Troublesome Natives rotting in the penal colonies

Dec 29, 2014, 01:41 AM

Indigenous convicts: Khoisan, Maori and Aboriginal exiles - ABC Radio National - Hindsight

The convicts left to rot in Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) didn't all hail from Britain. There were Australian Aboriginal freedom fighters, South African and even Moari convicts.

If you hang the Freedom Fighters (Trouble-makers) you are left with a body (evidence), but if you transport them to a penal colony, they can disappear without trace.

... tried and convicted in courts, and because of their perceived 'pagan' nature, they couldn't swear on a bible and thus give evidence.

How did a Maori man come to be buried on tiny, windswept Maria Island off Tasmania, way back in 1840?

Hohepa Te Umuroa was a convict, transported for joining the uprising of Te Rangiheata and other Wanganui Maori against settlers in the Hutt Valley. Hohepa was one of five Maori men who arrived as convicts, but they were among dozens of Indigenous people from across the Empire who were transported for waging war against the Crown.

Most Indigenous convicts didn't survive the harsh conditions of prisons like Norfolk Island, but some did. They often went to work in the service of the colony as trackers, bullock drivers, translators. They had been tried and convicted in courts, even though their 'pagan' natures meant they could not swear on a bible and thus give evidence. Gamaregal warrior, Musquito led a resistance against settlers in the Hawkesbury until he was caught and sent to Norfolk Island and then Van Diemen's Land.

Full size Image Link: Hoheps:- Gamareagal warrior, Musquito Article link: