Old Joe

Old Joe
  • 1 Units in Stock

  • Size 22cm x 21cm


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This original drawing in Charcoal on paper of Old Joe, a "Full Blood" of our Indigenous Tribe, Biripi with his pet bird on his hand was drawn by our late Mother, Jean Smith at Saltwater, circa 1940. 


Old Joe as we called him came with his "cousin" Earl every year to camp at Saltwater reserve. He always had his pet Butcher Bird with him and although our mother was such an accomplished fisherwoman, she was also a teacher to my older siblings and a fine sketcher and drawer. Sadly, this wonderful drawing of Old Joe, is one of just two known remaining sketches by our mother. 


It was from the likes of Old Joe that we learned much of our Biripi people's Heritage and Culture and of our Biological Indigenous father, Willie Allen, who Old Joe always referred to as "Uncle Willie". I remember the many stories that Old Joe told us around the camp fire, in the Traditional Tribal way. 


I can recall Old Joe and his "Cousin" Earl when our mother passed away at our Saltwater farm in 1949. There were many other Aboriginals too, looking on from Saltwater Road, but they didn’t come onto our property, except for Old Joe and “Cousin”, Earl. They came to just inside our farm gate with a large piece of bark filled with fresh gum leaves, that was smoking from a smoldering fire, which Old Joe constantly blew, causing smoke to billow towards our farm house. I didn’t feel afraid, nor did I feel sad.


Simply, I just had no idea of what was happening. But I later found that Old Joe was carrying out the customary “smoking” of the Spirits to “send” our Mother off to the Dreamtime. 


Medium: Charcoal on 200gsm paper 

drawn: Circa 1940  

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This product was added to our catalog on Wednesday 02 January, 2013.