Heather Kunjarra Koowootha – Kukanyji Firestorm

$350.00 inc GST

Etching and aquatint
Image size: 49.5 x 34 cm
Paper size: 72 x 50 cm
Printed by Theo Tremblay at No Fixed Press.
PCA Print Commission 2016

The old people still talk about the day the missionaries took away my people, the Kunganyji, from the island of Kabirah, today called Fitzroy Island. Our island was torched, to force my people down to the main beach where they boarded luggers and the mission sloop, which ferried them to the mainland. Turtle Beach was where they were supposed to settle, but this was not their land and soon Yarrabah community was built and most settled there. But it was never peaceful with so many different tribes.

They carried whatever possessions they owned in their handmade baskets. They were like refugees. The government used our island as a quarantine station and later for military training and a naval defense base in world war two. Now the tourists go there to an expensive hotel and swim with the fish and look at the beautiful corals. We still know where the burial sites are and remember the stories of that island.