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Savages or Saviours? The sealers on the maritime frontier

Citation

Taylor, R, Savages or Saviours? The sealers on the maritime frontier, The Colonial Eye Conference, 3-6 February, The University of Tasmania, Australia (2001) [Conference Extract]


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Abstract

The sealers of nineteenth century Australia sealers are central to the story of how the Aboriginal Tasmanians have survived. For the Aboriginal Tasmanian women who were taken to live with sealers on the islands off Tasmania’s mainland, and had families with them, today have many descendants who continue to remember their ancestors’ heritage, culture and Aboriginality. But the sealers were also invaders, responsible for terrible violence towards the Aboriginal peoples of Tasmania. Perhaps, then, it is no surprise to find that textual representations of the sealers vary greatly. The older and more popular texts portray the sealers as only deplorable. More recent representations, however, acknowledge the role the sealers played in the story of Aboriginal Tasmanian survival. these writers have not, however, given equal attention to the sealers’ atrocities, possibly for fear of undermining their revisionist task. But perhaps they would have less to fear if they asked why they had to revise the sealers’ textual representations in the first place. Look through colonial eyes we can see that representing the sealers as ‘saviours’ has never been in colonial interests.

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Keywords:Tasmania, history, Aboriginal survival
Research Division:History and Archaeology
Research Group:Historical Studies
Research Field:Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History
Objective Division:Cultural Understanding
Objective Group:Understanding Past Societies
Objective Field:Understanding Australia's Past
UTAS Author:Taylor, R (Dr Rebe Taylor)
ID Code:135893
Year Published:2001
Deposited By:College Office - CALE
Deposited On:2019-11-19
Last Modified:2019-11-22
Downloads:0

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