Thursday, March 13, 2014

Roving the Southern Ocean

This is a great interview. Russell talks about Aboriginal whalers and sealers on the south coast of Australia.

"Aboriginal men and women were an active part of the sealing and whaling industries in the southern oceans in the nineteenth century. Even though the historical record is incomplete, Professor Lynette Russell has mined ships' records and sailor's journals to find individual stories of roving mariners."

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  1. Had a listen, very interesting. Does she cover any of the south coast people from Western Australia in the book?
    When you look closely at the relationship between the Taylor house at Candyup and Lynburn Station at Thomas River you see that Thomas Sherrat Junior first whaled at Barrier Anchorage fishery (4 miles north on the west side of Cape Arid) the same year Campell Taylor drove his stock there from the Oldfield River, west of Esperance. Amongst the Noongar crew at Barrier Anchorage that year were Dickey Taylor and Nebinyan. John Thomas also whaled there that year but east of the Cape and in with his crew was none other than Tommy King, aka Wandinyil/Norngern. To my mind there was a group of Albany Noongar men with family connections all along the coast as far as Israelite Bay who whaled, not just because they were good at it and because they got paid, but because it brought them back to their old family kalas without having to walk.

  2. That's really interesting Ciaran because of the sea highways that existed back then and the easier mode of travel was, of course, by sea.
    From what I've gathered Russell is concentrating on the eastern states when it comes to the Southern Ocean. But what a wonderful story from one who has researched for so many years. The Tommy Chaseland history had a particular resonance for me.

  3. And also the agency of the tyreelore women. It's easy to get shouted down when you write that they had any kind of power, given their situation.

  4. Yes, I was thinking about you and the Tasmania connection. I still have Edward Edwards in my mind. He went from there to Kangaroo Island to Albany, back to Bass Straight and then to New Zealand. A story as worthy as any. She also mentioned the Hentys and the shooting they were implicated with on the Victorian coast. Another, sort of, of, Albany connection.

  5. All through the interview I was thinking of your earlier thesis and the Tyreelore, and the initial comment back to Professor Russell which sparked the book. The idea that not every native woman was a victim, or all should be blanketed as a victims as some joined willingly and if they didn't some certainly fell-in with the life they found themselves a part of and subsequently participated willingly, possibly even enjoying a caring/loving relationship in the process.