Monop also known as Manop, Monap and William Monop was born around 1843 near Gnirgo / Nergo Spring which was 20 km east of New Norcia. He was of the Giragiok 'family', and Ballarruk section of the Yued people. His father's name was recorded by the New Norcia mission as Wi-ingut (wi-in meaning death, spooky, bad luck; cut/gut meaning heart) and the name of his ngarngk as Nucatgin.
On 5 May 1864 he 'came in from the bush’ to the New Norcia Mission and asked to stay. They estimated his age to be 21 at the time. On 31 March 1866 he was baptised and on 16 April he went bush for three days and again on 12 July for a week, and on 15 August he made his first communion. On 28 October the banns of his marriage with Scholastica Nangulan were read. Nangulan was born at the New Norcia Mission and was of the Tirarop section. Under the Yuat marriage laws, she was an eligible partner for Monop. They did not have children and found other partners later on. Monop later had two children in the mid 1880s by a second wife, Sarah Upona. Monop stayed at the mission for around 10 years. He worked many different jobs during these years including shearering, crop-farming, carpentering, skilled horsebreaking, and carting and played on the cricket team. He also took young men to the bush for ceremonial activites on a regular basis.
He is listed on the Design and Art Australia Online directory as a draughtsman and artist due to crayon drawings from in a sketchbook in the papers of Daisy Bates at the National Library of Australia. Daisy Bates met him in Perth in 1907 and asked him to do the crayon sketches which she kept. Also his ceremonial art was recorded in Bates’s writings and some photographs by Perth photographer E.G. Rome.
The photo of Monop on this page was taken by E.G. Rome at Cannington near Perth in 1907 when Monop was around 64 years of age. At the time Monop and Joobaitch were living in a camp with Daisy Bates. In 1907 Monop, Joobaitch and other birdiya performed a corroborree designed by Monop that showed 'sacred knowledge', as requested by Daisy Bates, without breaking traditional law. There are several photos by E.G. Rome of the dancers in ceremonial dress. The photo featured in an exhibition at the The Koort, Karlup, Kaartdijin: Heart, Home and Story exhibition at the State Library of Western Australia during NAIDOC Week in 2015. Some of the other photos by E.G. Rome of the preparations for the corroborree can be viewed here: "Keeping Culture Strong".
Ngiyan waarnk - References
- "William Monop - Biographical Details". Design and Art Australia Online: William Monop b. c.1843 Artist Draughtsman. Retrieved 23 December 2017
- "William Monop - Biography". Design and Art Australia Online: William Monop b. c.1843 Artist Draughtsman. Retrieved 23 December 2017
- Journal of Art Historiography, 2011 05, Multiple contexts in the first decades of the twentieth century, Mary Eagle. Retrieved 23 December 2017
- "Storylines exhibition explores WA Indigenous history through photographs". ABC Radio Perth Chloe Papas 9 Jul 2015