Tooloom Falls – ‘Dooloomi’

TOOLOOM_FALLSTooloom Falls are one of the most significant sacred sites of the Githabul people…the Githabul are the marriage clan of the Ngarakbul and their lore comes from the Star Ancestor’s.

“I want to share with you a creation Bootheram about Tooloom that was related by my Great Grandfather Euston Williams….Euston William’s was the husband of Charlotte Brown from the Tweed Volcano and they had nineteen children …Their eldest Son was Stan Williams , and Stan is my Grandfather. His tribal name was Duroom which means “Custodian of Knowledge and Lore” .

“This sacred Bootheram explains our connection and place within the cosmos – the Milky way Galaxy……It is told in metaphor ….Bootheram is inherited – it can never be changed and it can never be altered and it can never be claimed by someone who is not part of our lore….it is natural lore and it has very sacred obligations and responsibilities”…. 

“The name of this Bootheram is  Dirrangun at Tooloom  it was related by my Great Grandmother Charlotte Williams to Roland Robinson who was a poet, writer and collector of Australian Aboriginal myths…by Mr Euston Williams– Githabal –  it was recorded in the 1950’s…as part of the civil rights movement…and this is how it goes “…..g dad euston

“Some people say that Dirrangun is a witch, that she’s mean and cunning and brings you all the mischief in the world.  Others say that she’s friendly.  But she’s a very old woman and she has long hair down to her knees”…..

“Dirrangun had two married daughters and a son-in-law.  This son-in-law was a buloogan, a well-built, handsome man.  The daughters of the Dirrangun were his two wives”….. 

“As far as I can make out from the old people, these two daughters quarrelled with their mother and the buloogan took the quarrel up and sided with his two wives. They starved the old woman; they didn’t pass her anything to have a feed”…… 

fig tree2“Dirrangun’s camp was under a big fig-tree, here at this waterfall which is the source of the Clarence River. There was a basin here, a hollow in the rock, which contained the water.  Tooloom now is the white man’s name for this waterfall.  Tooloom is the nearest they could get to saying Dooloomi”….. 

“While the son-in-law and his two wives were out hunting and gathering food, Dirrangun drained the water out of the pool with a bark coolamon.  Some people say that she put the fire out, too, so that there was no fire in the world”……

“When the buloogan and his two wives came home in the evening there was no water.  The wives were running about all over the place looking for water.  But there was no water.  Dirrangun had put leaves and bark over the empty basin hole in the rock so that the place was hidden.  For two or three days the buloogan and his wives could not get a drink”….. 

“Dirrangun was pretending to cry for them.  Some people say Dirrangun was sitting on this coolamon of water in her camp, hiding it.  These people say that when the buloogan found this out, he got angry and cried, “well, your not going to have all the water! I’ll let it out!” He thrust his spear into that coolamon, biggi  we call it, and let it out”…… 

“Others say that when Dirrangun, the buloogan and his two wives went to sleep,  the buloogan’s  two dogs,  who were thirsty found the water which Dirrangun had hidden in the coolamon.  You see those two mountains? They were called  Dillalea and Kalloo-Guthun.  They are named after those two dogs.

In the night those two dogs returned to the camp of the bulooganand stood over him.  And the water dripped from their mouths.  When the buloogan  felt this he woke up.  He followed the two dogs back to where Dirrangun was asleep with the hidden water”……

“When the buloogan  saw where the water was hidden, he was angry.  He made a big rain, a big down-pour rain.  The hollow rock basin began to fill.  The water rose and rose and backed up where this creek is now”…… 

“Some say that when the water began to rise Dirrangun climbed into the fig-tree and made a platform in the boughs.  But the water rose and swept her and the fig-tree away and left this hollow beneath these cliffs where the waterfall is now”……

“Dirrangun was holding on to the fig-tree as she was swept away.  She was swept over the second fall, which we call Ngalumbeh.  At the bottom of this fall she was whirled round and round, still holding on to the fig-tree, in a whirlpool for half a day”……

 Tooloom Falls1“The water was getting stronger and stronger.  The buloogan had cursed the water to make it unmanageable.  It took her and the fig-tree away down the Clarence River.  From time to time Dirrangun would sit in the torrent with her legs wide apart trying to block the water, but each time the flood would bear her away”……..

“Where the South River comes into this river, Dirrangun sat with her legs outspread.  The water rose and went up and made the South River.  There she sat until the flood rose and swept her and the fig-tree on again”…..tooloom water

“Below Grafton on the river there is a fig-tree growing. Many old men would see that fig-tree and say, “Oh look! Dooloomi borrgun!”. This means, “that fig-tree belongs to Tooloom!”.  Those old men would say, “Dirrangun. She’s away down there, but she belongs up there at Tooloom.”And I am told that Dirrangun is still in that fig-tree below Grafton”…..

“That’s the Lore my Grandfather taught me “……

Allan Euston Williams 

allan logo triangle DRAFT3

All Cultural and Intellectual Copyright [Moral Rights] remains the property of the Ngarakbal Githabul Custodial Trust 2018

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