Jack Dale

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2 AM 4808/07
Jack Dale Prison Tree & Chained Men 2006
Natural ochres & acrylic on cotton
1460 x 1760mm
$10000

"The prison boab tree near Derby has a large hollow interior. It was a staging place for Indigenous prisoners on the way to court in Derby or to be transported by sea to attend Broome court or some other place further south. The prisoners were usually under arrest for killing cattle or because they were making trouble for station managers. A lot of prisoners were only witnesses. The police took plenty of witnesses because they got paid money for feeding prisoners. The police filled up the hollow part of the prison boab tree with prisoners, and the rest of the prisoners were chained up around it so that they could not run away. The police used handcuffs as well. Chains and handcuffs were very popular in the Kimberley those days. The Derby Prison boab tree is a registered site of significance under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 [Western Australia]. It is important because it belongs to the Narrungunni [Dreaming] before it was used by the police". Jack Dale This painting features in Jack Dale's monograph "Mengenen" on pages 28 & 29 The Cruel Days.

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