Bone-da, a very fine youth
David Collins, Appendix V1, 1798, page 588

Keith Vincent Smith

Bunda or Bone-da, whose name was also recorded as Punda and Poondah, was the younger brother of Colebee’s wife Daringa and a half- brother of Moorooboora of the Murro-ore-dial (Pathway Place gal or clan) at present Long Bay – Maroubra. His mother Tadyera had died of dysentery.
[William Dawes, Book B, 1791:38.5]

Bunda-Bunda, meaning ‘hawk’, was also one of the names of Woollarawarre Bennelong. In later years (1901), the surveyor RH Mathews said bunda was the Angophora or ‘apple tree’.

The top of Bunda’s head had a bald patch burnt by a fire. The Eora had a word for this condition. Dawes referred to the Indigenous name in his second language notebook.

Gángat – – – – – – – – – Bald (like Punda’s head) which has been burnt
[Dawes Book B 1791. 8.12]

Bunda was one of the several boys made men in the Erah ba-diang ceremony at Wagganmagulye (Farm Cove) in 1795.

Marine Lieutenant William Dawes’s two language notebooks, now held in the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, provide a revealing source of information about the Eora, whose language he recorded in sentences rather than mere word equivalents, like most other First Fleet vocabularies. 

On 27 November 1791 Dawes’s companion and language informant, the teenage girl Patyegarang (Grey Kangaroo), who sometimes corrected his translations, told him that a ‘white man’ had beaten ‘we two | Poondah (& myself understood’. She revised her reply, Dawes wrote,  to include ‘Pund˙l’ (Bundle) ‘because she had forgot that Pundul was with them, & explained herself very clearly.’
[Dawes Book B  1791:35.7-20]

In 1791, at the age of 10, Bundle or Bondel was the first Indigenous Australian to sail through the Sydney Heads on HMS Supply, bound for Norfolk Island.
[Keith Vincent Smith, Chapter 2, ‘A passage to Norfolk Island’ in MARI NAWI, Rosenberg, 2010, pp 20-22]

When Bunda died in 1796, Lieutenant David Collins, remarked he was

… a very fine youth, who lived at my house for several months, [who]  died of a cold, which, settling in his face, terminated in a mortification of his upper and lower jaws, and carried him off.

No images of Bunda have been located. 

Collins also recounts the bloody ritual revenge combat that took place after Bunda’s funeral at Pannerong, now Rose Bay, in which Daringa, Colebee and Moorooboora all punished Tar-ra-bil-long or Terribilong from the Gameygal clan on the north shore of Botany Bay.

We were told that some blood must be spilt on this occasion; but six weeks elapsed before we heard of any thing having happened in consequence of his decease. About that time having passed, however, we heard that a large party of natives belonging to different tribes, being assembled at Pan-ner-ong* (or, as it is named with us, Rose Bay), the spot which they had often chosen for shedding blood, after dancing and feasting over-night, early in the morning, Mo-roo-ber-ra, the brother, and Cole-be, another relation of Bone-da, seized upon a lad named Tar-ra-bil-ong, and with a club each gave him a wound in his head, which laid the skull bare. Da-ring-ha, the sister of Bone-da, had her share in the bloody rite, and pushed at the unoffending boy with a doo-ul or short spear. He was brought into the town and placed at the hospital, and, though the surgeon pronounced from the nature of his wounds that his recovery was rather doubtful, he was seen walking about the day following. On being spoke to about the business, he said he did not weep or cry out like a boy, but like a man cried Ki-yah when they struck him; that the persons who treated him in this unfriendly manner were were no longer his enemies, but would eat or drink or sit with him as friends.

* Pan-ner-rong in the language of the country signifies blood.

[David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales … Appendix V1, London, 1798, page 588]

A few days after this combat, Goorobine, a kinsman of Bone-da aged about sixty, who might have been his grandfather, came into Sydney Cove with a severe head wound from another incident.

Moorooboora himself died in January 1798 as a result of one of these battles.

[For Terribilong see Keith Vincent Smith, ‘Terribilong and Tom Thumb 11’ in site, Ewen McDonald (ed.), The Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 2012, online at https://books.google.com.au/books?isbn=1921034564 ]

Copyright Keith Vincent Smith 2021