Some historians have begun to question the enduring and tragic touchstones of the Aboriginal warrior’s life

Bangarra’s current production Bennelong opened last week, and tells the first contact story of the Aboriginal warrior. It is exquisite, captivating, quick-paced and deeply moving. But it continues the popular vision of Bennelong as a tragic figure in Australian history – a vision that is now contested.

Bennelong served as the main bridge between the Eora and the British during the tumultuous early years of the colony in Sydney, but according to the popular understanding of him, he fell short of either world, ending his days a displaced and ridiculed loner.

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