Sunday, November 25, 2018

Tribute to the dead infants of female convicts in Van Diemen's Land.

They never had names. 
The official government term was ‘Departures and Arrivals’ and, No, they were not referring to ships or planes. These were the babies born to convict women at the Van Diemen’s Land female factory. Out of 1200 babies born at the Female Factory in South Hobart. Between 1829 and 1877 approximately 900 babies died with no record being kept of the mother or child. Ninety departed from the Female Factory (prison) in George Town, Tasmania. All buried unceremoniously in unmarked graves.

In the early 2000s artist, Christina Henri put out a request for the women of Tasmania to sew calico bonnets for these little forgotten souls. The result was an overwhelming number of over 2000 Christening bonnets being made and in 2004 the display of 900 bonnets in the shape of a cross was presented at the site of the Hobart Female Factory.

Tiny dancers, wearing bonnets swayed to the sound of Brahms Lullaby while rose petals were scattered over the display. 

Ref and Pics: from permanent display in the Watch House in George Town, Tasmania.

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