The stage show Jandamarra confronts the recognized version of our history that non-indigenous people of Australia have been told. Many individuals merely know our past from the European point of view; while in Jandamarra, we see history though the eyes of the aboriginals living in the period of British Settlement. Jandamarra shows how some Aboriginals played vital roles in white society, the result of Settlement, and how point of view can challenge an audience.
White settlers in many instances in history depended on the skilful native Australians. In the production, Jandamarra was a bounty hunter, a capable horseman and a marksman. He worked for the white society to track down tribes that they never would have found on their own. Today I feel that because of the lack of opportunities for Aboriginals, many are dependent on the government for support. Jandamarra challenges this view, for it shows that at times, the white people were dependent on Aborigines, instead of the Aborigines relying on them.
The Bunuba tribe displayed in Jandamarra, lived happily amongst one another, and were always sticking by each others side. Families were close and treated each other with respect and love. The love and loyalty shown by the aborigines in Jandamarra, was a real wakeup call to me on how much damage European settlement has really done. I have observed in my life several occasions where Aboriginal families have acted violently towards one another. Witnessing such events and hearing on the news about the terrible sexual abuse and violence going on in these families, can sometimes lead me to think how could they do such acts to the ones they love? Jandamarra tackles this common view by showing that before all the damage, the Aborigines were joyful and living great lives. The alcohol first introduced to the people by the Europeans is also part to blame.
Aboriginals can often be interpreted as violent drunks and substance abusers. There have been occasions...