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Oui-re-kine, (1807-17)

Nicolas-Martin Petit

engraving (sheet: 36.3 cm x 27.0 cm, plate-mark: 32.0 cm x 24.5 cm)

This work is one of the portraits originally published as an illustration to the first edition of Voyage de Découvertes aux Terres Australes, the official account of the Baudin expedition. The sitter – identified by artist Nicolas-Martin Petit as Oui-ré-kine – is Wárrgan (Crow), also referred to as Worogan. In his writings about the Eora people he knew, astronomer and collector of Sydney languages William Dawes counted Wárrgan with Bennelong's sisters, although she might have been a half-sister or other relative of Bennelong’s. Her husband Yeranibe (Euranabie) was the son of Maugoran, a leader of the Burramattagal clan, making Wárrgan a sister-in-law to Bidgee Bidgee, another of Petit’s Sydney sitters. (Bidgee Bidgee’s portrait also features in this display). In 1801, Wárrgan and Yeranibe joined the Lady Nelson which, under the command of James Grant, voyaged to Jervis Bay before making a survey of Bass Strait. In The Narrative of a Voyage of Discovery performed in His Majesty’s vessel the Lady Nelson (1803–1804), Grant related an incident wherein Wárrgan demonstrated the use of a waddy and a woomera, and how incisions were made on the body using a shell. Both Wárrgan and Yeranibe spoke English, and acted as Grant’s interpreters.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2009

Accession number: 2009.82

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Nicolas-Martin Petit

Oui-re-kine

Subject professions

Indigenous identity

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