The very mention of the name Truganini has in death become more divisive than she ever was in life.
In the 19th Century, the Tasmanian Aborigine was a guide for European settlers and, later, a shrewd negotiator and spokesperson for her people.
She did so because she wanted to save her south-east Nuenonne tribe, from Bruny Island, from inevitable threat of guns of occupying colonialists.
But the final legacy of Truganini, often referred as Trugernanner, who was later given the name ‘Lallah Rook’, has since been marred in controversy by anything but of her own doing.
History, over the generations, had recorded her as the last of the “full-blooded” Tasmanian Aborigines.
It is a tag that the state’s Aboriginal descendants have objected to on two fronts.
That to suggest they are any less Aboriginal since Truganini’s passing is insulting to their people’s heritage and cultural identity.
They also protest over claims that Truganini was the last of their people.
She may well have been the last Aborigine to pass away on Tasmanian main shores in 1876, aged 63.
But a further three full-blood Tasmanian Aboriginal women were anecdotally known to be living on South Australia’s Kangaroo Island well into the late 1870s.
The colonial government of the day recognised Tasmanian Aboriginal Fanny Cochrane Smith the last fluent speaker of the native Palawa language.
She had been born to parents Tanganutura and Nicermenic, two Flinders Island Aborigines, in 1834 and her subsequent death, aged 70, was nearly three decades after that of Truganini’s.
Truganini’s life had started living her tribe’s traditional culture, but soon after she lost her mother, killed by sailors, an uncle shot by a soldier, a sister abducted by sealers and also a fiance murdered by timbergetters.
It influenced her early life so much that by the time she met George Robinson in 1829, a reputed protector of Aboriginals, she spent the next five years with her husband Woorady teaching the Christian missionary their language and customs.
But later on, Truganini was dismayed at several of Robinson’s broken promises that included two attempts to disastrously resettle the Aboriginal population on Flinders Island. Truganini along with her husband and 14 other Aborigines accompanied Robinson to Port Phillip in 1839, but after two of the men were hanged for murder, the rest were sent back to Flinders the second time, Woorady dying on the way.
She joined 45 remaining Aborigines at Oyster Cove, south-west of Hobart, in 1847 where they resumed a traditional lifestyle including diving for shellfish, but also visiting Bruny Island and hunting in the bush.
By the time of 1869, she and William Lanne were the only two known full-bloods alive, and in 1874 she moved to Hobart, where she died. It took 100 years after her death for Truganini’s remains to be returned from Britain and to be cremated and scattered over D'Entrecasteaux Channel near her ancestral home.