Traditional law and indigenous resistance at Moreton Bay 1842-1855

Connors, Libby (2005) Traditional law and indigenous resistance at Moreton Bay 1842-1855. Australia and New Zealand Law and History E-Journal. pp. 107-117. ISSN 1177-3170

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This paper revisits the events that brought Dundalli, a leader of the Djindubarri, to the attention of the British culminating in his public execution in January 1855. A recent seminar presented to the Royal Historical Society of Queensland disputed that these Aboriginal-European attacks constituted resistance.

This paper will use the evidence presented in various criminal trials at Brisbane to attempt to re-construct Indigenous actions. This behaviour will be compared with anthropological literature on ancestral law and traditional governance in order to re-enact the judicial processes that appear to be in operation among the traditional owners of the Moreton Bay region at the time of first contact.

Rather than the routine execution of a criminal murderer, this paper will argue that Dundalli's hanging and the events leading up to it may be characterized as a conflict between two legal systems, British and Indigenous, with both using force and ritual deaths to impose their authority.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Arts - Department of Humanities and International Studies
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2007 00:26
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 22:33
Uncontrolled Keywords: Dundalli; indigenous resistance; traditional leadership
Fields of Research : 21 History and Archaeology > 2103 Historical Studies > 210301 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History
16 Studies in Human Society > 1601 Anthropology > 160104 Social and Cultural Anthropology
18 Law and Legal Studies > 1801 Law > 180101 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Law
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950503 Understanding Australia's Past

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