Emma Johnston

  In the year 1880 or thereabouts there was a big massacre around Butchers Creek area. It started at Jillan which is an old Bora ground. The camp population was about five hundred yarra more or less: young and old, men and women.

On a day when the yarra, the men, went hunting, the gumaring, whitemen, visited the camp in their absence and took advantage of their yipi, their women. When the yarra came home they came found the gumaring in the camp with their yipi. So, that's when the war started between them, the Blackman and the Whiteman.

The yarra started fighting with spears.

When the gumaring saw they were being killed one escaped and went back to town to send for police to come out with guns. Most of our people were shot, even the young kids were shot down. Lots of the women ran into the forest to hide and managed to get away and were safe. My Grandmother told me that one of my Aunties was hung up on a lawyer vine but wasn't shot, they missed her. My Grandmother hid in the bladey grass. When the fighting was over she came out of hiding and went back to camp.

Grandmother lived peacefullly for a long time and reared her children. Then she decided to look for a partner. She found a partner and married him and had two yarra, sons, and two yipi, girls, to him. One yipi was shot by the police, the other one disappeared, running away. I don't know where she got to but she was safe. This was common in those days.

Now we are living in a peaceful world for a while.

Emma Johnston Ngadjonji Elder, Emma Johnston, is the daughter of Molly Raymont.   The shield design, which forms the background to this page, is from a shield of the Butchers Ck Clan of the Ngadjonji recreated in early 2000 by George Davis, Yidinyji Elder and Uncle to the Ngadjonji. See Shield-Making Butchers Ck Shield
This massacre is referred to in the Recent History section of the Ngadjonji history anthology in these pages. Back to Ngadjonji Today