Story: Eva

The Eva skirt is named after Eva Knowles Johnson, an Australian poet, actor and playwright. Taken from her mother and the Malak Malak people at age two, Eva is a member of the stolen generation, and her analysis of colonialism from a feminist perspective is both beautiful and harrowing. Eva has contributed enormously to South Australia'a theatre scene, and to the representation of Aboriginal women on the stage.

You can read one of her poems below:

A Letter to My Mother by Eva Johnson

I not see you long time now, I not see you long time now

White fulla bin take me from you, I don’t know why

Give me to Missionary to be God’s child.


Give me new language, give me new name

All time I cry, they say—‘that shame’

I go to the city down south, real cold

I forget all them stories, my Mother you told


Gone is my spirit, my dreaming, my name

Gone to these people, our country to claim

They gave me white mother, she give me new name

All time I cry, she say—‘that shame’


I not see you long time now, I not see you long time now.

I grow as Woman now, not Piccaninny no more

I need you to teach me your wisdom, your lore


I am your Spirit, I’ll stay alive

But in white fulla way, you won’t survive

I’ll fight for Your land, for your Sacred sites

To sing and to dance with the Brolga in flight


To continue to live in your own tradition

A culture for me was replaced by a mission


I not see you long time now, I not see you long time now.

One day your dancing, your dreaming, your song

Will take my your Spirit back where I belong


My Mother, the earth, the land—I demand

Protection from aliens who rule, who command

For they do not know where our dreaming began


Our destiny lies in the laws of White Man

Two Women we stand, our story untold

But now as our spiritual bondage unfold

We will silence this Burden, this longing, this pain

When I hear you my Mother give me my Name


I not see you long time now, I not see you long time now.

 

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