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The Aboriginal Nat Turner: 9 Facts About Native Australian Freedom Fighter Jandamarra


The Aboriginal Nat Turner

The Australian Aborigine Jandamarra was born c. 1870 and died April 1, 1897. In 1894, the great aboriginal leader began defending his people’s territory against the encroaching white settlers who were willing to do anything for more farmland. He was a member of the Bunuba tribe — an indigenous group living in the Kimberley district of Western Australia. The district’s mountainous terrain became a strategic stronghold during the three-year fight against colonizers.

large_Windjana_GorgeThe Origins of Jandamarra

Since he was 11 years old, Jandamarra worked for white settlers as a stockman and field-hand. His many relationships with white Australians would play a crucial part in his journey to becoming a rebel. From the age of 15 to his early 20s, the man would go back and forth between the white world and his ancestral homeland. At one point, the Bunuba tribe excommunicated him for his faulty sense of loyalty to them.

Late in 1889, Jandamarra and his uncle Ellemarra were captured by police at Windjina Gorge. They were arrested for allegedly killing sheep on a white farm. It has been documented that Aborigines would kill off white farmers’ livestock in an attempt to drive them away. History shows that tactic was ineffective. The two men were chained together and marched to Derby Gaol, an area in western Australia.

The only way he could save his uncle was to agree to serve the police by taking care of their horses.

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