Image Indigenous Australian man, Y-erran-gou-la-ga (Mousquita), 1802

TLF ID R4037

This is a colour print of a half-figure portrait drawn by the French artist Nicolas-Martin Petit somewhere near Port Jackson (Sydney), between 20 June and 17 November 1802. It shows a man named as Y-erran-gou-la-ga. There is painting on his chest and face and he is wearing a piece of reed or bone through a hole in the cartilage of his nose. The print, measuring 32.0 cm x 24.0 cm, was published in France in 1807 as Plate no XIX (14) in 'Voyage de decouvertes aux Terres Australes (Atlas)', or 'Voyage of discovery to the Austral Lands (Atlas)', in which Y-erran-gou-la-ga was also identified as 'Mousqueda' or 'Mousquita'.



Educational details

Educational value
  • This asset is a product of the 1800-04 French expedition to Australia led by Nicolas Baudin (1754-1803) - the expedition set out aboard two ships in October 1800, the largest scientific team up to that time to leave Europe for the Pacific; Britain and France had been at war since 1793 and although British authorities were suspicious of French territorial intentions in Australia they guaranteed safe passage for the expedition, which contributed greatly to knowledge in Europe about Australia's Indigenous peoples, geography, and flora and fauna.
  • It provides evidence that the Baudin expedition focused on details of Indigenous individuals - the 'Age of Discovery' by European explorers sparked great interest in theories of human development and the original inhabitants of Australia and the South Pacific islands; several expeditioners, including Baudin, were members of the newly formed Société des Observateurs d'Homme (Society of the Observers of Man), and zoologist François Péron (1775-1810) represented the new science of social anthropology.
  • It is an example of the work of the artist Nicolas-Martin Petit (1777-1804), who had trained in the school of the leading French neoclassical painter Louis David (1748-1825) - although Petit and Charles-Alexandre Lesueur (1778-1846) had both been hired as assistant gunners, they became the two official artists on the Baudin expedition; Petit concentrated mostly on portraits and landscapes, and Lesueur on zoological subjects.
  • It shows Y-erran-gou-la-ga, also known as Mousqueda or Mousquita, who may have been the man known to the British at Port Jackson as Mosquito - he was banished without trial, first to Norfolk Island and later to Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania), for alleged involvement in a series of 'outrages' against British settlers; Governor Lachlan Macquarie (1762-1824) agreed in 1814 to his return to Port Jackson, but Y-erran-gou-la-ga stayed in Tasmania, became involved in further attacks on settlers, was eventually convicted of involvement in a murder and was hanged in Hobart prison on 25 February 1825.
  • It provides an example of Indigenous Australian body and face painting, using both white and red clay paint - the former New South Wales colonial official, David Collins, recorded that white clay paint was used for dancing, and red was used when the men were preparing to fight; Collins believed the actual design of the painting was up to the individual, and commented that some could make themselves look 'perfectly horrible'.
  • It depicts the once-common practice of men in the Port Jackson area of wearing a bone or reed ornament through a hole in the cartilage of the nose - David Collins recorded that boys appeared to have the operation between the ages of 12 and 15 years, and the bone used was from the leg of a kangaroo, sharpened to a point; Collins also stated that he had seen several Indigenous women who had undergone the operation.
  • It is an example of a print made from an image engraved into metal - this print was made in Paris in 1807 using a stipple engraving by Barthelemy Roger (1767-1841), and was produced for one of the illustrations in the first edition of the atlas of the published account of the Baudin expedition, 'Voyage de decouvertes aux Terres Australes' (published in 1807).

Other details

Contributors
  • Author
  • Name: de l'Imprimerie de Langlois\, Paris
  • Organization: de l'Imprimerie de Langlois\, Paris
  • Description: Author
  • Person: Nicolas-Martin Petit
  • Description: Author
  • Person: Barthelemy Roger
  • Description: Author
  • Person: J Milbert
  • Description: Author
  • Contributor
  • Name: National Library of Australia
  • Organization: National Library of Australia
  • Description: Content provider
  • URL: http://www.nla.gov.au
  • Name: de l'Imprimerie de Langlois\, Paris
  • Organization: de l'Imprimerie de Langlois\, Paris
  • Description: Author
  • Name: Education Services Australia
  • Organization: Education Services Australia
  • Description: Data manager
  • Person: Nicolas-Martin Petit
  • Description: Author
  • Person: Barthelemy Roger
  • Description: Author
  • Person: J Milbert
  • Description: Author
  • Copyright Holder
  • Name: National Library of Australia
  • Organization: National Library of Australia
  • Publisher
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organization: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Description: Publisher
  • Address: VIC, AUSTRALIA
  • URL: http://www.esa.edu.au
  • Resource metadata contributed by
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Address: AUSTRALIA
  • URL: www.esa.edu.au
Access profile
  • Colour independence
  • Device independence
  • Hearing independence
Learning Resource Type
  • Image
Rights
  • © Education Services Australia Ltd and National Library of Australia, 2013, except where indicated under Acknowledgements