Tag Archives: Bird Tribes of Australia

Fingal, Point Danger, Mount Warning & McPherson Range – Initiation Songline

Julgumboonj from the McPherson ranges - O ReilysFingal Headland, Point Danger,   Mount Warning and the McPherson Range are a matrix of  significant Origine’ sites which together form a sacred Initiation Songline for the Bird Tribes of Eastern Australia…..

 “I want to share an important Ngarakbul Githabul creation Lore about the Sky Ancestors, Burrajahnee and Inneroogun…Two sacred dogs that guard the spirit world …. This is a “Boodharam gawari”, which means story ‘run’, or Songline, with all of the associated djurebil, sacred sites, connected across the landscape, and in the sky of the Milky Way galaxy”…..

“This is an Initiation Songline which follows annual star paths …and those two dogs can be seen in the sky at special  times each  year, so the Origine’ people know when the initiations are to begin”…. “It instructs initiates into Ancestor Lore about hunting rights, access and skinlore relationships….The Ngarakbul spirit being ‘Wollumbin’, was a feathered serpent totemic being – a spirit man – a wild turkey who lives inside the Wollumbin volcano caldera with his nephew ‘Burrigan’ since the Dreamtime.

                                                                            “A tribal Grandfather/Uncle is very significant in Skinlore riBora ceremonytes, and so is the kinship Skinlore of nephew/initiate…..This  Bootheram teaches the initiate about the crime of  Greed…so it relates a moral lore of when Wollumbin  [the ancestor] is robbed, and the  perpetrators punished”….

“Theft is a very serious crime in any global culture….For origine’ people the landscape and the sky are the story board that teaches this first lore and all subsequent ancestral lore”….

“Oral Lore never needed to be written down…It is written in the stars of the Milky Way – ‘Wayal Ballun’ –  the great sky river of life  ….The initiates learn about how it was gifted to the people by Nguthungulli –God – and despite being classified as only an oral lore , it never ever changes, because no man or corporation or government can change the stars….thus, the initiates learn to read the stars and connect it to ancestral country.”….

 “The whole of the Wollumbin Caldera has many significant Starlore, Marriage Lore, Creation Lore, Increase and Initiation ritual sites, which are called ‘Djurebil’ , they teach the creation stories and are increase sites of ritual and ceremony “…

“Every time Origine’ people look at,  or walk in,  the ancient landscape, and every time we gaze at the stars we are reminded of our ancestors and of the sacred lore obligations they gave us to uphold”….

 “Way back when Nguthungulli descended to earth and  made the first Bird Tribes, he made Wollumbin, the Headman of Ngarakbul, and Wollumbin owned two dogs…. one male and one female…… each dog has ceremonial djurebil at Mount Warning and Fingal Head…. and their bodies create many significant peaks all along the McPherson Range……. running up from ‘Coolhoon’, which is the Ngarakbul word for the Blue Fig or Quandong tree growth cycle…….Coolhoon is also what the Ngarakbul call Point Danger at Tweed Heads before British occupation”….Cooloon - 1894 map ...murrabah mounds of stones

“The river and headlands were very different before occupation….There was no [man made] state border and there used to be caves and many basalt crystal rock formations the same as at Puningbah, which is what Fingal headland is called today”……

“These giant crystals ran from Cooran at the Southport’s Nerang River, all the way along the Gold Coast down to Coolhoon [Point Danger] and then all the way down  along the stretch of  coast called  Byron Bay……. and all these formations were called Puning, which means echidna, because ….From Cooranbah to Coorumbah, Cape Byron”….

“There was a sacred basalt island in the entrance of the Tweed River as well…sacred to the Black Dog spirit…. But all those crystals were blown up to build the rivers break-walls and the railways,  and over time the Origine’ people were forced to relocate from the Aboriginal Reserve which was also in the river entrance….it’s gone now too…..reclaimed as a part of Greenbank Island”.

“The authorities were very clever – they put a gazetted border right at the djurebil site of the star initiation rites….They drew a line and made the New South Wales and Queensland Border and severed the ancestral lore most effectively”……..

“The Rainbow Serpent Traditions, Lore’s and Customs were slated for genocide and to survive became forced underground… still being ignored by the authorities today…which is a further erodes culture and the endangered species it honours”……

Fingal causeway and Turtle island
Fingal causeway and Turtle island

Burrajahnee and Inneroogun, those two spirit dog, chased a kangaroo along the big bay…… Then they chased him over the volcano to Boonah, near Beaudesert, in Queensland”…..

“Those dogs kept chasing that kangaroo and eventually came to water and then lay on the bank….. While they slept two young girls from a nearby camp came, saw the dogs, and went off to bring more people down to the river…. After spearing the two dogs, they put them on a pole and began cooking them over a fire….. fire in Ngarakbal Githabul is Weybra ”…….

“Wollumbin, the Turkey Spirit, had followed his dogs and knew they had been killed……. He flew down onto the Boonah flat where his dogs were being cooked by the greedy tribe and he was so furious that he caused a wild storm to come and punish the people…Killing the whole tribe”…

“Wollumbin then took the  corpses of his dogs off the fire, wrapped them in bark, and as he flew across the country, parts of the dogs’ bodies dropped onto the ground below and formed djurebil in the the landscape….the male dog creating the rim of the volcano which is now known as the McPherson Ranges- Springbrook & Lamington National Parks…and the female creating the smaller ranges of Terranora, Tumbulgum and Kynumboon on back towards Yar-Birrain, Mount Warning”……

Mt WarningCaldera - Yar Birrain
Wollumbin Caldera

“Githabul man, Euston Williams, was the chainman for Phinney MacPherson who surveyed the rugged McPherson Ranges of the New South Wales Queensland Border with the Roberts survey team and worked with Edwin Johnson who surveyed Coolhoon …… Lore, Land and Language are linked, so the surveyors conferred with Euston and used Ngarakbal Githabal language on the original maps….those names are still there today”…..

Coolhoon - 1913 - Aboriginal ReserveHenry Brown was one of the first white men at Coolhoon – Tweed Heads – and Brown manned the first Pilot Station at the head of the river…his British name was given to some of  the old tribal people”…

“Before the white invasion and occupation every Origine’ had a totemic skin name given by creation ancestors and  related through kinship traditions….and so each person became the living reincarnation of the ancestral spirit they were named for,  and inherited the ancestral obligations to protect and uphold lands and waters just as it was in the Dreamtime ”….. 

Western Mcpherson - view to Julgumboonj - mt Lindsey - from O Rielys

”Every evening the Sky Ancestors travel across the heavens, just as they have done since the alcheringa – the beginning……… Alcheringa is also the name of a sacred waterfall high in the Lamington National Park….a fountainhead of spiritual knowledge….  it  is where Wollumbin placed those two sacred dogs last remains  before he took their spirits back into the sky and placed them either side of the stars of the skinlore cycle ”…

 “Tribes would travel from all over the ancestral estates to attend star ceremonies at the Coowarragum Lore Ring ‘complex’ below the Pinnacle to celebrate seasonal harvest, sacred marriage, the elements,  and the Sky Ancestor spirits ………and, when the time was right, it was also a centre for initiates, male and female, to attend their ‘Nyirgi’ training for initiation through the First Rule – to learn Not to be Greedy ……. and the ‘Magihyn‘ – second level initiation lore”…….

 alcheringa

“The Bootheram of Burrajahee and Inneroogun the two dog spirit Sky Ancestors was taught to all ‘Nyirgi’  initiates…...it has many layers and lore metaphors…… and the beginning of the Songline was always told by the Headman of each area…and because it begins at Cooloon it was commenced by Joe Calhum [Cooloom] a Ngarakbul man”…..

“Old Joe was from the tribal clan on the river at Cooloon but he resided at Mulli Mulli Aboriginal Reserve near Woodenbong… the surviving people had been sent to Mulli Mulli after colonial settlement took their ancestral lands and forced relocation from the coastal labour camps …there Joe married Annie Daylight of the Wakka Wakka Bunya Mountains – who are a traditional marriage clan of the Yoocum Yoocum …. many Calhum descendants live in Woodenbong still”…..

The Bootheram of Burrajahee and Inneroogun the two dog spirit Sky Ancestors teaches the first ‘Nyirgi’ Lore – “DON’T BE GREEDY”…it goes like this”….

Joe Culhum - Cooloon
Joe Culhum – Cooloon

“Where the north-eastern border of NSW & the south-eastern border of Qld meet lies the rugged MacPherson Range, and on this range there is a plateau known to the white man as Lamington Plateau…….. Many long years ago in the Dreamtime, in a very young world, there lived an old man and his nephew on the Lamington Plateau. The Old man and his nephew had two dogs of which they were very fond……The dogs were named Burrajahnee and Inneroogun”….

“One day Burrajahnee and Inneroogun saw a kangaroo.  They chased it down the side of the plateau.  When the old man and his nephew saw the dogs chasing the kangaroo, they called out to them… “Burrajahnee and Inneroogun, come back to us!”……

“The dogs took no notice for they were excited by the chase.  Some people from a tribe that lived near the plateau also saw the dogs chasing the kangaroo…..  When they saw the kangaroo running towards the lagoon, they placed two nets in the pathway…….. The kangaroo was big and strong.  He got through the first net, he got through the second net, jumped into the lagoon and turned into a bunyip; and there he lives to this day”….

Koorumbyn - Kangaroo“Burrajahnee and Inneroogun also got through the first net, but they were caught in the second one…… The people who had tried to catch the kangaroo killed the two dogs, saying to each other “they will serve us as food as well as the Kangaroo…… We shall light a fire and cook them”….  And they did”.

“When the dogs failed to return the old man and nephew were sad, because they knew some evil had befallen them……..  They went to look for their dogs, and tracked them down the side of the plateau to the place where the fire had been lit, calling out “Burrajahnee and Inneroogun come back to us”….. Great was the anger of the old man and his nephew when they found their dogs had been killed and cooked…….  The old man sent a big cyclone to destroy the people who had killed Burrajahnee and Inneroogun”…..

“The uncle and the nephew picked up the dogs, wrapped them in bark, and carried them reverently back to the plateau…….. Whenever any part of the dogs, such as a foreleg or foot, fell off as they were being carried back to the plateau the placed was named after it and is known by the same name to this day”…..

“On the way back to the plateau they came to a waterfall……  They climbed to the top and sat down and rested placing their burdens on the ground…… One of them faced in one direction and the other facing in the opposite direction….. There the remains of the two dogs Burrajahnee and Inneroogun were turned into stone”…..

“Those two dogs are still to be seen at the top of the waterfall. One facing in one direction and the other in the opposite direction”……

“The stone dogs are sacred – No man dares to touch them….. To the tribe of people who are descendants of the old man the stone dogs will always be sacred, and the part of the plateau were they began to chase the kangaroo is called Goonbundah”…..

…This is how Bootheram Lore works – in the heavens of the milkyway and through the land , to teach us to love and care for country, and each other,  and to continue the sacred rituals to ‘increase’ the animals, plants and sacred waters….. To Love and Protect all of the gifts given to us by the Great Spirit “…….

All Cultural and Intellectual Copyright [Moral Rights] of the Ngarakbal Githabul is protected under international lore….

No portion of this post may be reproduced without written  authorization of StellaStarlore©2018

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The Feathered Serpent Traditions – Carpet Snake Clans of The Bird Tribes

The Ngarakbal Githabal peoples are part of the once vast ‘Yoocum Yoocum’ Moiety….. These ancient peoples are the East Coast ‘Custodians’ of the Feathered Serpent Traditions [or, Bird Tribe Lore] which is intrinsically linked to The Seven Sister ‘Skin’ Lore of the Rainbow Serpent…..the most ancient religion on the planetsnake

The Yoocum Yoocum are the large ‘Cultural Block’ of one of the most densely populated regions of the Australian Continent before invasion by the Crown… and, despite the aggressive invasion of the East Coast, the ancestral lore survived….it’s a wonderful thing that it did, for these people hold ancient lore that is the last piece of the puzzle to unifying many of the ancient global mysteries.

The Ngarakbal Githabal peoples are descendants of the “Carpet-snake clans” of Australia…..Their Carpet-snake [water-snake] Lore traditions and culture come from the ‘Alcheringa’ – the distant ancient ‘Dreamtime’ past….These traditions once traversed the island continent….the origin of the Rainbow Serpent Lore

300px-RainbowSerpentThe Rainbow Serpent is a most important Ancestral Being within the Yoocum Yoocum and associated aligned moieties across Australia…It governs every facet of their ‘Skin’ Marriage Lore’s of Creation and Fertility – the spiral of Birth, Death and Rebirth….Their Central Spirituality governing the ‘Cycles of all Life’…The Rainbow Serpent is intrinsically interwoven with the ‘Skin’ Marriage Lore of the Seven Sisters – Arguably the oldest Religion on the Planet…

…’…Our Rainbow Serpent Dreaming is the oldest continuous documented religious theme in the world…over 60,000 years of Women’s Lore…’…..Lorraine Mafi Williams- Widgabal – Bundjalung proper

The Lore’s begin with landscape creator journeys from the coast of the Wollumbin Caldera – the most easterly point of the ancient Australian continent – and the Lores come from the ‘Alcheringa’….This word – ‘Alcheringa’, and the Rainbow Serpent Lore, and the Seven Sisters, feature in the regional dialects of other ancestral estates across the continent….but, these traditions are not in every Aboriginal culture….Some have been replaced due to ancient invasions and wars of the distant past – They have different beliefs – creators, ancestors and cultural values – the same as different religions have spread around the planet throughout time….

The Alcheringa [Lore] once travelled right across Australia…It has been recorded as part of ‘skin’ marriage lore in several ancestral regions, including the eastern cultural blocks of the Wakka Wakka, the Gubbi Gubbi, the central New South Wales Komilaroi, and also the Urabunna and Arunta peoples in the red centre of the continent…There are also regions of the west coast moieties in the Pilbara – but the Alcheringa is certainly not limited to just these…as with all ancestral Lore, within each specific ancestral estate and with each ones specific language, the sacred sites to commemorate the ancestors creation journey are maintained and utilised by the ‘custodial’ clans…joining the creation ‘songs’ together, much like pearls on a necklace, makes the ‘songline’….and many of these ‘songlines’ are governed by celestial bodies – the transits of stars.

The east coast in Ngarakbal Githabal country is the beginning of the Alcheringa – marked by a ‘djurebil’ [sacred site] that is located high in the rainforest mountains, in the aquifer watershed of the two east coast volcano’s…This djurebil [sacred site] was created by the Carpet Snake Clan ancestors….the Carpet-snake clans are the oldest clan on the continent…the ancient ones….

The Alcheringa creation ‘songline’ travels from ancient geological sites now submerged beneath the waves of the eastern Pacific Ocean – from the distant past when the sea water was locked in ice and the land extended out much farther than it does today ….but the djurebil remains…and weaves to the west – as serpents do…it is the pathway of the Rainbow Serpent ancestor, making the water paths within the geological features as it travels….

big buggram and little buggram
Big Bootheram on the left [background] and little Bootheram, snaking up on the right [foreground]
Rainforest ridges, Mountains in their own right, once named ‘little’ and ‘big’ Buggram [Bootheram] are divided by a deep gorge that the Rainbow Serpent gouged on its journey…after creating Little and Big Bootheram it travels up – higher than Wollumbin [Mount Warning] – higher than Julgumboong [Mount Lindsay]…it creates a great Plateau “Dhungura-ngarian”, which the white man named Lamington Plateau and traveling on to Mount Worendo, where it creates a series of waterfall cascades that plunge down through the rainforest…it is there, high in the remote rugged Macpherson Ranges, of the Caldera’s rim that the highest waterfall is created…and it’s djuriebil name is ‘Alcheringa’….and it is the name of that waterfall still….

Alcheringa falls - Lamington Plateau
Alcheringa Falls – Lamington National Park

The Ancestral totemic ‘beings’ not only created the geological features and aquifer systems of the continent, but also carried and distributed objects which were the sources of ritual and tribal Lore as well as the sources of all forms of life, including the people themselves….

In the Bootheram of the ‘Alcheringa’ there exists a comparatively small number of individuals who were half human and half animal or half plant…The Ngarakbal Githabal say that these ancestors didn’t ‘come here’ but that they were ‘made here’…that they are the original Carpet-snake Clan’s…The Bootheram records them as being created by ‘God’- Babbarra is one Ngarakbal Githabal word for describing God …Duramulan is another…….

yowiesBootheram teaches that these half-human creatures were endowed with far greater powers than any living men or women now possess. They could walk about either on the earth or beneath it and could fly through the air….They were the children of ‘God’ and had inherited a portion of the qualities of their creator…they were themselves as ‘demi-gods’…and these ‘demi-gods’ are the ancestors of the existing totemic clans ….’Family’…Ancestors… Nimbinje as the Ngarakbal Githabal call them – or the “Hairy fellas”…the original clans – Carpet-snake totemic clans – they went all over the country, creating the djurebil…making them with sacred ceremonies, songs and dances for the people to enact throughout time….

carn - carpetsnake clan 1
Rainbow Serpent Djurebil site

The creation ancestors, in the act of ‘creating’, would leave deposits in the ground or in some natural feature such as a rock or a water pool, which transformed the site into a djurebil…and, high on the escarpment between the two volcano lands is one such carn of boulders, which was ‘made’ by the Rainbow Serpent…and, it is in this same area that the ‘Eelemarni Marriage Lore’ is deified…joining Ngarakbal to Githabal……All Bootheram Lores link together

So, what is Bootheram?

Bootheram is the Ngarakbal Githabal dialect name for the Dreamtime LORE…or LAW of all creation…Its Spiritual, complex and parallels numerous scientific disciplines

Northern hemisphere peoples (recently) developed numerical & alphabetical values to explain time and creation of this galaxy, this solar system and this planet…Bootheram explains the same thing…

Bootheram uses plants and animals and creation Heroes and Heroines metaphorically to denote each timeframe, for each creation sequence [epoch] and ‘holds’ it orally…through ceremonial songs, dances and sacred ritual at djurebil sites

Bootheram uses the landscape and the sky as the reference points of this creation lore….a living library…written into the land and mirrored in the sky, for all to see….indelible native science held in oral format…..And it is the Lore that Bootheram must NEVER be changed…

The sum total of the Bootheram of the Ngarakbal Githabal Feathered Serpent Traditions tells the complete history of the creation of the ‘universe’ beginning with 8 culture hero’s….It is obviously metaphoric and [naturally] linked to Bird Tribe Lore…..so, let’s look at one of the metaphoric Ancestral Creator Birds…..

Bootheram has many layers of meaning…and one such layer depicts (dreaming) timeframes…Oral lore for chronological markers of ‘Bird Tribe’ Mythology events….or, Totem as a Timeline……For example….One of the Landscape creation ancestors is the Turkey – ‘Woggun’ means Bush Turkey in Ngarakbal Githabal …and Woggun the Creation Ancestor Turkeys name is ‘Wollumbin’….Picture5

Picture6
Mt Wollumbin is shaped like a Bush Turkey

‘National Landscape ©’ icon Mount Warning – Wollumbin – is a World Heritage listed Erosion Caldera – what we see today is the remnant volcanic plugs of a once vast Shield Volcano…the central plug of the caldera is, for the Ngarakbal Githabal , shaped like a Bush Turkey….Male Bush Turkeys build mounds….Shield Volcanoes are Mounds….it’s a metaphor…..’Bird Tribe’ creation Lore…..there are many more profound layers to it, but it’s not relevant to a cyber format

So…..In 1977 as part of the National Parks and Wildlife Aboriginal Site Survey of NSW, Ngarakbal Githabal ‘custodial knowledge holder’ Mrs Millie Boyd recorded the significance of Mt Warning with Howard Creamer, Anthropologist …Mrs Boyd had learnt this Feathered Serpent Lore from her Mother Charlotte Williams [nee Brown] …..Aunty Millie related the Bootheram [unchanged] of the Totemic Ancestral Birds gathering to ‘learn the lingo’ [Language]…..Then all flying from Mount Brown [which is located in the Richmond Range of Northern NSW]……….All the Birds fly from Mount Brown to claim, settle and name the ancestral tribal Totem sites in the ancient Yoocum Yoocum Landscape…….

“Turkey Flew to Mount Warning…’….Mrs Millie Boyd

Ok…so what’s the Metaphor of Feathered Serpents?

“….The birds are the Feathered Serpents, the descendants of the Goanna beings; and we are the descendants of the Bird Tribes who also come from this Bootheram… The Birds gave us our lore, land and language…. We are the Bird Tribes….”…..….Marlene Boyd – Ngarakbal Githabal – grand-daughter of Charlotte Williams…

feathered-ornithomimus

When the Bootheram was being recorded western science hadn’t discovered that birds evolved out of dinosaurs….this has only come to light in the last decade….But the Ngarakbal Githabal descendants knew….they have always know…they ARE the Bird Tribe…..

Here is one of their Bootheram Lore’s from the Lamington Plateau of the Macpherson Ranges, which the Ngarakbal Githabal call “Dhungura-ngarian”…it was broadcast on radio in 1968 and published the same year….the ‘custodian’ relating this Bootheram was Mr James Morgan – who was another 1967 civil rights campaign “Hero of the people”….Like all the Bootheram, it sounds like a nice little story about animals…but it has profound layers….There are djurebil sites all around the ranges that were created by the ancestral Carpet -snake Clans to mark this important Bootheram…for this is the story of the first Corroboree ring….the very first one…it is a sacred story, and it must NEVER be changed

Picture23

……..”In the time which is Bootharrum or the dreamtime there lived a pelican who played on a plateau.

The name of the plateau was Dhungura-ngarian, which means “where the Pelican Played”. The corroboree ring of the pelican was on the plateau of Dhungura-ngarian……”……

…”In the Bootharrum all the birds were the same colour but one day they decided that it would be much better if they were not all the same, so they painted themselves in different colours. From that time they have kept the colours they painted themselves on the plateau of Dhugura-ngarian…”..

“…The Crow painted himself black….The paint that he used was made from burnt bark of the Bloodwood tree”….

….”The parrots adorned themselves with bright paints of many colours. And all the birds chose the colours they liked best. Then the birds gathered together for a corroboree on the plateau of Dhungura-ngarian….”….

….”One day, Old Man Pelican, who was very fat, was walking away from the corroboree ring when he heard someone laughing.

“He turned around to see who was laughing and saw that it was the crow…”…

“…The crow was laughing at him, laughing at the way he walked because he was so fat….”…

….”Because the crow had laughed at him Old Man Pelican picked up a piece of the dullong and threw it at the Crow…..”…..

Picture27….”The piece of clay hit the Crow in the eye and to this day the white in the eye of the crow can be seen where Old Man Pelican hit him……”

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