Yar Birrain is the 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 Mount Warning which the Ngarakbul call Yar Birrain ….this sacred mountain was made by Nguthungulli, our name for God… This Bootheram Lore was related by my Great Grandmother Charlotte Williams to Roland Robinson who was a poet, writer and collector of Australian Aboriginal myths.”
“My Great Grandfather, Euston William’s was the husband of Charlotte Brown…..Charlotte is my Ngarakbul Great Grandmother from the Tweed Volcano where Yar Birrain is the centrepiece of the Ngarakbul ancestral estate……Charlotte was the daughter of Mary, which is common name for a full blood woman, and Mary’s djurebil is Biorgini – that’s Blue Knob – near Nimbin.”…..
“Euston and Charlotte 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” ……
“Charlotte Brown inherited the custodianship of Yar Birrain Lore 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, our Father – God, who gave us the ancient Origine’ Lore……and Charlotte had six Ngarakbul siblings…….three sisters and three brothers who are also inheritors of the Lore “……..
“We are the Bird Tribes ….we didn’t come here , we were made here, by Nguthungulli – he is the creator”
“Stan was my Grandfather and Charlotte, his mother, taught him this important Ngarakbul Bootheram Lore for the preservation of the custodial knowledge of our Origine’ people ….Millie Boyd was also one of the children of Charlotte and Euston and protected the waterlore of the Ngarakbul Githabul….. The same lore has been faithfully passed down in my family since the beginning of the dreamtime …This is how my grandparents taught us to protect our Lore……. ”
“Stan was given gave custodial obligation of our peoples Feathered Serpent Bootheram Lore – this same lore has been faithfully passed down in my family since the beginning of the dreamtime …and he taught me our Lore about Yar-Birrain our tribal ancestors”….
“Way back in the Dreamtime the birds had flown from Mount Brown on the Richmond Range in Githabul country to claim the prehistorical landscape from the ancient beings…..the birds gave us our language, songlines, territories and pathways…Parrot flew down to Evans Head, that’s how there came to be a Bandjalang tribe”…..
“Mount Brown is where all the birds got together and spoke their language…. They was talking Gullyval, Muli, Gidabal, and this giant prehistoric bird came up and frightened them…….Parrot flew down there to Evans Head, that’s how there came to be the Bandjalang tribe…… And the wounded parrot flew back near Lismore and then out to Casino….. you can see a gully there, and they reckon the waters blood red, where he settled…….. And Turkey flew here, to Yar-Birrain wounded”……
“Turkey flew east from Mount Brown to Mount Warning and he stood right on the point and he was wounded on the head with a spear…That’s why Yar -Birran has that crooked bend in his neck……and Turkey claimed the territory for the Ngarakbul“……
That Roland Robinson was a good friend of my Great Grandparents, Charlotte and Euston, and he was instrumental in assisting our people with the civil rights movement of the 1950’s and 60’s….he published our Ngarakbul and Githabul Bootheram in many of his books
Charlotte sang her lore for Roland Robinson, the Ngarakbul ‘portion’ of the transcontinental song line of Australia…She sang the creation lore of her inherited ancestral country and it’s central significant/sacred Mountain – Yar Birrain because of the civil rights campaign of the 1950 and 60’s …… it is our most sacred lore. It is called the Fairy Emu Dreaming and it goes like this”………
…”….A big rock stands in the sea six miles from Byron Bay
A man named Nguthungulli made that rock. Nguthungulli is our Father. He’s the Father of the whole world. He’s the man we’ve got to be afraid of. No matter what we do wrong, or where we do it, He’ll know. And no man has seen Him…”……
“….Nguthungulli had a cave in the rock. After he made the rock, he told the four fairy woman, ‘gilarmavell’, to stay there…”.
“….Then he went away from there and walked inland from the coast. He traveled over the mountains with his dog Korung. He had a walking stick, and when he put the stick into the ground He left behind a stone like a basin..”…..
…”As he traveled He left the bean-trees, and He named the different places on His journey. He named Woodenbong [where we are now], Nguthumbung.”
“He went over the range to the head of the Condamine. When he knelt down at the river to drink, He left his handprints there in the stone…”…….
“….Nguthungulli went away out into the desert, towards the sunset. In our language we say that Nguthungulli is away out in the Borrgorr now, that means the sea.…”…..
“…The old people knew that the sea was out there. They knew that whichever way the butheram, the story of Nguthungalli went, it was towards the sea, Borrgorr. You can hear the sound of the sea in that word. They had seen then that we were on an island.”……….
“….Nguthungulli has big rocks in the Borrgorr, the sea, where he lives today. Out in the caves in those rocks in the sea, Nguthungulli has four daughters and one son. And his son is called Yar Birrain…”….
….”There were two brothers called Wao and Jarring. When Jarring died, Wao came over to the place called Korrelya in these mountains. Wao went after those two emus which were the ‘barnyunbee‘, the spirit of Jarring.”….
“But the emu’s kept moving away. Wao kept on going after those emus day after day. When the emu’s had a rest, he would have a rest. When the emu’s would get up and go on, Wao would go after them.”……
“He had no time to make tea or anything….He had to keep going day after day and rest at night until he got to where Nguthungulli was in the rocks in the “borrgorr‘, the sea, in the sunset .”….
“Wao had been chasing those emu’s for months. He wanted them for his own barnyunbee, his property, his totem. When the emu’s came to the sea, they lay down on the beach. When Wao came up close to those emu’s, a fairy fairy man called Tjoolorr came out of the sea and asked Wao, “what are you after?”……
” Wao said, I’m after them, pointing to those emu’s.”…..
“Tjoolorr said, “You can’t take them. They belong to Nguthungulli“…”…….
“Tjoolorr asked Wao what he wanted to do and Wao said he wanted to stay three days, “Borrorr yabborr“. That means ‘two and one’ – three days.
And when Wao had stayed there three days, the fairy man ‘Yar Birrain‘ came and took Wao out to the rocks in the sea. But Wao couldn’t see Yar Birrain…….. Yar Birrain took Wao out to the rocks in the sea where Nguthungulli is……. Wao stayed three days inside that rock……. And the fairy women told him, “you cant see Nthung, Father. You can hear him talking, but you can’t see him.”….Yar Birrain told Wao too, “You can’t see Father, though you can hear him when he talks.”….
“Wao stayed there only three days and then left that place. Wao couldnt open the door by himself, not Wao, he couldn’t. Yar Birrain opened the door and told him not to look back when he put his foot down on the path over the sea, but to go straight for land.”…..
“When Wao landed back on the beach, he was back with Tjoolorr. He had come to Tjoolorr. When Wao came to the beach where Tjoolorr was, Nguthungulli made a song about Wao…He said “I can’t give you those emu’s, but i will give you this song”…
“Then Nguthungulli sang this song to Wao:…….”…..
“Ah, Wao, why were you walking after those two fairy emu’s?”.
“Wao, that was your brothers spirit, those fairy emu’s.”
“Those emu’s are Mine. I own them again.”
“Those emu’s your brothers spirit, have come back to Me…”….
“Then Wao travelled back to this country and brought the song back with him.”…….
That’s the Lore my Grandfather and Great Grandmother Charlotte taught me…it is our most sacred Bootheram – it is the lore of the creation of our sacred land ….this continent “……
Allan Euston Williams
All Cultural and Intellectual Copyright [Moral Rights] remains the property of the Ngarakbal Githabul Custodial Trust 2018