From Moorundie to Buckingham Palace: Images of "King" Tenberry and his son Warrulan, 1845-55

S. Braithwaite, T. Gara, Jane Lydon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This paper explores the representation of Tenberry, a Ngaiwong man from Moorundie on the Murray River in South Australia, and his significant place in the colonial discourse of European settlement and race relations over the first decades of settlement. From around 1845, when he made his first public appearance in the engraved frontispiece to Edward John Eyre's journals of exploration, his image was circulated through explorer's narratives, pioneer reminiscences, evangelical propaganda, the developing colonial art scene, scientific collections, and popular press accounts. Producing and circulating stereotypes such as “King” Tenberry and his “manly” and “amiable” son Warrulan systematically defined Indigenous Australia for British colonists; with all the power, clarity and seeming truth of visual imagery, these allowed them to see Tenberry as guardian of tradition and the past, in counterpoint to visions of Warrulan's future, whose “capacity for improvement,” once removed from his people, gave settlers cause for hope. As these images travelled from Moorundie to the centres of Empire, they mapped a global visual economy that told the colonisers’ story of progress, displacing the Indigenous people in imagined but powerful ways.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-184
JournalJournal of Australian Studies
Volume35
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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