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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Aborigines at Oyster Cove, Tasmania, 1858 (printed 1890s)

Francis Nixon

glass plate negative (sheet: 8.2 cm x 10.5 cm)

Trukanini (c. 1812-1876) was a Nuennone woman from Bruny Island. After several members of her family - including her mother, and her partner Paraweena - had been abducted or killed by settlers, Woorrady became her partner in 1829. With Woorrady, Trukanini travelled with G A Robinson, official Protector of Aborigines, whose goal was to remove Indigenous people from Tasmania to his mission on Flinders Island. After her death in 1876 Trukanini's skeleton was disinterred from her grave and displayed publicly at the Tasmanian Museum from 1904 to 1947. In 1976 her remains were cremated and her ashes were scattered in the D'Entrecasteaux Channel. Based on the misapprehension that Tasmanian Indigenous people had been made extinct by European colonization, during her lifetime and beyond Trukanini was known as the last of her race. However, other Tasmanian Indigenous women were abducted by European settlers working on islands in Bass Strait and on Kangaroo Island, and bore children.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2011

Accession number: 2011.89

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Francis Nixon (age 55 in 1858)

Trukanini (age 46 in 1858)

Flora

Mary Ann (age 39 in 1858)

Wapperty

Emma (age 51 in 1858)

Patty (age 61 in 1858)

Caroline

Bessy Clark (age 33 in 1858)

Tippo

Subject professions

Indigenous identity

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.