‘Dirrawong’ – Goanna Headland

Dirrawong is the most significant sacred site of the Bandjalang people…the Bandjalang are one of the skinlore marriage clans of the Ngarakbul

Evans Head

“I want to share with you a creation Bootheram about Dirrawong Headland that was related by my Grandfather Stan Williams – His tribal name was Duroom which means “Custodian of Knowledge and Lore” 

“Stan’s mother was Charlotte Brown from the Ngarakbul estate, the Tweed Volcano – Charlotte was the daughter of Mary Brown, a full blooded Ngarakbul woman,  who had seven children ….four daughters and three sons ….all of them married proper tribal skin lore way”……

“All of my ancestors marry in sacred starlore cycles,  within triangles of their territorial boundaries …. This happens in accordance with traditional lore and customs given to us by our Star Ancestors”…  

“Stan was given gave custodial obligation of our peoples Bootheram Lore – this same lore has been faithfully passed down in my family since the beginning of the dreamtime …and this is how he taught me our Lore about Dirrawong – Goanna Headland “…. 

“It is very ancient dreamtime lore of a territorial fight between the prehistoric Goanna beings and the Feathered Serpents, the bird tribes….our ancestors”…. 

“Way back in the Dreamtime the birds  had flown from Mount Brown on the Richmond Range to claim the prehistorical landscape from the ancient goanna beings…..they gave us our language, songlines, territories and pathways”….Parrot flew down here to Evans Head, that’s how there came to be Bandjalang tribe”…..

“This is the Bootheram of the prehistoric battle –  it is called “The Dirrawong”

goanna h
The body of the goanna can be seen lying in the landscape

“Way back in the Dreamtime there was a Nga’mal, a Dirrawong, which was an ancient goanna being who lived deep in the primordial forest of the Nimbin Rocks area”.

“He was feeling hungry and noticed two giant birds had a built a nest high in an ancient Cedar Tree, so feeling cheeky he decides to go up there”.

“That Old Dirrawong climbed up into that gigantic Cedar Tree to steal those eagle eggs from the nests of Mebbini – the eagle hawks- who lived there”

  “While that Dirrawong was up that tree, and just as he was about to eat the Mebbini eggs, those great eagles returned, and saw what he was doing, and so they attacked the thief”

“The two great bird were fearless and they began to fight the Dirrawong to save their eggs” …….“The ancient battle raged for seven days and seven night….”

richmond & wilson river
Wilson and Richmond meet at Coraki

“As they fought on and on they travelled towards what the white man calls Evans Head……  Raging through the landscape – tearing the forest apart and carving the land and waterways…. they carved the shape of the Wilson and Richmond River’s which flow from Julungumboonj – Mount Lindsey in Githabul estate all the way to Ballina ” …..

“As they fought on and on the old Dirrawong began to tire…… so he decided to turn and run toward Evans Head to escape the Mebbin’s attacks”

“It was the last day, the seventh day, when the Mebinni overpowered the old Dirrawong ……Together they pinned him down on the rock at Evans Head ….he was tired and wounded and he lay down on the sand and became  the rock known as Dirrawong- Goanna Headland

 Those Mebbini bit off that old Dirrawong’s tail for punishment for breaking lore – he was stealing….. His tail is the little island that is off the headland today”

“That’s the creation Lore my Grandfather taught me of the Wilson and Richmond river and how Dirrawong Headland came into being….this ancient Lore links our people to country,  and through proper Skinlore Marriage given to us by our Sky Ancestors, our ancestral ties remain unbroken “……

Allan Euston Williams 

allan logo triangle DRAFT3

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