Friday, 10 October 2008
M for Mary Watson and the Dingaal people...
Click to enlarge.
In 1881 Robert Watson went to sea to collect beche-de-mer, leaving his wife and their baby and two Chinese servants behind. A group of Dingaal people came to investigate the building, when they saw smoke. Unknowingly the Watsons had intruded upon sacred land, where the Dingaal people were used to bring their young men to be initiated. A ceremony which didn't allow women to be present.One Chinese servant was killed and Mary, her baby and the other servant fled the island in a beche-de- mer boiling tank. Nine days later they died of thirst.
While every Australian knows this tragic story they often leave the rest untold. Many Aboriginal people were slaughtered in later retributions. The ruins of the Watson house are a terrible reminder of these tragic encounters between the original inhabitants of Australia, who have lived here for 50 thousand years and the newcomers.
Thanks to Mrs. Nesbitt, who has hosted this ABC game for the third round to the letter M for ABC Wednesday. For more ABC posts click on ABC picture in my side bar.Join us in this wonderful meme!