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Looking into shadows: Musquito and Black Jack, and a death mask made of country
There have been dramatic changes in scholarship in Aboriginal history since I wrote a short biography of the life of the Gai-mariagal warrior Musquito for the Australian Dictionary of Biography in 2003. His story, of exile from the Colony of Sydney to Norfolk Island in 1805 then to Van Diemen's Land in 1814, and his 1825 execution, remains a foundational narrative of Australian history, but I no longer think a traditional biography, focusing on the story of an individual, conveys the complexity of this history.
This paper will talk about encountering the death mask of one of Musquito's companions, a palawa warrior known as Black Jack, and what that taught me about the enactment of particular forms of colonial violence. It presents a challenge to the work of recent biographers who have written about palawa people and Musquito.
Publication titleProceedings of the 2021 Australian Historical Association Conference
Pagination1 piece- abstract
Department/SchoolSchool of Humanities
PublisherAustralian Historical Association
Place of publicationAustralia
Event titleAustralian Historical Association Conference
Event VenueUniversity of New South Wales
Date of Event (Start Date)2021-12-01
Date of Event (End Date)2021-12-01