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Gnoung-a-gnoung-a Mour-re-mour-ga (dit Collins)
, (1807-17)

by Nicolas-Martin Petit after Barthélemy Roger

engraving (sheet: 35.5 cm x 26.0 cm, plate-mark: 31.4 cm x 24.1 cm)

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Gnung-a Gnung-a Murremurgan, or Anganángan (d. 1809) was later dubbed ‘Collins’ by English colonists after he befriended and exchanged names with David Collins, the colony’s judge advocate. Gnung-a Gnung-a was married to Bennelong’s younger sister, Warreeweer (Wariwéar). While Bennelong was in England during 1793 and 1794, Gnung-a Gnung-a voyaged across the sea on the store ship HMS Daedalus to Norfolk Island, Nootka Sound (Vancouver) and Hawaii, where Hawaiian King Kamehameha vainly offered canoes, weapons and other valuable items in exchange for him. In December 1795 Gnung-a Gnung-a was seriously wounded by a spear in the back, thrown by Pemulwuy. He survived by careful treatment from his wife, but died some fourteen years later in Sydney, behind the Dry Store (now Macquarie Place, near Bridge Street). Gnung-a Gnung-a is often mentioned in Collins’s An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, his namesake describing the warrior and voyager as ‘much esteemed by every white man who knew him, as well on account of his personal bravery, of which we had witnessed many distinguishing proofs, as on account of a gentleness of manners which strongly marked his disposition’.

Gnung-a Gnung-a Murremurgan twice crossed the wide Pacific Ocean. He witnessed many Indigenous cultures, but in the end, he was happy to return to his wife, children and life in colonial Sydney.

Dr. Keith Vincent Smith, 2nd October 2018

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2009
Accession number: 2009.84