COREEN READING | ‘Kandukandu Kandukandu Bangaa – Kombali Red Turtle’ | Painting / on canvas

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"In 1918, an evil man by the name of John Mackenzie, along with a group of other European men, attempted systematic genocide on Kaiadilt people. The Europeans had settled on Kaiadilt Iand, Sweers Island, building a small township called Carnarvon. One day in 1918, Mackenzie and his group landed on Bentinck Island with their horses, they drove our people into the sea, forcibly drowning them, shooting them at sight, and kidnapping our young women. When our elders recounted children, pregnant women, and babies were not even spared; drowning at sea if they were not shot, tortured, raped, or killed by these savages. Mackenzie then built a hut on Bentinck Island, Kombali, where he continued to reign terror on our people. This area has a river often called Mackenzie but known to us as 'Kombali'; it is said that Mackenzie had a small daughter with bright red hair who drowned in these waters. To this day our people believe that this little girl turned into a small, red bangaa (Turtle) and continues to haunt the area. 

COREEN READING | ‘Kandukandu Kandukandu Bangaa – Kombali Red Turtle’ | 2022 | Acrylic on linen board | 40.6 x 30.5 cm