waranta tangara takariliya ngini, krakapaka pilri-ta.
We mourn our ancestral dead, murdered at Cape Grim on this day, 10 February 1828.
From the earliest years of the invasion and settlement of north-western Tasmania, dreadful atrocities were committed against Aboriginal people. These led to the massacre at Cape Grim on 10 February 1828.
6 Aboriginal women recounted some of these brutalities to George Augustus Robinson when he visited the camp they lived in with sealers on the NW coast directly opposite Robbins Island: “The aboriginal females said that the Company’s shepherds had got the native women into their hut and wanted to take liberties with them, that the men resented it and speared one man in the thigh; that they then shot one man dead, supposed the chief; that subsequently some natives killed some of the Company’s sheep and drove them off the rocks, and sometime after they took by surprise a whole tribe which had come for a supply of mutton birds at the Doughboys, massacred thirty of them and threw them off a cliff two hundred feet in altitude. Since the destruction of those people the natives call the white people at Cape Grim NOW.HUM.MOE, devil, and when they hear the report of a gun they say the NOW.HUM.MOE have shot another tribe of natives.” [GA Robinson journal 21 June 1830]
See the TAC website for more information on the atrocities and massacre at pilri.
In honour of our ancestors and in memory of their loss of life and lands, we will shortly be proposing to the Tasmanian Place Names Board that offensively racist names in that region be replaced with the original Aboriginal names, and that other places are assigned dual names. In the case of three places which do not have European names, we propose the reinstatement of the original names. All these proposals are in line with the Tasmanian Aboriginal and Dual Naming Policy 2012.
The names are:
luwuka to replace ‘Suicide Bay’
timuk to replace ‘Victory Hill’
karanutung to replace ‘Niggerhead Rock’
ruwalayn/ Stack Island
Aboriginal place names for geographic features which do not already have an existing official name:
taynayuwa : the cliff where the people were shot (location of the Cape Grim massacre
nakali : cave opposite Doughboys (where the people were gathered before the massacre
ranapim taynamun: point opposite Victory Hill
We will be posting more on these names soon, and welcome your feedback and support.