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Circus Waters Massacre

Warakurna: All the stories got into our minds and eyes

Circus Waters Massacre

WARNING: Visitors should be aware that this website includes images and names of deceased people that may cause sadness or distress to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The wati [Aboriginal men] saw their camels and killed one with a kurlarta [spear]. There was a really big fight ... Two of the white men were killed but one man got away with the camels. Three or four wati were killed.

Ian Newberry, Warakurna community, 2012

A painting on canvas depicting a central waterhole beyond which there are five figures holding spears with one lying on the ground with a wound in his chest. Below to the right there are two more figures aiming guns at this group and behind them a figure lying on the ground with a spear protruding from his body.
Circus Waters Massacre, 2012, Dorcas Tinamayi Bennett, Judith Yinyika Chambers and Delilah Shepherd, acrylic on canvas, 1010 x 1210 mm.

In January 1900, Henry Hill’s prospecting party passed through the Rawlinson Range, stopping at Circus Waters.

Circus Waters waterhole
Circus Waters. Photo: Tim Pearn.


Dorcas Tinamayi Bennett, born 1956 at Wurturu, a rock-hole near Kaltukatjarra (Docker River), Tjarurru skin group

Judith Yinyika Chambers, born 1958 at Mitjika, a rock-hole near Wanarn, Purungu skin group

Delilah Shepherd, born 1974, Karimarra skin group

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