Giants of Asia

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Jandamarra Aboriginal Warrior

Jandamarra was born in the early 1870’s sometime between 1870 and 1873, to the Bunuba Tribe in the Kimberley district of Western Australia. As a young boy Jandamarra was well known for his ability to ride horses, sheer sheep and shoot firearms. He learned these skills while living amongst William Lukin and other European settlers. He spoke English fluently and was well liked by all who knew him. William Lukin gave him the nickname “Pigeon” because of his frail features and graceful movements. At the age of 15 Jandamarra left Lunik and the other’s occupying Lennard River to return to his homeland.

After returning to his home he was initiated into the traditional ways of the Bunuba people and mastered the skill of hunting. In 1889, Jandamarra and Ellemarra his tribesmen were arrested and charged with killing sheep. The charges against them were dropped after they agreed to take care of the police horses. Jandamarra was unaware that this decision would lead to trouble in his future. He took excellent care of the horses and became popular at the local Derby because of his skills. Jandamarra was exiled from his tribe for violating sacred law; he then left to live in Lillimooloora station.

One night as Constable Richardson slept Jandamarra shot and killed him, he then released 16 Aboriginals who Richardson captured. The men formed and militia and quickly began fighting back against oppression. Their first victory was against a stock party which they killed its members and seized their weapons. Using the skills he gained over the years, Jandamarra planned a strategy to recapture their land from the white men. The police force learned of the uprising and ordered their men to fight back; they retaliated by killing many Aboriginals. In 1894, a militia of 50 Aboriginal Warriors fought fearlessly against the whites at Windjina Gorge. During the battle Ellemarra was killed while Jandamarra was severely wounded.

One night as Constable Richardson slept Jandamarra shot and killed him, he then released 16 Aboriginals who Richardson captured. The men formed and militia and quickly began fighting back against oppression. Their first victory was against a stock party which they killed its members and seized their weapons. Using the skills he gained over the years, Jandamarra planned a strategy to recapture their land from the white men. The police force learned of the uprising and ordered their men to fight back; they retaliated by killing many Aboriginals. In 1894, a militia of 50 Aboriginal Warriors fought fearlessly against the whites at Windjina Gorge. During the battle Ellemarra was killed while Jandamarra was severely wounded.

He only just escaped the battle and sought refuge in the caves of the land; the Bunuba people believed he held supernatural powers because he escaped death. After two years of hiding in the caves Jandamarra raided the Lillimooloora police station; the raid surprised the police because everyone thought he was dead. The raid was unsuccessful because most of the Aboriginal warriors were deceased or arrested. In 1897 Jandamarra led his last raid; he invaded the Oscar Range homestead but was stopped by the police. Jandamarra managed to escape again temporally; he was tracked and killed by a fellow Aboriginal Minko Mick. The Bunuba eventually lost their land to the whites within a two year period and were rendered homeless. Jandamarra made some bad choices which affected his people negatively; but ultimately he understood that his people were more important to him than the affection of the white man. He found the courage the led the fight against the oppression of his people. He gave his people hope that they could defeat the white man and live in peace. Jandamarra, we proudly stand on your shoulders.

 

 

J.A. Ward.

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References:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jandamarra

http://www.jandamarra.com.au/jandamarratheman.html

http://ia.anu.edu.au/biography/jandamarra-8822

http://www.kimberleyaustralia.com/story-of-jandamarra.html

 

 

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Eugen Chen

On July 2, 1878 Eugene Bernard Acham was born in San Fernando, Trinidad to parents Chen Guangquan and Mary Longchallon. His father fled to Trinidad from China where he met Chen’s mother Mary. According to author J.A. Rodgers, Chen is of African – Chinese – Spanish heritage.  He received his education from St. Mary’s College, Port of Spain, Trinidad. He then received his law degree in London, England and was admitted to the London Bar Association. He used his education to help him build a successful law practice in Trinidad. In 1899 Chen married Agatha Alphonsin Ganteaume, a black woman of French Creole descent. Due to Chen’s success as a lawyer he was able to build wealth; but he soon lost his wealth due to financial troubles. He fled Trinidad for Peking, China to become the legal advisor to the Ministry of Communications.

Eugene Acham changed his last name to Chen when he fled Trinidad for China. Chen was able to start three newspapers, The Peking Gazette, The Shanghai Gazette and People’s Tribune. His next step was to become the legal advisor to Sun Yat Sen and the Chinese Foreign Minister. He served as legal advisor until the minister’s death in 1925. From 1926 – 1934 he served as Foreign Minister for three Chinese governments, as well as led a boycott against British commercial interest. The result of the boycott led to the signing of the Chen-O’Malley Agreement, which allowed Hong Kong to become Chinese property again. Chen was later arrested for his newspaper articles denouncing the German, French and British control over China. Because he was considered a British citizen, he was released from jail.

Chen is regarded is the brains, and soul of the Chinese revolution. Chen was now living on Moscow, Russia and initially was welcomed to live. He soon began working with Russians in build a Chinese Communist party, but was stopped and exiled. He returned to Hong Kong in 1944 where he remarried and settled.  He remained at the forefront of the fight for the freedom and equality of his people until his death. Mr. Eugene Chen, we proudly stand on your shoulders.

J.A. Ward.

Click below to view the Eugene Chen Video

 

 

 

 

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Malik Ambar

Malik Ambar was born in 1546 in Ethiopia, where he was subsequently sold to an Arab slave merchant by his parents. He worked for the merchant in Baghdad before he was sold to a merchant in Deccan. He was sold again to a prominent noble at the courts of the Nizam Shahs of Ahmednagar. (Ahmednagar is a city of Ahmednagar District in the state of Maharashtra, India) In 1600 the Mughals overthrew the ruling powers of Ahmendnagar but Amber was able to escape free.  He led a small following and took control of the countryside. Jahangir of the Mughals’ forces held siege around the area where Ambar and his following resided. War was declared between Amber and the Mughal’s.  As the power of Ambar grew, the power of the Mughals steadily declined.

Ambar trained his followers in the art of Guerilla warfare. Using this strategy he captured the young Scion of the Ahmendnagar dynasty, Mustaza II, grandson of Nizam Shah. He married him to his own daughter, and placed Mustaza II on the throne of Ahmendnagar, naming himself regent of the State.  With power in hand Amber launched great architectural projects, constructing or strengthening fortifications at vulnerable spots. He had a Church built for the Christians, raised monuments at Khirki, and gave the town a sophisticated water supply system.  Also seven years after appointing Mustaza II to ruler, he disposed of him and became ruler himself.

In a long bitter war with the Mughals neither Ambar nor Jahangir could gain the upper hand on each other. Jahangir also used literature as a means to defeat Ambar. In his writing’s he was often found calling Ambar a “black-faced wretch”. One clash between the two forces found Ambar’s force of 10,000 defeating Jahangir’s force of 40,000. He also seized the ships of the Mughals and forced the city of Bijapur to pay him tribute. Golconda, a city whose name was once synonymous all over the world with wealth, also met Ambar’s wrath.  In 1628 the English arrived in India with intentions of using the Land as a base for commerce, but Ambar rejected their advance and also rejected their bribery. The English also tried to oust Ambar by conspiracy; he retaliated by seizing one of their caravans worth 200,000 Rupees. The English in turn took one of his ships and demanded their money; Ambar reminded them that they had one of his ships, so there was no deal. Later in 1628, Ambar faced off with Abdullah one of Jahangir’s allies. Armed with cannons, rockets, and Elephants, Ambar defeated Abdullah giving Jahangir a feeling of hopelessness. The tide turned when Ambar died at the age of eighty, giving Jahangir the upper hand in the battle.

Despite being placed into slavery as a child Ambar became the first general, politician and financier of his time. Under his rule his country thrived, it was immaculately cultivated and the citizens were very happy. Ambar founded the city of Aurangabad and beautified it with a palace, gardens, and bodies of water lined with stone. Indian Historian Motamid Khan spoke these words about Ambar; “This Ambar was a slave, but an able man. In warfare, in command, in sound judgment, in administration, he had no rival or equal. He well understood that predatory warfare which in the language of the Deccan is called bargi-giru. He kept down the turbulent tribes and maintained his exalted position to the end of his life and closed his career in honor. History records no other instance of an Abyssinian slave at such eminence.” Malik Ambar we stand on your shoulders.

J.A. Ward.

 Click below to view the Malik Ambar video

 

 

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