An aboriginal woman’s story

THIS WEEK I met an aborigine woman and heard what she represented and what has happened to her people!

She told me her story…………no different to many of the woman of her race. Her mother was raped by a white man and she was the result. Her Mother used to spread dark earth over her baby’s body to make it look more dark skinned so that her tribe wouldn’t have difficulty in accepting her, and that she would be the same colour as her brother’s and sisters, as her mother was married and had children already by her aboriginal husband, who took the white fella’s child into his family group.

The Missionaries came along and said that a white man’s child couldn’t live like that and took the child away from her parents with the government fully supporting that act. The government officials told the parents that they were never to see that child again, not to attempt to make any contact with her. So she was taught in a missionary school and was indoctrinated with the ways of the white man. As she says she could have gone to that school each day and lived with her parents, she didn’t have to be taken from them. She learnt well the white man’s ways and ended up marrying a white man. She did a man’s job on the station that he owned. She went mustering with them, and she was a very good stock woman and earned her way

Then she got news that her parent had never given up the will to find her and they were on their way to the station. When she told her husband he said that he was having no aborigine sleeping under his roof and told her to clean out the saddle room for her parents to sleep in. With tears she cleaned out the saddle room for them, as she was deeply distressed. When her parents arrived she told her husband that she wasn’t going to work on the farm but spend time with them.

One day, as she was showing her mother around the station they came to the lily pond and her mother was very impressed with all the ‘food’ in the pond and said she wanted to gather some. The woman said lots of times when she had passed that pond on horse back, she had an urge to get into it but didn’t, as no white person did. So mother and daughter waded in and started to eat the tender young juicy shoots of the lily. All the cattle came and stood along the fence as they had never seen anything like it before. She said that she was happy, seeing all the cattle very solemn faced watching both her and her mother enjoying the water and the food.

Her husband came back and could see all the cattle standing along the fence and wondered why, so rode over to see what was happening. He was shocked to see his wife in the pond…………he ordered her out yelling at her that she was behaving like a Jin. She quietly said to him, haven’t you noticed all these years, that I AM a JIN. ( She is dark skinned.) Her mother was crying………. but she said she felt very strong and knew what she wanted to do.

When they got back to the house she told her Mother that she was coming back to her people. Her mother started to cry again and said, but that means you will leave your husband and that would be breaking aboriginal law. The woman felt that she was dammed if she did and was dammed if she didn’t, so she took the children, knowing what she was asking of them and left with her parents. She said it was an unhappy marriage right from the start but as is the aboriginal way, she got on with her life and did her best in the situation.

She now is traveling around Australia, with all her belongings in two bags, as she says aborigines don’t need lots of possessions, it isn’t their way………..telling her story and trying to find a way of meeting and living together, with the white people and her people, as she has lived very fully both ways and so she feels she HAS something to say!

Her children have had contact with their father up until his death and she is on a small pension now. She is through the pain of her people and has accepted that the great spirit has brought this time of suffering to her people, that they don’t know why, but they are looking for a way to be accepted as equal, different people with the white man. I am very open at the moment, I had tears rolling down my face as I listened to her story.

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