Auckland Museum - Collections Online

Predicate Object 1931 1931-01-01T00:00:00.000Z 1931-12-31T00:00:00.000Z 1931.398 Museum purchase, 1931 collection of Auckland War Memorial Museum Tamaki Paenga Hira, 1931.398, 16653 2002-11-04T00:00:00.000Z 1 2020-12-18T05:21:50.266Z 55 Truganini (ca. 1812 – 8 May 1876) Truganini was born around 1812 on Bruny Island, south of today's Tasmanian capital Hobart, and separated from the Tasmanian mainland by the D'Entrecasteaux Channel. She was a daughter of Mangana, Chief of the Bruny Island people. Her name was the word her tribe used to describe the salt-bush Atriplex cinerea.[1] Before she was eighteen, her mother had been killed by whalers, her first fiance died while saving her from abduction, and, in 1828, her two sisters, Lowhenunhue and Maggerleede, were abducted and taken to Kangaroo Island, off South Australia and sold as slaves. She soon married Woorrady; although, he would die when she was still in her twenties. When Lieutenant-Governor George Arthur arrived in Van Diemen's Land in 1824, he implemented two policies to deal with the growing conflict between settlers and the Aborigines. First, bounties were awarded for the capture of Aboriginal adults and children, and secondly, Arthur tried to establish friendly relations to lure the aborigines into camps. He started this campaign on Bruny Island where there had been fewer hostilities than in other parts of Tasmania. Truganini, seated right. In 1830, George Augustus Robinson, the Protector of Aborigines, moved Truganini and Woorrady to Flinders Island with about one hundred others, the last surviving Tasmanian Aborigines. The stated aim of isolation was to save them[citation needed], but many of the group died from influenza and other diseases. Truganini also helped Robinson with a settlement for mainland aborigines at Port Phillip in 1838. However, she joined in the rebellion and was sent back to Flinders Island. In 1856, the few surviving Tasmanian Aborigines on Flinders Island, including Truganini, were moved to a settlement at Oyster Cove, south of Hobart. In 1873, when Truganini was the sole survivor of the Oyster Cove group, she was again moved to Hobart. She died three years later, having requested that her ashes be scattered in the D'Entrecasteaux Channel. She was, however, buried at the former "Female Factory" at Cascades, a suburb of Hobart. Within two years, her skeleton was exhumed by the Royal Society of Tasmania and later placed on display. Only in April of 1976, on the centenary of her death, were her remains finally cremated and scattered according to her wishes. In 1997 the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter, returned Truganini's necklace and bracelet to Tasmania. Hair and skin were found in the collection of the Royal College of Surgeons of England in 2002, and they were returned to Tasmania for burial.[2] Although the colonial administration at the time proclaimed that she was the last-surviving full-blood Tasmanian Aborigine, several other individuals are known to have out-lived Truganini, and produced descendants “I didn't know that you had a painted bust of Truganini (a cast of which was obtained on the d'Urville voyage, probably because there were no living Tasmanians available). I would love to see a photograph of that, and I do hope it is in an intact state.” Roger Blackley, Sunday, 24 August 2008 "E J Dicks made models of Tasmanian aboriginals for a diorama [at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery] in 1930. In 1931 he made additional plaster casts of Trugannini and also made a cast of William Lanney. The diorama was opened on the anniversary of Truganini's death 8 May 1931." Sue Backhouse, Acting Senior Curator of Art, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, 1 Sept 2008 bust of Tasmanian woman. E J Dicks, Bust of Truganini, painted plaster bust bust
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