Coodgen Lake and its Headland, Kingscliff, is a most significant sacred site of the Ngarakbul people…the Ngarakbul are the marriage clan of the Githabul
“I want to share with you a creation Bootheram about Skinlore marriage lore which links the two volcano’s together – from the stars…… This Bootheram that was related by my Ngarakbul Great Grandmother Charlotte Brown from the Tweed Volcano where Yar Birrain [Mt Warning] is the centrepiece of the Ngarakbul ancestral estate……it aligns with a sacred Lake – Coogen Lake” – which flows to the sea at Kingscliff , once known as Coogen Headland”….
This story governs all of our kinship skinlore and it comes directly from the Star Ancestors…..it is written in the sky and into our ancestral landscapes…it is very sacred to our people”.
“Charlotte Brown inherited the custodianship of Yar Birrain from her Grandfather King Brown of Wollumbin who was the keeper of the first Origine’ Lore of this continent – the Skinlore, Kinship and Starlore Bootheram’s of the Rainbow Serpent and Nguthungulli [God] who gave us the Lore”…..
“It tells of a sacred union between our two volcano tribes …the Ngarakbul and the Githabul in an ancient tribal Skinlore Marriage from the Dreamtime……back then there lived a young beautiful girl called Kumbarra. Her people were the Beereen people of the Ngarakbul moiety”….
“At the time there was a great war, for the Githabul were fighting the Ngarakbul….and while the tribesmen were fighting the girl saw a handsome valiant warrior, Burrigan, wearing feathers in his hair, who is the champion…..and when the fighting was over a great corroboree was held and Kumbarra was given in marriage to the victorious Burrigan“……
“On her journey to her new husbands country everywhere Kumbarrra travels she plants the “Boorlum” or Ti-Tree……when she comes to the border of Ngarakbul country she encounters an old uncle of Burrigan, and he tries to steal her by impersonating the young warrior….Kumbarra realises the plot and begins to run, so the old uncle calls up a magic fish called Warragun, who is the rainbow serpent to form a living bridge…..when the old uncle steps upon the bridge Burrigan commands the serpent to roll over and the uncle is drowned for breaking lore”
“Our creation Lore is ‘written’ into the geological formations of our country – and at night the sails across the vault of heaven…..it can never be changed because it is written in the stars which Nguthungulli, our Father, created” ……
” A very sacred story of divine marriage , made in heaven …….Man, Woman, a Serpent and a Sacred Tree….. The celestial Adam and Eve from Genesis”
“This same lore has been faithfully passed down in my family since the beginning of the dreamtime …This is how my Great Grandmother Charlotte taught me our Lore about our Star Ancestors ….it is called “Boorlum Bootheram” , the Ti-Tree Dreaming“……
“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 – Wooyung ….. 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 travelling 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 Coodgen 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”…..
“This Bootheram was collected from my Great Grandmother Charlotte Williams [nee Brown] by Mildred Norledge who interviewed Charlotte on Radio and published the Ti-Tree Dreaming in the Dawn Magazine in the 1950’s….”
“Cudgen is very sacred to both men and women of our Culture…the red soil has great spiritual significance to our people and our creation lore …this sacred landscape represents the beginning of the transcontinental Songline of Australia – on the land and in the stars of the Milkyway”
“ Cudgen Lake – that’s the beginning of the Rainbow Serpent SUMMER SOLSTICE Star Lore, Marriage Lore, my Great Grandmother taught me – it is sacred to our Women and their StarLore of the Seven Sisters, which tells of the creation, and our ‘connection to country’ through our Grandmother Lore ……this same creation lore links our moieties together across Australia…”…..
Allan Euston Williams
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