Saturday, July 28, 2018

Angepena Waters

An Australian academic has created an interactive map showing sites of massacres that occurred during the frontier wars.  

The map can be accessed as a link in the newspaper article here

The massacres (and reprisals) were an inevitable part of the unsettlement of Australian First Nations people, of their forcible and violent dispossession from Country.  Angepena, in the Flinders is not on the map yet, but should be.  See my earlier (2007) post:  The Angepena Atrocities here

In 2011 I wrote this poem about Angepena:

Angepena Waters

Angepena waters were always just there
For all of the yura to share
And the birds and the creatures
Danced through its virgin features
As the yura chanted the songlines

Angepena waters are sparkling in the sun
But white men took the land for their cattle to run
And for them it makes more sense
Than to build a big long fence
That the yura are dispersed with the gun 

Though yura men lay dead
Their families had not fled
They still huddled near Angepena water
So the stockmen took whips and slashed their breasts
With great rips
And cut the heads and the backs of their children

At Angepena waters there were genocidal slaughters
So that cattle could drink without disturbance
With the water holes mud
Mixed with cow shit and blood
Angepena’s a shame job for whitey.