of lingering associations from the works of Hawkesworth, Cook and the Forsters that constituted a simple shorthand corroboration of the authenticity of these Pacific prospects, anchoring New Zealand firmly within contemporary understandings of the ‘look’ of the South Seas.
|Figure 9. Anon., A New Zealand Chief, wood engraving [anon.], 15.3 x 10cm, Edward Gibbon Wakefield & John Ward, “British Colonization”, opp., p. 129 (Permission of the author must be obtained before any re-use of this item.)|
The illustrator of British Colonization handled the Māori warrior figure in much the same way as Craik’s engraver. Its New Zealand Chief, (figure 9), transported Finden’s figure of Titore from a rocky, windswept shore to one dotted with verdure, in the background of which the contemporary ‘South Seas’ signifier, the tropical palm swayed gently. In Cruise’s Narrative of a Nine Month Residence in New Zealand, Titore had been represented as an individual with a history, personality, agency, and affective links with the European narrator. In Craik, he was described as a Māori warrior who had proven himself capable of moral improvement during his short stay in England but who, on returning to New Zealand, had reverted to his old habits of head-hunting, plunder and warfare.50 In British Colonization, however, he appeared as a nameless New Zealand chief staged on a tropical outcrop, the absence of identification meaning there was no need to enter into his troubling biographical details. In an analogous fashion, descriptions of Hongi Hika, Tui and Te Pehi Kupe culled from Craik’s volume were carefully edited to demonstrate the ‘generous complexion’, ‘natural refinement’, and ‘gentleness and affection’ of Māori.51 The objective of these excisions was the construction of a positive picture of Māori, one that suggested they were in a ‘state of transition from savage to civilized life’.52 The teleology of promotion mandated this refashioning of cultural, biographical and aesthetic detail; and judicious management of its sources of information and modes of production meant that British Colonization’s representations of Māori ceased to embody racial and cultural difference in favour of willing collaboration with European settlement. As a consequence, while it was able to admit that warfare and cannibalism had once discouraged British settlement, British Colonization was able to argue Māori were now no longer ‘savage, cruel, and hostile to foreigners’,
…not opposing but inviting the permanent settlement of English people amongst them–not disregarding merely, but cherishing defenceless missionaries and other strangers…never, it is believed, attacking Europeans save in retaliation for injuries received.53
The emerging prospect
New Zealand on the eve of annexation
A long-standing British belief in Māori amenability to civilisation was strengthened during the 1830s by a growing humanitarian interest in native populations evident in public pressure to abolish slavery in Britain’s colonies, formation of the Aborigines Protection Society and the pro-native stance of a number of Parliamentary Committees.54 These deplored lawlessness amongst British visitors to New Zealand, lamented the undesirable effects of ‘irregular’ European settlement there and highlighted the country’s strategic importance to Pacific trade. They were also fond of pointing out that Britain had a duty to control the excesses of its subjects residing in the islands and, as Peter Adams has argued, these various interests and entanglements made the eventual British annexation of New Zealand in 1840 almost inevitable55. The warlike reputaion of Māori had not gone away, however. It had merely been occluded in many of the growing number of accounts that argued for British settlement of New Zealand, and it was easily resurrected to cast Māori as culpable in the British peopling of the islands. The argument, as Joel Polack put it on the eve of annexation in 1839, was that Māori left to their own devices seemed interested solely in exterminating their fellow countrymen. ‘The time has now arrived’, Polack announced, ‘for enlightened Europeans to teach them a contrary conduct’.56 Under the guiding British hand, he proclaimed, Māori would take to farming, an avocation that would quickly eradicate their warlike ways, while it brought new markets for British manufactures and ensured employment for thousands of the labouring classes at home.57
In these later writings on New Zealand, the rich, carefully laid out Māori plantations described by Nicholas, Cruise and Earle were redrawn as the basest of plots, their cultivators made to sit as mute acolytes at the feet of British masters, but Māori gardens had disappeared from these accounts not because the actual cultivations had gone,58 but because that erasure rendered the land available to British colonisation. In Polack’s account, as in virtually every breathless invocation of New Zealand’s fecundity, felicity and fitness for British colonisation at this time, the country was refigured as a prospect, redefined in terms of metropolitan objectives that were to be realised in a landscape effectively bleached of Māori activity. As Samuel Hinds, a member of the New Zealand Association, had informed the 1838 Lords Committee on New Zealand,
…civilized People have a Right, an inherent Right, over Countries that have not been subject to Civilization, whether those countries are uninhabited, or partially inhabited by Savages, who are never likely themselves to cultivate the Country.59
He could not have signalled more clearly the ideological dimensions of that contest over the landscape in New Zealand, a contest on which depended the very nature of both European and Māori presences right up to the present day.
- See Rüdiger Joppien and Bernard Smith, The Art of Captain Cook’s Voyages, Volume One: The Voyage of the Endeavour, 1768-1771 (London and New Haven, 1985), The Art of Captain Cook’s Voyages, Volume Two: The Voyage of the Resolution and Adventure 1772-1775 (London and New Haven, 1985) and The Art of Captain Cook’s Voyages, Volume Three: The Voyage of the Resolution and Discovery 1776-1780(London and New Haven, 1988) 2 vols.[back to reference 1 in text]
- Some contemporary details of Māori in the British metropolis can be found in John Nicholas, Narrative of a Voyage to New Zealand, 2 vols (London, 1817) vol. 1, pp. 255-7; George Craik, The New Zealanders (London, 1830) pp. 233, 248-249, 293, 328-9 and 316; the Missionary Register vol. 4 (1816), p. 500; vol. 5 (1817), p. 71; and the Times (London) 1 January 1821, 20 August 1823 and 18 February 1825. [back to reference 2 in text]
- Rutherford’s stay is detailed in Craik, pp. 277-278, 248 and 336-340. Some twelve years later, Charles Terry accused Rutherford of lying about his abduction. He reported it was well known amongst European residents in New Zealand that Rutherford had deserted his ship and gone into the bush of his own accord: Charles Terry, New Zealand: Its Advantages and Prospects as a British Colony (London, 1842) p. 198. For contemporary reports of the sale and display of preserved Māori heads in Britain, see William Howitt, Colonization and Christianity (London, 1838) p. 490; or Joel Polack, Manners and Customs of the New Zealanders, 2 vols (London, 1840) vol. 2, p. 41 [back to reference 3 in text]
- Richard Cruise, Journal of a Ten Months’ Residence in New Zealand (London, 1823) p.37. [back to reference 4 in text]
- See John Byron, Voyage Round the World (London, 1767); Louis de Bougainville, Voyage round the World…in the Years 1766, 1767, 1768 and 1769, trans., John Forster (London, 1772); John Hawkesworth, Account of the Voyages…for making Discoveries in the Southern Hemisphere (London, 1773); James Cook, Voyage towards the South Pole…in the years, 1772, 1773, 1774, and 1775, 2 vols (London, 1777); James Cook and James King, Voyage to the Pacific Ocean…in the Years 1776, 1777, 1778, 1779, and 1780, 4 vols (London, 1784); George Forster, Voyage round the World…during the Years 1772, 3, 4, and 5, 2 vols (London, 1777); Johann Forster, Observations made during a Voyage round the World (London, 1778). [back to reference 5 in text]
- Bougainville, p. 185. See also the account of ‘New Cythera’ (Tahiti) in Charles-Félix-Pierre Fesche’s Journal of Navigation (JMR, April 2003)[back to reference 6 in text]
- Cook and King, vol. 1, p. 244. This is not the place to rehearse arguments over cannibalism as actuality or myth. The important point here is that in early nineteenth-century Britain, these reports were overwhelmingly credited as fact. For the arguments, see Ray Tannehill, Flesh and Blood: A History of the Cannibal Complex (Boston, 1996). [back to reference 7 in text]
- For example, William Bligh, Voyage to the South Sea (London, 1792); Jean de la Pérouse, Voyage round the World…in the Years 1785, 1786, 1787, 2 vols., trans., Louis Milet-Mureau (London: John Stockdale, 1798); Matthew Flinders, Voyage to Terra Australis…in the Years 1801, 1802, and 1803, 3 vols (London, 1814); Peter Dillon, Narrative…of a Voyage in the South Seas, 2 vols (London, 1829); Frederick Beechey, Narrative of a Voyage to the Pacific…in the Years 1825, 26, 27, 28, 2 vols (London, 1831). [back to reference 8 in text]
- Flinders, vol. 1, pp. xxi-xxv and xxxiii-xxxviii. [back to reference 9 in text]
- John Anderson, Mission to the east coast of Sumatra in MDCCCXXIII…including …a visit to the Batta cannibal states (Edinburgh, 1826). The full title of Dillon’s work was Narrative and Successful Result of a Voyage in the South Seas, performed by order of the Government of British India, to ascertain the actual Fate of La Perouse’s Expedition, interspersed with Accounts of the Religion, Manners, Customs, and Cannibal Practices of the South Sea Islanders. [back to reference 10 in text]
- Dillon, vol. 1, p. lxxi. [back to reference 11 in text]
- John Savage, Some Account of New Zealand (London, 1807) p. 35. [back to reference 12 in text]
- Cruise, pp. 272 and 273. [back to reference 13 in text]
- ‘Earle’s Residence in New Zealand and Tristan D’Acunha’, Quarterly Review, vol. 98 (October 1832), pp. 133-165; ‘Earle’s Account of New Zealand’, Edinburgh Review, vol. 56, no. 112 (January 1833), pp. 333-349. Cannibalism featured in pp. 335-338. [back to reference 14 in text]
- Augustus Earle, Narrative of a Nine Months’ Residence in New Zealand (London, 1832) pp. 13 and 112-120. [back to reference 15 in text]
- Dillon, vol. 1, pp. 223 and 224. Reports closer to the time of the incident put the number killed at between thirty and forty. See the Times (London) 11 July 1810; and ‘Particulars of a late Visit to New Zealand, and of the Measures taken for rescuing some English Captives There’, Edinburgh Magazine, April 1819, pp. 304-409. [back to reference 16 in text]
- Craik, pp. 69-74, 100-113 and 308-312. [back to reference 17 in text]
- Ibid, pp. 264-266. Craik’s panoply was actually derived from a confusion of sources. Some artefacts were misattributed, while a number were from Pacific cultures other than New Zealand Māori. [back to reference 18 in text]
- Edward Gibbon Wakefield, A Letter from Sydney (London, 1829). [back to reference 19 in text]
- Edward Gibbon Wakefield, England and America, 2 vols (London, 1833). The title was published in the United States the following year. [back to reference 20 in text]
- For an analysis of Wakefield and contemporary economic thought, see Lee Tai-Sook, ‘Edward Gibbon Wakefield and movement for systematic colonization, 1829-1850’, Ph.D., diss., (Berkeley, 1986). For the influence of Adam Smith on Wakefield, see, Erik Olssen, ‘Mr. Wakefield and New Zealand as an experiment in post-enlightenment experimental practice’, New Zealand Journal of History, vol. 31, no. 2 (1997) pp. 197-218; and ‘Wakefield and the Scottish Enlightenment, with particular reference to Adam Smith and his Wealth of Nations’, in Edward Gibbon Wakefield and the Colonial Dream: A Reconsideration (Wellington, 1997) p. 47-66. [back to reference 21 in text]
- Wakefield, England and America, p.78. [back to reference 22 in text]
- Nicholas, vol. 1, pp. 17-18; vol. 2, pp. 160-1. [back to reference 23 in text]
- Craik, p. 217. [back to reference 24 in text]
- Earle, pp. 54-56. [back to reference 25 in text]
- Nicholas Thomas, Entangled Objects (London, 1991), pp. 85-87. [back to reference 26 in text]
- Thomas, p. 87. [back to reference 27 in text]
- Cruise, pp. 14, 66-68 and 103. [back to reference 28 in text]
- Judith Binney, The Legacy of Guilt: A Life of Thomas Kendall (Auckland, 1968), pp. 13-14. [back to reference 29 in text]
- Cruise, p. 55. [back to reference 30 in text]
- Earle, p. 58. [back to reference 31 in text]
- William Yate, An Account of New Zealand (London, 1835) pp. 105 and 198. [back to reference 32 in text]
- In 1837, Dandeson Coates, lay Secretary of the Church Missionary Society published a vehement denunciation of the latest organised plans to colonise the country: The Principles, Objects, and Plan of the New Zealand Association Examined (London, 1837). John Beecham, Secretary of the Wesleyan Missionary Society, also denounced the plans: Colonization: . . . with an Examination of the Proposals of the Association . . . formed for colonizing New Zealand 1st – 4th edns. (London, 1838). [back to reference 33 in text]
- Yate, pp. 3-79. [back to reference 34 in text]
- Edward Gibbon Wakefield and John Ward, The British Colonization of New Zealand (London, 1837). [back to reference 35 in text]
- Ibid, p. iv. [back to reference 36 in text]
- Ibid, p. viii. [back to reference 37 in text]
- Ibid, p. 27. [back to reference 38 in text]
- Ibid, pp. 43-48, 81-83, 77 and 307. [back to reference 39 in text]
- Savage, pp. 7-11, 8, 18, 20-21, 26, 59 and 93. [back to reference 40 in text]
- Ibid, pp. 102-103. [back to reference 41 in text]
- Nicholas, vol. 1, pp. 77, 105 and 114. [back to reference 42 in text]
- Savage, p. 3; Nicholas, vol. 1, p. 252. [back to reference 43 in text]
- Nicholas, vol. 1, pp. 209 and 264-265; vol. 2, pp. 234, 243-244, 252-253 and 257. [back to reference 44 in text]
- Ibid, vol. 2, pp. 313-23 [back to reference 45 in text]
- Ibid, vol. 1, pp. 134-135 and 223; vol. 2, p. 78. [back to reference 46 in text]
- Spectator (London) no. 487, 28 October 1837, pp. 1025-1026; Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, December 1837, pp. 784-795. [back to reference 47 in text]
- Wakefield and Ward, British Colonization, pp. 29, 49, 175 and 272-273. One country ‘nearer home’ was Britain itself, an accusation that neatly reinforced the message that it was possible to civilise cannibals. [back to reference 48 in text]
- See Bernard Smith, European Vision and the South Pacific, 2nd ed., (London and New Haven, 1988), pp. 329-332. [back to reference 49 in text]
- Craik, p. 302. Craik confused Titore with Titere, another Māori warrior, in suggesting that he had visited England. Ormond Wilson has tried to untangle the orthographic confusions in ‘Tooi Teeterree and Titore’, Journal of Pacific Society, vol. 122 (September 1963), pp. 267-70, although Binney has pointed out Wilson’s own confusions of Titore and Te Toru: Binney, p. 50, n. 7. Others who have confused Titere with Titore are Lawrence Rogers, Te Wiremu: A Biography of Henry Williams (Christchurch, 1973), p. 56, n. 8; and Harrison Wright, New Zealand, 1769-1840, 3rd edn., (Cambridge, Mass, 1980), pp. 131-132. [back to reference 50 in text]
- Craik, pp. 178, 179 and 189. [back to reference 51 in text]
- Wakefield and Ward, British Colonization, p. 170. [back to reference 52 in text]
- Ibid, p. 49. [back to reference 53 in text]
- As well as the 1836 Commons Committee on Aborigines, the 1837 Select Committee on Transportation condemned the influence of escaped convicts on both Australian Aboriginal and New Zealand Māori populations, while the damaging effect of European contacts on Māori was a major concern of the 1838 Lords Committee on New Zealand. [back to reference 54 in text]
- Peter Adams, Fatal Necessity: British Intervention in New Zealand, 1830-1847 (Auckland, 1977) in particular chapter 8, ‘The Obligations of Good Faith’, pp. 238-245. [back to reference 55 in text]
- Joel Polack, New Zealand . . . a Narrative of Travels and Adventures, 2 vols (London, 1838) vol. 2, p. 324 (original emphasis). [back to reference 56 in text]
- Ibid, vol. 2, pp. 337, 331 and 360. [back to reference 57 in text]
- As the settlement of Auckland grew, for example, it was supplied from large cultivated tracts of Māori land in the Waikato, a fact causing considerable concern during Hone Heke’s activities in 1845, and when Te Ati Awa returned to Waitara from Otaki in 1848, they established large market gardens to sell produce to the New Plymouth settlers. As Governor Grey reported in a despatch reprinted in the Times that year, Māori were by then substantial traders and an important source of export earnings: Times, (London) 7 October 1848. [back to reference 58 in text]
- Parliamentary Papers, Report from the Select Committee…into the Present State of the Islands of New Zealand (London, 1838) p. 129. [back to reference 59 in text]