Jim Kohen completes his PhD research

Jim Kohen completes his PhD research having made contact with the Darug people. Kohen’s interest is the distribution of biological resources and the spatial patterning of prehistoric Aboriginal campsites. However, he soon becomes involved in a much wider study of the Darug and their country, which includes culture, genealogy, social structure and language. Several families provide information, such as June Workman nee Tangye and Hilda Tangye nee Webb, relate the story of their ancestor, the Aboriginal "princess", Maria. Research shows that she was the daughter of Yarramundi, also known as Yellowmundi, the "chief" of the Boorooberongal clan from the Richmond area (Kohen 1993). The women know that she married a white man named Robert Lock, the first marriage between an Aboriginal woman and a European in Australia, and that they had ten children, nine of whom survived into adulthood. Maria and her descendants owned land at Plumpton and at Liverpool. Many of the extended family continue to live near Plumpton, Riverstone and Liverpool, while other related families who had moved to the Sackville Aboriginal Reserve, La Perouse, Redfern and Katoomba, now live close to these areas. With this detailed information as a guide, it was possible to confirm the ancestry of the extended Lock family, and to trace other related Darug families. From this beginning, almost 20,000 people have been traced who can claim descent from the Darug, a far cry from John Pilger's 1989 assertion that the Darug "no longer exist".

In the next ten years, Kohen acts as expert witness on behalf of the Darug people for their Native Title claims, and negotiation over Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) with the NSW government. www.darugweavers.tripod.com/ourblackandwhitefamily/id

  • Book by Jack Brook and Jim Kohen
  • Darug geneology, book by James Kohen
  • Darug Link members