Image: Bust of Wouraddy AUR466

Bust of Wouraddy AUR466

The bust of Wouraddy, plaster-cast sculpture, probably 19th century replica from original cast by Benjamin Law produced in Hobart, Tasmania in 1835.

Stuart Humphreys
© Australian Museum


Wourrady was a Nuenonne man and was Truganini’s spouse. He became George Augustus Robinson’s reliable associate. In this role, he acquired a degree of protection. As a result, Wourrady and few other Aborigines survived the most violent period of ‘Black War’. While Wourrady was strongly attached to his tradition, he lived all his adult life under the control and restrictions imposed on him by Europeans. Along with other Tasmanian Aborigines, he was imprisoned on Flinders Island from 1835 to 1847 – until detainees were transported to Oyster Cove near Hobart. However, Wourrady never saw his land again as he passed away during his return sea journey.

The artist Benjamin Law, was commissioned by Augustus Robinson in Hobart, to produce two sculptures of Aboriginal Tasmanians, Wouraddy in 1835 and Truganini in 1836. The sculptures were made in plaster and painted in a dark colour to imitate bronze. At the time, several original copies were successfully sold in the Australian colonies and overseas. Some second-generation copies were subsequently produced from the original casts.

The Australian Museum has two sets of busts of Wouraddy and Truganini. One set is made to imitate the bronze sculpture as originally intended by the artist and Robinson. The second set is painted to reproduce natural colours.

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