Eelemarni – Marriage Lore of the Ngarakbal and Githabal

Traditional Aboriginal Lore is held in story,song and dance;  and Marriage Lore has its own specific songs and dances within that greater Traditional Lore and Custom…..In the Ngarakbal and Githabal moieties the marriage lore is known as the Eelemarni…..It is the first verse of the ancient song line pathway that flows across the Australian continent from the eastern most point to the west coast…Collectively these marriage songs and dances are a foundation part of the Seven Sisters Starlore,

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Each ancestral country respectively ‘holds; their portion of the song[line] in their own specific ancestral dialect, in their own ancestral country……These ancient lore’s are the base ‘contracts’ of tribal boundaries, access and trade throughout the individual countries cultures.

Traditional Aboriginal Lore dictates that correct marriages MUST follow ‘right skin’ – ‘Skin’ is an individuals totemic birth right association to country….Lore Land and Language are LINKED and must never be changed.

Skin marriages are arranged by senior Elders who hold the knowledge of the correct totemic ‘Skin’ that each individual is born into.  It is this personal ‘Skin’ totem classification that dictates who you can or can’t marry….‘Skin’ Totems are, essentially, an ancient form of recording matrilineal DNA genetics….. Skin Lore provides vital information on maintaining and  strengthening  the health and wellbeing of the moieties throughout time…

Through these sacred stories, songs and dances linkages are maintained right across Australia and record the inter-relationships between the people, the land, and the universe…..as in the Flower of Life

flower of life and cells

The Ngarakbal and Githabal Lore of the Eelemarni was made into an award winning short film in the 80’s

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Here is a Bootheram [Dreaming Lore] of the Eelemarni…

“DAWNTIME…when all creation was created – there were also people of the Spirit World made.  Now the name of the Good Spirit people is Wooyun.  They are a kind of fairy people.  You may behold these people for they look like ordinary mortals,  but they are only seen for a little while …. 

It happened that one day the fairy people were traveling down to Coogen Heads and with them was a lovely young fairy girl.  Now this girl had been promised in marriage to a young man brave as he was handsome,  for he was in charge of a Bora Ring – the sacred Ring – to where all young men must go for the initiation Ceremony so that they may be proclaimed men of their tribe.  For a man to be placed in charge of a Bora Ring he must indeed be a good man,  so all the people of the tribe many know that he is worthy to be placed in charge of the SACRED BORA Ring.

When the time had come that the young fairy woman had reached womanhood she thought of the man,  the young man to whom she had been given in marriage when a child.  The dawn had kissed many days and the stars had kissed many nights since she had seen him last.  Then one day she saw him in at Coogen Heads – she knew he was the man to whom she was promised in marriage – for her heart told her so.

When the battle had been fought at Coogen Heads, the young man went to his home at Meeahan, which is the name by which Crown Mountain  was known to the tribe of the young man.  So the fairy woman set forth to seek her lover – she came to Meehaan, and the people of there told her “yes ! the young man whom you seek and who will be your husband came home but is gone again”..So she set forth on her journey of seeking her husband,  carrying with her the bark of the Ti-tree, she had brought with her from Coogen Heads….. Charlotte Williams [nee Brown]

Below is a Lands Dept map from 1890 showing Cudgen Heads….today this area is know known as Kingscliff

Cudgen head 1881

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