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|Selections||Kara-war-meri and Kara-ko-ra,
or Youeda and Yemara:
a story of two Jugun sisters
12th March 2006
|This is a story of two sisters, Kara-war-meri and Kara-ko-ra, of the Jugun people whose country is now occupied by the town of Broome.
Kara-war-meri (big water, or water place), possibly also known as Fanny and as Youeda, was born at Coconut Well, north of Broome in the 1860s and
had a relationship with William (Bill) Brooker.
Kara-war-meri had two daughters:
Mary Polly (later Polly Vincent, Maria Filomena, Philomena Pedro, Mary Philomena Francis, Mary Philomena Angat), who was born c1882 Broome; and Philomena Samson or Sampson (later Philomena Brillante, Philomena Carter), who was born c1887 Broome.
This is all fairly circumstantial, and more evidence is needed. However, it seems to be reasonable at this stage to put forward the following hypothesis:
It would be useful to know something about Jugun ways of naming girls and women - that may provide some clues to understanding the names of these women and the relationships between them, and something about the extent of pearling and sheltering of luggers in Roebuck Bay before Broome was officially declared a town in 1883, to understand the use of Jugun women in the pearling industry and the opportunities for contact between Jugun women and white and Asian pearlers during the 1870s and early 1880s when Mary Polly and Philomena were conceived and born.
Kara-war-meri was still alive in 1930 when a police report into an application for citizenship by her daughter Mary Polly noted that she lived with Mary Polly in a cottage near the Streeter & Male staff quarters in Broome. However, by 1945 when Mary Polly was again applying for citizenship, she stated that her mother was no longer alive. Kara-ko-ra was dead by 1941 when her daughter, Lydia, was interned as an enemy alien (because of her marriage to a Japanese man).