Tag Archives: Charlotte Brown

Native Title – The Death Song of Mount Warning

Mount Warning – photograph by Vibrant Imaging http://www.vibrantimaging.com.au/

The ‘song of Mount Warning’, the central plug of the Wollumbin Caldera in the Northern New South Wales – South East Queensland cross-border region of eastern Australia, marks the beginning of an important Songline for the Matristic Lore Traditions of the Rainbow Serpent Seven Sister Skinlore Culture  – The marriage lore of the Australian continent from the Dreamtime.

Much ancestral Lore has become convoluted since colonisation, and even more so with the advent of State Native Title claims challenging the government’s authority and tenure to vast and lucrative tracts of land and water across the continent…..land and water laden with mineral wealth….so it is little wonder that some unscrupulous individuals claim to be able to claim native title and do so with the help of government funded services who seek to retain control of these vast assets.

Looking behind bureaucratic doors reveals how Aussie tax payers are paying for created Corporations to appropriate the ancestral ‘Songs and Songlines’ from out of the databases to be use as their own and even in court cases that empower corporate aboriginal lands councils to claim and develop public lands, and Indigenous Lands Use Agreements [ILUAs] to EXTINGUISH the inalienable rights of Origine’ Natives.

This has been allowed to occur due to a stylised form of ‘reverse racism’, skilfully marketed as Reconciliation, which has fostered a culture of “mustn’t ask too many questions and hurt anyone’s feelings”….creating a perfect environment for corruption to flourish.

This ‘culture’ has  developed over the last decade, empowering a free for all approach to native title claims, and ignores the cultural and intellectual copyright [moral rights] of the ‘real’ Origine’ custodians…..

Native Title services appears to basically aid and abet the confusion and division to escalate within the communities just as government had hoped by seeking genocidal ILUA outcomes.

What we are seeing happen again and again is the State Native Title Services [funded by the Government] repeatedly refusing to endorse any genealogical reports [of genuine Skinlore descendants who could claim native title] other than the ones their own Service has sanctioned –reports which often have garnered ancestral lore and attributed it to some unconnected corporation who [surprise surprise] isn’t too shy to sign off on State Development Projects.

It’s deplorable how shallow the ethics of academics have been forced. Creating new reports which no longer cite the Elders and Informants of the pre-development days…..every newly commissioned report edits just a little more out – with every new report crafted to facilitate the desire of developers….there’s obviously big bucks in the genocide of culture.

http://westbyronproject.com.au/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Final-report-West-Byron.pdf

Page 50 of the West Byron Project – Cultural Assessment –  PDF available on the above link

It’s become more and more apparent that Native Title and associated Government departments are only hiring or endorsing reports written by Archaeologists and Anthropologists who omit the original Skinlore descendant informants whom they had included in [their] previous reports…… For to not do so renders those Archaeologist and Anthropologists unemployable in this culture of administrative corruption.

Regrettably you don’t actually have to go back too far in the records to see how much history has been selectively ‘edited’ …anyone who can read can easily ‘measure’ past reports against what recent publications are utilised by government to discern which apical informants have been deliberately omitted…..and which developments profited.

In 1985 Margaret Gummow,  a linguist, recorded Mrs Millie Boyd [nee Williams] singing cultural song [Lore] about the Wollumbin Caldera…. Milli Boyd described the context in which her Aunt Lella Williams had created it….

The song  was recorded in full in the publication “ The Essence of Singing and the Substance of Song – Linda Barwick, Allan Marret and Guy Tunstall”  – It is call ‘The Mount Warning Song’ – it is a song about death and the immorality of greed…..it was used by Tweed Byron Aboriginal Lands Councils to claim land – but you won’t find any admission of that, or of the Elders identity in any of their publications anymore…..

https://trove.nla.gov.au/work/9821955?selectedversion=NBD26734077

“According to Boyd, Lella Williams was travelling with members of her family from Fingal Head back to Kyogle.  At that time there was no bridge on the Tweed River but a [“Old South Sea Islander”] man rowed a canoe along the river.  The man in the canoe took Lela Williams and her family to Uki, from which they intended to walk to Kyogle.

As the [Islander] man rowed the canoe he took some of Williams’s hair and threw it in a pool near Mount Warning.  This was a very dangerous thing to do.  It is believed that if someone takes some of your hair they may be able to perform acts of sorcery that can physically harm you.

When the canoe arrived at Uki, Williams began her walk to Kyogle, but she only survived three days longer.  At the bottom of the pool her hair had joined onto two bones, which began creaking as they rubbed together.

Margaret Gummow states that “In 1985 when I recorded Millie Boyd she described how Williams had sung this song at Mt Warning and the bones in the Tweed River and describes her feelings of despair as she felt she was unable to control her life. According to Boyd, four days after Lella Williams died her spirit sang this song to Jack Barron, a famous song man at Woodenbong”.

Margaret Gummow…”Yes, and so when did she sing the song”?

Millie Boyd…”after she died.  You know the aborigines’ spirit never die.  They come back, they give you the news of themselves, of their lives.  They sing songs of their own lives, of what’s happening to them, and the elder people listen and they understand who did this and did that and who didn’t do this. Yes, that’s in those times, but today the young people wouldn’t believe it.

You see young people these days, in my time, my people – They don’t believe it. 

I believe it was given by God…All this business is given by god for them to use their spell and use it in the holy way”.

Gummow …”and so she sang the song after she died”?

Boyd…”yes, after she died in four days brought that song back to my grandfather, Jack Barron”.

Boyd herself learnt this song from her mother, Charlotte Williams [nee Brown], who learnt it from Jack Barron.

Gummow states that “To my knowledge there are four recordings of this song in existence, all performed by Boyd.  The first was recorded in 1977 by anthropologist Howard Creamer of the National Parks and Wildlife Service as part of a project concerning site protection. 

I recorded the second performance in 1985 in relation to my PhD research on Bundjalung and Gidabal songs [Gummow 1992].  

The linguist Margaret Sharpe recorded the third performance in 1989 in connection with a project funded by Aboriginal Legal Aide concerning the impact of land and land rights at Fingal Head.

[Minister Administering the Crown Lands (Consolidation) Act v Tweed Byron Local Aboriginal Land Council (1992) 75 LGRA 133 at 140 per Clarke JA]  

 The fourth performance was recorded on video in the early 1980s by Lorraine Mafi-Williams.  In an attempt to preserve traditional material, Mafi-Williams produced the film Eelarmarni in 1998, which featured Boyd explaining some of the mythology and singing several songs from the Mount Warning area”.

https://aso.gov.au/titles/documentaries/eelemarni/clip1/

The selective editing of information no longer reflects the truth that the Fingal Lands Case used Ngarakbal Githabul Lore to claim the Fingal peninsular lands for the Tweed Byron Aboriginal Lands Council….a lands council which exclusively identifies itself as being a part of the governments Bundjalung Nation…a created system that refuses to acknowledge that the Ngarakbal Githabul are NOT Bundjalung and have never identified as such……and now, for the governments “ease of Administration”,  Fingal, and all lands within the Tweed Byron Aboriginal Lands Councils Boundaries are being wrongfully purported as belonging to Bundjalung Culture.

Some of the Northern Rivers NSW Aboriginal Lands Council Boundaries – map exert from NSWALC

Government departments are altering ancient Rainbow Serpent Culture and ‘gifting’ it to Three Bundjalung Brother migrants – from a relatively contemporary cultural epoch. 

It should also be noted that Williams is a common name, and a lot of confusion over which Williams is which has also lined some unscrupulous pockets…

It is important to remember within the cultural lore contexts that all tribal family are related not in the immediate way that western society utilises, but in the tribal way…and Jack Barron was a tribal grandfather – through strict Skinlore kinship descent systems

One of the most important kinship tribal skin-lore relationships is “Mothers Brother”…Millie Boyd’s senior [surviving] ‘Brother’ was Stan Williams……In kinship lore a woman may not speak to her senior “brother’ and all rights of authority over the ancestral djurebil [sacred sites] for the family, including her children’s are held by her senior ‘Brother’…. at the same time a senior brother is also grandfather [as senior lore holder]…and the eldest born son of a woman is, in the tribal skin-lore, also grandfather, even to his own mother…..in this way, custodial rights, Bootheram Lore stories  and obligations are transferred…and,  in a similar manner they are passed down through the women.

Stan Williams was given, by his Elders, all initiation, lore, rituals, songs, dances and ceremonies of djurebil custodianship responsibilities for his Ngarakbal Githabal ancestral estate….and this in turn passed down to his senior son…and so on…

The legal interpretation of transference of ancestral Lore in Law is termed as Core and Contingent rights –   a senior lore holder has Core Rights of cultural knowledge, while all other siblings have Contingent Rights…..and in turn,  ‘determined’ native title groups have Core Rights , whilst Lands Councils only have contingent rights to ancestral lore and sites, etc….

Stan and Millie were two of nineteen children their parents Euston Williams and Charlotte Brown brought into the world – Post invasion and during the peak of colonisation of the much converted areas of the Byron, Tweed and Gold Coast regions of Australia.

Despite being born and held in Aboriginal Reserves administrated by the Aboriginal Protections Board, forced to stop speaking their ancestral language and cease their traditional culture, Euston and Charlottes marriage was still a traditional Skinlore marriage – A marriage between two tribal skin group moieties – Ngarakbal and Githabul – of the greater Yoocum-Yoocum society, which anthropologists refer to as a Cultural Block.

All Yoocum-Yoocum Skinlore kinships and descent is tracked through the star cycles by initiated Elders.  A significant stone complex located near the Pinnacle [Coowarragum] below Warazumbil [Border Ranges] between the Ngarakbal and Githabul estates was utilised for millennia to track these cycles and ensure healthy marriages between the Yoocum-Yoocum skin groups…tribal marriages [literally] made in heaven – with each individuals ancestral descent being able to traced back across [clusters of] 12 generation…… back to dreamtime…..

https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/walking-tracks/pinnacle-walk-and-lookout

Coowarragum – ‘Pumpinbil’ Pinnacle

It is a requirement of the Native Title Act for claimants to legally prove they have unbroken culture and descent – as one would expect…..

On April 20, 1998, Federal Court Justice Merkel handed down a 120-page decision in Shaw and Another v Wolf and Others. A key element in that judgment establishing the status of Aboriginality was the declaration that to be Aboriginal one must, among other things, be descended from the inhabitants of Australia at the time immediately BEFORE European settlement.

But imprudent claimants are attempting to prove their ancestry using the European concept of a family tree descent system which is totally unrelated to Origine’ Cultural Skinlore/Kinships and can only be traced within the timeframe of British occupation of Australia….. While Skinlore IS true culture which defines connection, obligation, authorisation, initiations and inter-relations both Pre and Post-Settlement….

The Government and its Courts utilising and recognising their own ‘imported’ European descent system in the native title process is, of course, completely contrary to the Acts requirement to prove unbroken culture…….the outcome?- Claimants traditional lore and custom is determined as unproven and so it’s a State ILUA and cultural Extinguishment.

Politicians and Developers are laughing all the way to the Bank

The Yoocum Yoocum Skinlore complex was located and recorded in 1980 by Adrian Piper- a senior archaeologist, who registered it on the National Parks and Wildlife Aboriginal Sites Registrar.

The land was purchased and protected by Rosalind Dunwell and her [then] husband Bill Mollinson, the co-creator of Permaculture, https://permacultureaustralia.org.au/2007/07/26/bill-mollison/

And the Skinlore knowledge of how the ‘site’ works was taught to me…….by Millie Boyd’s daughter…..

So while Europeans can conquer continents, import their man-made laws, create their courts, sanitise history, alter names on maps for court purposes, sanction suspect aboriginality claimants to sign off on corporate developments, and endorse claimants who ‘capture’ culture using unscrupulous methods……… the simple truth is that no matter how hard they try to eradicate the matristic Rainbow Serpent Culture, they will never EVER be able to rub out the stars from which it all descends.

 

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Hoo Roo

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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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The Black Dog Spirit of Fingal – Aboriginal Lore of East Coast Australia

The Ngarakbal Githabal are the ancestral aboriginal people of the most easterly land on the Australian continent….a landscape protected by their ancestral spirits…one such spirit is ‘Ineroogun’ – the Black Dog of Fingal Heads….arial fingal

The ‘accepted history’ books tell us that the Tweed / Gold Coast environs were established by the colonialists in the mid 1840’s…. this is a sanitised pro-crown ‘His’-storical view…..

The first Cedar getters [wood cutters] were claimed to have arrived by boat in 1844…commencing the indiscriminate ‘clear fell’ denuding of the Gondwana Super Forest from the Brunswick River, just North of Byron Bay and throughout the Tweed Caldera…However the oral traditions of the Ngarakbal Githabal indigenous Aboriginal people tell of this lands invasion beginning well before the 1830’s…The first white skinned invaders they say also arrived by sail boat…. but contrary to the contemporary history presented by government,  the traditional Aboriginal people – the Ngarakbal Githabal- tell of a prior arrival of the Spanish in the 1500’s coming to Byron Bay and Fingal Heads…All pre-crown arrival has been eradicated from the authorised historical records… a prior arrival in Australia would nullify the Crowns claim of Terra Nullus as unoccupied lands….and this is not a popular political option…

portret_W_Blaeu-280x300Anyway, over one hundred years after the Portuguese-Spanish arrived, the first Dutchman to get to Australia was Willem Janszoon aka Jansz in 1606…… Not much is known about his early years, other than he was born in 1570, but what we do know is that he served the Dutch East India Company (VOC), which was a chartered company established in 1602 to carry out colonial activities in Asia…….  In 1603, he became captain of the Duyfken, which means ‘Little Dove’, and it was aboard this ship that he first sighted Australia while searching for outlets of trade near New Guinea…… Once he crossed the Arafura Sea, he travelled west and landed on the western coast of Cape York just near Weipa…possibly, following charts that had been captured from the Spanish

Jansz-mapJansz started to chart the area, thinking that the land was still New Guinea, but after finding nothing but swampy land and violent encounters with Aborigines, he decided to throw in the towel and return to Indonesia…..He called ‘his’ new found land ‘Nieu Zeland’, but the name didn’t stick and was used by Abel Tasman about 40 years later for New Zealand…which is located off the eastern coast of Australia.mmmmm……..Now, Aboriginal Elders are insistent that two Spanish landings took place in the ancestral coastal lands of the Ngarakbal Githabal people, on the east coast of Australia…One at Byron Bay and another at Fingal Heads…..Both are purported to be Spanish Shipwrecks which occurred at Suffolk Park south of Byron Bay, and on Cook Island, situated just off Fingal Headland

Fingal Headland is a beautiful place…its known as “Mynjung Booning”……… “Mynjung”, which is the Ngarakbal Githabal word for ‘place of’;  and “Booning”, which means Echidna …Place of the Echidna…… Fingal’s precise location is Latitude -28.199042, Longitude 153.571315fingal

Separating the Tweed River from the Pacific Ocean, Fingal is a narrow peninsula several kilometres long. It ends at the mouth of the Tweed river and on the opposite bank lies Queensland. . The peninsula north of Fingal village is known as Letitia Spit, a sand spit that has been slowly accreting due mainly to the construction of the river’s southern training wall – from rock quarried from Fingal

Aboriginal associations stretch well back into the dreamtime with anthropologists claiming that the area supported one of the densest nomadic populations to occur anywhere in the world. Skeletal remains of people estimated to have been around seven feet tall have been found on the Peninsula….

In contemporary times Fingal has been referenced as “Pooning”…most notably in the crowns geospatial lands records  for LAW, Land and Language are linked…..and the ancestral people understand that for its the same in traditional Lore – Lore,  Land and Language are linked – but,  the crown chooses to only recognise the name ”P[b]ooning”  for Fingal….[the ‘P’ and ‘B’ sounds blurr together  when enunciated…]…..

echidna2P[b]ooning” is the Ngarakbal Githabal name for the Echidna, or Australian porcupine…and the word P[b]ooning is attributed to Fingal Headland because of the rock formations that occur on the headland…. Spectacular basalt columns that resemble the spines of an echidna, and, the ancestral Ngarakbal Githabal people believe that the spirit of the echidna inhabits these headlands…Burleigh Heads located to the north also has similar formations and is also traditionally referred to as being a “Mynjung” [Place of] “P[b]ooning” to the Ngarakbal Githabal…and several other sites that this rock formation occurs in are too.fingal causeway by G Shlatter  (1)

Anyway……There used to be a large cave at Fingal, but it was blown up to form the break-walls of the Tweed River ….. For the Ngarakbal Githabal the cave site is the ‘dreaming home’ of a protective [supernatural] hairy man said to abide in that cave on Fingal Head and also a giant black dog whose story is linked to the creation of the McPherson Range…but the crown chooses NOT to recognise these ancestral Lores or that the Ngarakbal Githabal totemic ancestral name for Fingal is ‘Inneroogun’ – the Black Dog…..said to now roam the area, homeless….since the Cave was destroyed

fingal causeway by G Shlatter  (2)The columnar basalt lava flow at Fingal Headland extends underwater to Cook Island (named after Lieutenant James Cook who explored the east coast of Australia in 1770)…… The lava is thought to have come from the prehistoric Tweed Volcano and is known as “Lismore Basalt”; predominantly tholeiitic with occasional alkaline types…….. This unit is stratigraphically equivalent to the Beechmount Basalt in Queensland – west of the Lamington Plateau….which is also refered to by the Ngarakbal Githabal as being a “Mynjung” [Place of] “P[b]ooning”……

Now,…I need to include all this historical and geological stuff in order to explain how the Ngarakbal Githabal Bootheram Lore, Land and Language are linked, to geospatial lands records….and thus, land tenure.

The jointing, clearly evident at Fingal Head is caused by contraction: as lava cools from the outside toward the centre, shrinkage cracks develop, usually forming hexagonal patterns (the shape of the columns is attributed to tensional stress). These columns are vertical because the lava cools from top to bottom when the flow of lava is horizontal

Just before the turn of the century, the Department of Public Works blasted and quarried the massive basalt caves of Fingal Head….and in the process they desecrated the ‘djuribil’ [sacred site] of the Ngarakbal Githabal……. During the1950’s and 60’s sand miners cleared and destroyed not only most of the littoral rainforest which blanketed Letitia Spit but also numerous burial sites, including at least one of the former massacre sites.

All of this destruction occurred during the crown occupation process when the ancestral peoples were being systematically relocated to policed reserves…moving them further and further from their ancestral lands….and due to their legal status as being Flora and Fauna up until the success of the Civil Rights ratification in1967, the blood-line to country descendants of the ancestral people of Fingal have remained dispossessed….however, their Bootheram [Dreaming] Lore survived and was even used to save the Fingal area from massive development…which I’m getting too…

Fingal has historically been coveted as a beachside development site since early occupation but has always managed to remain protected…This protection was largely because of the Ngarakbal Githabal Aboriginal recording the totemic significance of the area and having their language embedded into the geospatial lands records by the crowns first Surveyor’s under order of the old Queen, Victoria.. …Lore Land and Language are linked, so the surveyors used Ngarakbal Githabal language on the original maps…..but, since the advent of Native Title in Australia, the crown is none too happy that the ancestral dialects of the ancestral people are on the geospatial records [the maps]…seemingly because the language attribution [of Ngarakbal Githabal] is the evidentiary material required to claim Native Title ….so, it’s much simpler for them to reclassify it to Bundjalung…change the language classification changes the tenure….it’s an old formula applied globally….

Anyway…back to Fingal…..Throughout the seventies the residential community of Fingal continued to make land claims over Letitia Spit despite the fact that they had no legislative basis on which to rely….. None of these claims were successful [ the residential community not being of the ancestral bloodline of Ngarakbal Githabal country]…Then, after the introduction of the Aboriginal Land Rights Act in 1983, the residential community linked together with other local groups to form the Tweed Byron Local Aboriginal Land Council and immediately lodged new claims over the Spit as well as other pieces of Crown land at Fingal……as a government entity the Aboriginal Lands Council were able to circumvent the non-bloodline prerequisite – write new laws that enabled development …So, In 1986, the Aboriginal lands Council and the Department of Lands negotiated ‘a deal’ in respect of the Spit……The residential community agreed to withdraw all but a small portion of their original claim in return for the Department instituting a Plan of Management over the remainder, aimed at ensuring the land’s protection for future public use….To their credit, the Local Aboriginal Land Council went to some expense in preparing its submission on the Plan of Management…… However, once the claim was withdrawn the Department refused to proceed, and instead commenced researching potential development options…..Of note is that over the subsequent decades several fresh land claims have been made, and like the initial claims,  none of which have included the Ngarakbal Githabal…and;  subsequently, none of the claims were successful…..since then, the geospatial records linguistic attributions have seemingly been stealthily and steadily changed to Bundjalung….

Developers, Ocean Blue Club Resorts Pty. Ltd., posed the first big threat to Fingal They negotiated ‘a deal’ with ‘the department’….planned to build an international hotel on an important dreaming site and remnant littoral rainforest, a luxury marina on a protected wetland area, and a 400 townhouse /condominium complex in place of the existing village. Both the hotel and marina site were Crown Land and zoned as either public open space or for environmental protection….. At the same time, the Public Works Department commenced a feasibility study into the possibility of cutting a new entrance to the Tweed River through Letitia Spit to make a “Super Harbour”…. If approved, the Department intended to pay for the construction work by selling the remainder of the Spit to private developers…… One firm, Adco Constructions Pty Ltd expressed interest in acquiring the land and put forward proposals for around one billion dollars’ worth of tourist and residential developments….. Such intensive development was considered necessary to absorb the sixty million dollar cost of river works.

In order to prevent development of their ancestral djurebil [sacred site] the Aboriginal Lands Council contacted the Ngarakbal Githabal knowledge holders for help…they needed the ancestral Bootheram Lore to save Fingal…..

Now;….The first pro-aboriginal recordings of the Aboriginal significance of the area were made in 1950’s by Mildred Norledge from Kyogle – endorsed by Professor Elkin…She recorded the Ngarakbal Githabal Bootheram from Elders such as Mr James Morgan; Dyraaba Tribe – west of Lamington Plateau…and Mr. Joe Coolhum; Mebbini Tribe – Tweed Heads…These two gentlemen had spoken about their ancestral custodial Lore as their intrinsic contribution to the Civil Rights Campaigns to free their people from the crowns ‘non-human’ status…..They are two more of the Ngarakbal Githabal ancestor Heroes who showed the crown, through their Bootheram, that they did indeed have their own cultural ‘religion, and did not deserve to be legally classified as Flora and Fauna…

The next wave of recordings commenced in the late 1970’s by Anthropologist Howard Creamer for the National Parks and Wildlife Service Aboriginal Site Survey Team…Howard was instructed to identify ancestral knowledge holders within the community…one of the Cultural Elders whom he interviewed was Mrs Milli Boyd of Woodenbong, who was the daughter of Mrs Charlotte Williams [nee Brown] as part of the governments Aboriginal Site Survey Team of National Parks and Wildlife Services…….This information was then used to obtain further interviews of Mrs Milli Boyd [nee Williams]….principally Dr. Margaret Gummow [building upon the work of Anthropologist, Howard Creamer and Linguist, Margaret Sharpe]….This cultural evidence was then used by the Tweed Byron Aboriginal Lands Council to launch legal action, and a subsequent corruption investigation, in regards development at Fingal Heads…

And these are the cases in which the Ngarakbal Githabal ancestral cultural information was used….Tweed Byron Local Aboriginal Land Council v The Minister Administering the Crown Lands (Consolidation) Act and the Western Lands Act & Ors [1990] NSWLEC 67 (19 June 1990)…and TWEED BYRON LOCAL ABORIGINAL LAND COUNCIL v. THE MINISTER ADMINISTERING THE CROWN LANDS ACT [1995] NSWLEC 220 (14 December 1995)…… “By Notice of Motion filed in Court on 23 October 1995, the Tweed Shire Council seeks to be joined in pending Class 3 proceedings involving a number of land claims made by the Applicant pursuant to the Aboriginal Lands Rights Act 1983 (the Act) at various times between 4 January 1988 and 27 March 1992, in respect of various parcels of land having an aggregated area of some 300 hectares situate on the coast line at Fingal in the Shire of Tweed near the New South Wales-Queensland border”…..

……“The Independent Commission against Corruption [ICAC] has yet to release its report and has so far made no findings, but the evidence presented to it has graced the front pages of the metropolitan newspapers for months. Evidence before ICAC revealed that Ocean Blue had paid large secret donations to both the Labor and National parties at times when, as the respective Governments of the day, they were considering Ocean Blue’s application for Crown land at Fingal. The Administrator of the Tweed Byron Local Aboriginal Land Council alleged that an officer of Ocean Blue had attempted to bribe him into furthering the company’s interests. Lawyers from the Department of Lands claimed that they were misled in leasing the quarry site to the wrong company and both Wal Murray and Ian Causley declared that, had they known what they do now about Ocean Blue, they would have refused to deal with them. Whether or not the Ministers were in fact aware of the donation is an issue on which the ICAC has still to make a finding”….Andrew Chalk

And it was the Ngarakbal Githabal ancestral cultural information which won the case…..and Lore was recorded in LAW….

…..“To my knowledge, there are four recordings of this [Mt Warning] song in existence, all performed by Boyd. The first was recorded by Howard Creamer of the NPWS as part of a project concerning aboriginal site protection. I recorded the second performance in 1985 in relation to my PhD research on Bundjalung and Gidabal songs [Gummow 1992]. The Linguist Margaret Sharpe recorded the third performance in 1989 in connection with a project funded by Aboriginal Legal Aid concerning the environmental impact of land and land rights at Fingal Head. The Fourth was recorded on video in the early 1980’s by Lorraine Mafi Williams. In an attempt to preserve traditional material, Mafi-Williams produced the film Eelarmarni [sic] in 1988, which featured Boyd explaining some of the mythology and singing several songs from the area.”…[Gummow;1985;7A   Barwick-Marett-Tuntill 1995:121-131; Tweed Byron Aboriginal lands Council v Tweed Shire Council v the Minister for Crown Lands; and the ICAC INVESTIGATION into North Coast Land Development ]

The following information is based on recordings made in 1989 by Sharpe, speaking with Mrs Milli Boyd [nee Williams] who had learnt the Ngarakbal Githabal Bootheram Lore’s from her Elders… It comprises part of the mythology of the area [Sharpe 1989].

Mount Warning is the shape of a Turkey’s head, and according to Aboriginal people in the area a spirit being called Wollumbin, a wild turkey, lives inside the mountain. Wollumbin owned two dogs, one male and one female, which are associated with Mount Warning and Fingal Head…..One day the dogs were chasing a kangaroo along a ridge. They chased him from Fingal Heads over to Boonah near Beaudesert in Queensland. They eventually came to water and the dogs drank than lay on the bank. Two young girls from a nearby camp came to get water, saw the dogs, and went back to the camp 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…….Wollumbin had followed the dogs and knew they had been killed. He flew down onto the flat where the dogs were being cooked and caused a wild storm. The people left to find shelter from the storm. Wollumbin took the dogs off the fire, wrapped them in bark and carried them back to Mount Warning. As he flew across the country, parts of the dogs’ bodies dropped onto the ground below and formed part of the landscape. He went back to Mt Warning and placed the dog’s bones in the water. One dog was placed in the Tweed River near Mt Warning and the other was placed at Fingal Head. It is believed that their spirits protect the Ngarakbal Githabal people in this area from strangers…..Today, at the Tweed River, Ngarakbal Githabal people can hear the dogs bones creaking….

The two Ngarakbal Githabal gentlemen, Mr. Joe Coolham; Mebbini Tribe – Tweed Heads and Mr James Moran; Dyraaba Tribe, told their ancestral Bootheram Lore respectively……. of the Two Dogs, Burrajahee and Ineroogun…. and DHUNGURA NGARIAN which in Ngarakbal Githabal is the name of the Pelican Dancing Ground…. Bootheram Lore must never been changed…it cannot be transferred or claimed by another….for it tells the Lore of their ancestral estate, and within it, embodies traditional morals and values for the people to follow…

The first Lore is “DON’T BE GREEDY”…the story of Burrajahee and Ineroogun teaches that Lore….. To claim or steal a Lore opens it up to corruption and contamination…and, unsurprisingly, that is exactly what unfolded………..

……”As always there is a good deal more to the story. The best parts – the intrigue and maneuvering, the anguish and joy, and above all the people – are most wisely kept for late nights around a fire on Dreamtime Beach, where, well out of earshot of the defamation lawyers, a group will be sitting waiting for the snapper to bite. They will be remembering and they will be laughing, because in 1989 they all did something which they didn’t really think was possible….”…..Andrew Chalk – in regards to the Aboriginal Lands Council court case….Ash

To this date the Ngarakbal Githabal descendants have never been recognized or included in the governance of their ancestral estate by the crown systems….Their culture continues to be appropriated and twisted by those who do not understand the Bootheram and its teachings…the ignorance of the current system thrives on greed, but, the ancestral ‘djurebil’ protection of the Black Dog is indelible, and it’s been written into LAW….

If you would like to read Joe Calhum’s Bootheram of the Two Dogs – you will find it on my website at this address….and if you would like to receive more of these blogs then subscribe to my newsletter [its free] and you will automatically receive them in your email…..Hoo Roo

Aboriginal Spiral Lore- Ngarakbal Githabal East Coast Australia

Time itself is like a spiral…..For the Ngarakbal Githabal people of eastern Australia, Spirals have an important meaning in their Dreaming Lore , which they call Bootheram – It comes  from their ancestors; the Carpet-snake clans of the Feathered Serpent Traditions….and, their ancestral land itself is a gigantic geological spiral formation…an erosion caldera…dreamtime to machinetime

The Tweed caldera’s southerly point commences at Byron Bay and then arcs in a sweeping series of mountain ranges to its northern point, Currumbin, on the Gold Coast ….The Caldera has a series of inner rings, which spiral in to the central peak of Wollumbin…. mt warning caldera - with WollumbinThe Ngarakbal Githabal are the ancestral tribal peoples of this area….They have many Bootheram’s [Dreaming Lore] of their beautiful landscape and its history….In Aboriginal culture, Lore, Land and Language are connected….and the Bootheram must NEVER be changed…that is the LAW – Lore..

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABogangar, or Cabarita Beach is a coastal village of the Tweed Coast….The most prominent geological feature at Bogangar is its rugged Headland which has the geographical name of Norries Headland…Bogangar is the halfway point between Currumbin [on the southern Gold Coast] and Byron Bay, the most easterly point of the Australian mainland…..

The Ngarakbal Githabal ancestral name for Byron Bay is “Coorumbah”, and the northern point is Currumbin……Coorumbah – Currumbin… [Positive – Negative] …the village of Bogangar is halfway between them….

Bogangar has the largest coastal Lake in the Northern Rivers area….Cudgen Lake….fed from sea at Cudgen Headland, Kingscliff, 7km to the north along the beach….and Cudgen is Ngarakbal for ‘red ochre’ which occurs on the coastal ridges at Duranbah behind Kingscliff village

Now, Bogangar was the name of a little “hairy man”….a ‘Nimbinje’…These ancestral beings are prominent throughout the Bootheram Lore – they are from the Carpet-snake clans – from the Feathered Serpent Traditions of ancient Australia…Alcheringa…..In the distant past the ancestral people were Hairy…Now, this is by no means unusual, because ice-ages affect evolutionary changes and being Hairy in an ice-age is a very good thing… and the name of the ancestral tribe [family] at Bogangar were the “Bogangaree”……for Lore, Language and Land are linked, always…..

The Ngarakbal Githabal did not come to this land, they were always here…the Carpet-snake Clans were made here by the ancestors…In Lore the landscape and the sky are the storyboard or living library of all events….written into the landscape in ancestral language, in plain view for all to see, for all time….

As custodians of the land the Ngarakbal Githabal Bootheram ‘sings’ the story of their [specific] ancestral estate….Traditional Lore and Custom is that no-one else can sing in their lands….that is ancestral Lore for every ancestral ‘country’ all over the Australian continent – and for a very good reason…….It ensures that the Lore [of each specific ancestral estate] remains intact, unpolluted, uncorrupted and unchanged….each ancestral estate holds their specific portion of the song of their own land in their own language…and these ‘songs’ hold the survival knowledge of specific places throughout time…

In traditional Lore and Culture, someone from some other area can-not come into the ancestral estate of another tribal territory and ‘sing’ their story…Culturally if this happens the perpetrator is referred to as being “out of country”….It is perceived as very disrespectful – breaking Lore….for to sing “out of country” in a language foreign to the ancestral ‘djurebil’ [sacred site] potentially corrupts or contaminates the harmonic Lore of the Land…and this potential corruption threatens the survival of all.

solstice08-Double Spiral
recreation of the spiral stones on Cabarita Beach

“…At Norries Headland, on the sand dunes that connect the rocky headland to the mainland is an exposed midden consisting largely of “cart-rut” shells [Dicathais orbita]. A few kilometres north of Norries Head there was a stone arrangement on sandy ground in the rainforest, the stones being arranged in a spiral pattern about three metres in diameter. This report of the stone arrangement came from a man who worked on a sand-mining dredge, who collected the stones before the dredge moved over the site. Inland from Kingscliff is a ridge of red soil on which the village of Cudgen stands, the word Cudgen meaning red. According to report in 1900 “there is a hill at this place where the blacks get the red raddle or pigment to paint themselves when going fighting” …Steele – Aboriginal Pathways- page 48

Another, or perhaps the same, spiral of stones was reported to also have been found at Tyagarah just north of Byron Bay…as the story goes, these too, were found by a sand miner in 1965 and taken back to his home in Kingscliff…He then gave them to the Tweed Historical Society who networked with the Brunswick Progress Association and the stones were finally placed at the Brunswick Valley Heritage Park in 1989.

The convener of the Brunswick Valley Heritage Park was visited by Elders who told him the story of the spiral stones…This small extract was published in the Echo Newspaper in 1990……“In the dreamtime the north coast was populated by an ancestral people who owned the land….The Yowies…legendary mountain people in the style of the Yeti or Bigfoot came down from the mountains and drove the people off their land and dispersed them far and wide…..A male and female member of the people gathered them together again and then drove out the Yowies, regained their land and the sacred red ochre at a sacred site…. The stones are the spirals of the two people”……

Picture34You see, this all comes spiralling back to the Ngarakbal Githabal ‘Eelamarni’ Marriage Lore – from the Carpet-snake clans of the Feathered Serpent Traditions of Australia….which pre-dates the Three Brothers Lore thousands and thousands of years….The Three Brothers is the Bootheram of migrations into Ngarakbal Githabal lands that occurred after the last glacial maximum, when the ice melted and the sea levels rose…about 12,000 years ago – The Three Brothers migrated to the east coast of Australia with their families….landing at Yamba on the Clarence River….Now, the Ngarakbal Githabal were already here….and they call the Three Brothers “Paigal”, which loosely translated means human …The “Paigal” were cannibals….and there was a war at Nimbin Rocks …., you’ll find information about that in my past posts….But, the ancestral Carpet-snake Clans, well, they go way back…way, way, way, back…..and, explaining that, well,  that’s for another post

Anyway…. Here is another of the Ngarakbal Githabal Heroes…Mr Tom Close, relating the Eelamarni…from the ancestral Feathered Serpent Skin Lore.….Mr Close told this Bootheram in the 1950’s as part of the Civil Rights campaigns to recognise Aboriginal Peoples Human Rights…. Mr Tom Close was the half-brother of Charlotte Williams [nee Brown]…..’Beereen’ is the ancestral Ngarakbal name of Kingscliff, Cudgen Heads…

Mr Tom Close
Mr Tom Close

…”….In the Dreamtime there lived a young girl who was very beautiful. Her people were the Beereen tribe. At the time when this girl lived upon the earth there was a great war, for the Githerbul people were fighting against the Beereen people.

While the tribesmen were fighting the girl saw a handsome young Githerbul man who was a valiant warrior and tall in stature. She knew in her heart that she loved him, even though she had never seen him before. She longed that she might come to know him.

When the fighting between the Githerbul people and the Beereen people ended, a corroboree was held. When it was over the handsome young man returned to his uncle, for he lived with him in a mountain called Meeyanin.

The young girl of the Beereen tribe saw the footprints of the young man and knew by their appearance that he had gone from her sight.

Her heart bade her set forth to seek the man she loved

Wherever the young man’s footprints led, there she walked. She had with her some bark of the boorlum or ti-tree, and on this bark she rested at night. Wherever the young girl lay down a ti-tree grew and to this day these trees can still be seen…’…..Tom Close – Ngarakbal Githabal

 Here is Charlotte Williams version of the same Lore…also recorded in the 1950’s

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. 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…..

Wooyung 1889
Wooyung 1889

It happened that one day the fairy people were traveling 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 Coogen 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….. Charlotte Williams [nee Brown] – Ngarakbal Githabal

And a contemporary rendition of the same Marriage Lore – prepared for the Department of Environment and Conservation in May 2006

…..Leo was a Balugan who was staying with his old uncle Miyarni. He would look after his uncle who was an old clever fella…….The Balugan said: “I’m going to have to leave you for a while. I am going over to the coast. I want to go down to the tribal battle”…the Uncle said “ don’t leave me on my own.” But Leo insisted he had to go.

The next morning the Balugan woke up early to leave. He told the uncle that there was plenty of gwiyam [possum] and honey and away he went. He went over towards the cost, camping on the way. The coast was where the fight was, it was lasting four days. There was a Guangun there where they were having the gunarra [fight]. A Guangun is a very attractive presentable woman with all the attributes of being beautiful. That Guangun saw the Balugan and she saw that he was handsome. She was feeling in her heart that she wanted to be with the Balugan……..She was a Ngarakwal woman and her name was Kumbarra…”…..

Today the site of the spiral stones  “north of Norries Headland”  is known as Casuarina Estate Kingscliff….The spiral stones ‘djurebil’ [sacred site] commemorated the end of the wars between the Ngarakbal and the Githabal….it celebrates LOVE and respect…..and its linked to the stars….but that’s another Bootheram

“The spiral is a spiritualized circle…In the spiral form, the circle, uncoiled, has ceased to be vicious; it has been set free”…Vladimir Nabokov…..

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Aboriginal ‘SKY ANCESTORS’ and The Song of the Vine

The ‘Song of the Vine’….The Battle of Wollumbin.

ByangumAs you drive out of the regional town of Murwillumbah – 30 km from Byron Bay on the most eastern point of Australia on route to Mt Warning/Wollumbin- you cross a bridge at the junction of two rivers…. To the uninitiated of the local Aboriginal Bootheram [Dreaming], this bridge is just a blip on the map with lovely scenic vistas….but to the ancestral peoples, the Ngarakbal Githabal, this is a site of great spiritual and historical significance.

Byangum is the meeting place of the incoming [Salt] & outgoing [Fresh] waters systems, and it is here at Byangum that the river splits into the South & Main arms of the Tweed Valley Caldera and encircles and protects the central sacred complex of Wollumbin…Water is sacred to the people and has significant meaning within their ‘Skin Lore’ kinship systems. Its sacredness permeates all….It comes from the ancient Lore of the Rainbow Serpent…The Ngarakbal Githabal are descendants of the ancestral Carpet-snake clans of the Feathered Serpent Traditions of Australia…

byangum
Byangum was mapped as the original settlement for the area but was abandoned and the site of the town was moved further down river

Byangum was the natural Tidal Limit before the construction of the Bray Park weir a few kilometers down river in the 1960’s….Crown surveyor, Alan Cunningham had sailed his surveying vessel up to Byangum, in 1828 to “chart the interior in order to find a suitable fresh water site for the crown to establish a settlement”…A settlement was established and mapped for future development, but later abandoned, and the town now known as Murwillumbah was relocated and established several miles downriver.Allan Cunningham explorer

 

The Ngarakbal Githabal traditional name for the place Byangum is ‘Ngungumth’, but Byangum was the nearest the white man could get to pronouncing it…and for them, in accordance with tradition, lore and custom, this place is also the name of the tribal custodian of the djurebil [sacred site] that is located there ….and a custodian of a djurebil has important responsibilities to their site…they MUST protect it…Custodian Rights and Responsibilities are never self-professed. They are inherited thru the kinship ‘Skin’ totemic descent of the Lore, Language and Land that the djurebil is located in…This occurs throughout the continent…

As you drive across the bridge at Ngungumth [Byangum] above it is a Sphinx-like Mountain…This mountains traditional name was ‘Moolumbah’….and to the Ngarakbal and Githabal it is, traditionally, the face of a significant Buloogan or Warrior/Sage who faces to the East’, towards the rising sun…Byangum

 

Buloogan is a descriptive title. It is not the name of the Warrior Sage ….This Buloogan has several names – Burrigan or Durrigan or Durramulan are just some of ‘his’ names…. and there are other mountains named after him as he ‘walks’ through the landscape…and He has many Bootheram [Dreaming Lores] about his journeys… He teaches Lore and values to the people, and as he walks he sings, and he also carries a long vine[plant]…He is a powerful ‘Weeun’ [clever fella/spirit ancestor] his songs create and his vine makes the land….His story is an important facet of the Bootheram [Dreaming] which links to all the other ancestral Creation Spirits journeys…and in each respective country a custodian is responsible for ‘His’ djurebil in accordance with the Lore, Language and Land its located….each custodian holds the respective songs and ceremonies of the Buloogan’s journey…and together [each portion in each ‘country’ combine] to make the ‘songline’…

Buloogan travels all over the land…His name changes with every new ‘country’ he enters, with every language that fills the ancient continent of Australia…..In this portion of his many journeys He is traveling from the coast [Byron Bay-Brunswick] to Byangum, where he faces east towards the rising sky….This place is in Ngarakbal ‘country’, in the Wollumbin volcano, and then, He travels inland to the Githabal volcano…and then on- on his many journeys through the respective countries….all the while singing and teaching as he travels…He is a Culture Hero….a Sky Ancestor Hero, from the Dreamtime – Bootheram….from the Feathered Serpent Traditions

He has many mountains and planes…The land tells us his story..The land IS his story, and so too does the night sky….In the Ngarakbal portion of his journey one of his mountains was gazetted as Hatton’s Bluff by the crown – named for the Wollumbin Post Office Master, Mr. Hatton of Byangum Village in the Wollumbin Parish – the site the crown had originally selected as a suitable location to build the town of Murwillumbah, which was the nearest the white man could get to pronouncing the ancestral dialect name of Moolumbah….It’s a beautiful place in the foothills of Mount Warning/Wollumbin…. A significant location to the ancestral peoples Lore, as given to them by the Sky Ancestors….Junction of two rivers encircling the central djurebil… ‘Meeting place of the waters’…Salt and Fresh…It is also the site of a battle between Ngarakbal warriors and invading settlers…The ‘last stand’ of resistance against the guns to uphold the traditions of the ancestor, Buloogan’s ‘djurebil’ from decimation and theft by the colonial invaders.

Some Background History….

By the early 1860’s English Squatters occupied some 3,000 squares miles of the ancestral aboriginal estates from the Macpherson Ranges in the north to the Clarence River in the south…the title ‘Squatter’ is exactly as it implies – an illegal occupant [of owned property]…..They, the Squatters, took the lands by force…Guns verses Spears….Guns won, of course

Around 1862 the first selectors [prospective farmers] who were, according to the crown legally entitled to occupy and later buy freehold land whether it was being occupied by either squatters, ancestral peoples, or not, began to move into the district….so by 1862 the Ngarakbal Githabal lands were under a second wave of siege…the first had been from Moreton Bay Penal Colony days [commencing 1824] but that’s another chapter so I won’t digress…I’ll just say that was the most brutal time of the invasion…

Anyway…..Joshua Bray was a Squatter who arrived in the Ngarakbal ancestral estate in 1863. He had relocated from the Brungle Run, in Tumut, which are the ancestral lands of the Ngarigu people that had been taken by force as part of the invasion process of the crown. Tumut is approx. 1500km south of the Tweed …..

James Bray and his wife Isobella
James Bray and his wife Isobella

Joshua brought with him Native Police from the south….The standard formula of the invasion process was simple – set a black man against a black man – give him a uniform, a horse, arm him, pay him with tobacco and alcohol [the currency in those times] and give him right of access to women of the defeated…pillage and rape… an effective ‘tool’ of war against the ancestral people that has been used by the crown throughout its global career….

During the 1860’s large areas had been declared and gazetted as Forest Reserves and had been the domain of Timber getters harvesting the rare rainforest timbers for export back to England…I’m leaving out a whole chunk of information here about the penal colonies and the battles of the ancestral people to hold their lands…but, by 1887 much of the Tweed Richmond had been resumed and gazetted as the Tweed Richmond Gold Fields…now, a lot of people don’t realise that the Native Police force were also responsible for policing the gold fields throughout the east coast colonies – It goes back to the Eureka Stockade days in the Victorian Gold Fields….and as the crown wasn’t [isn’t] in the habit of keeping records, today the government still refuse to recognise any form of battle ever took place at all [which is a fallacy] ….According to the crowns accredited history books they were welcomed into the country and the ancestral people happily gave them all their lands and peaceful relocated to Reserves…mmmmm.

Joshua Bray - headshotAnyway, Joshua Bray was the first Police Magistrate in Ngarakbal ‘country’ [arriving 1863] and commander of the Native Police force – He established the Kynnumboon Post Office [whilst a ‘squatter’] – He was a Justice of the Peace, the Coroner, the Gold Mining Warden, and, after his brother James left the district for another appointment, Joshua also became the Crown Land Agent….He had guns and crown instructions…basically it was, take the Ngarakbal lands and prepare a settlement for first settler selector arrivals and then sell the land to them for the crown…and presumably, destroy all records of battles, then sit back and take his place as a founding father of the Tweed confident that His-story would look after him….

Before invasion the lush landscape of the Ngarakbal Githabal supported several thousand people in the ancestral tribes….each tribe was a family clan…and it had been their home for thousands and thousands of years…

In 1882 the newly formed Aborigines Protection Board – facilitated by the police- conducted a census of Aboriginal people in NSW…….”On the Tweed River a population of one hundred and nine Aboriginal people is stated in the Aborigines Protection Board Report – these people are divided into two classifications with 97 Aboriginal, [in subsequent census identified as ‘full-bloods’], and 12 half-castes”. [Reibe 2001:52]

The 1885-86 records of Joshua Bray’s census team show 90 adults and 52 children for Tweed & Brunswick & Grafton areas….

By 1886 The NSW Aborigines Protection Board Report shows NONE in Tweed, with only two adults at Ballina and two adults in Lismore, and a state decrease of 146 males, 63 females and 260 children…total of 469 full blood deaths in one year…..

Many epic battles had been fought between the crown invaders and the Ngarakbal between first contact and 1890 – and these are in the oral traditions still …That the crown stealthily didn’t keep the records of the slaughters is classic tactical His-story sanitisation, and by 1887 most of the surviving Ngarakbal people had been placed into the Brunswick Reserve at Byron bay – Administrated by the police under the dubious title of the Aborigines Protection Board… From this reserve the survivors were systematically relocated out of their ancestral area into Barambah settlement in SE Qld…A few remnant survivors had found survival amongst the first White settlers, and some had gainful employment as postal workers, which afforded a small level of liberty to remain in their ancestral land, and the ability to move between settlements established by the invaders…and one of those postal workers was a Ngarakbal man named Johnny Brown…

So…..Let’s review….

In 1866 James Bray left Tumut … He and his family travel to the Tweed. For his ‘special services’, as a ‘Special Constable’, James received the appointment of Crown Land Agent at the Tweed and soon afterwards was also appointed Clerk of Petty Sessions. Whilst he was building a house at Dunbible Creek [near Stokers Siding- onroute to Byangum] his family stayed at Coolamon with the Gray’s [now Murwillumbah – the relocated settlement] …Whilst still at Dunbible he selected 300 acres of land across the creek and facing the Tweed River in the name of his daughter Lucy….. As Government Land Agent he could not select in his own name…..This land was what is now Byangum, or Ngungumth, a djurebil, and traditionally the place of a significant Buloogan or Warrior/Sage who faces to the East’, towards the rising sun…who sings the landscape and carries a vine….and it was also the crowns first choice of a settlement, beneath ‘Moolumbah’…

Well…imagine how outraged any ancestral person would be about such a significant site being stolen…imagine if your property was stolen…would you fight?…well the Ngarakbal fought…as depleted as they were, with all their kin incarcerated in Reserves…the remaining small remnant in the ancestral lands rallied a resistance to hold their Lore djurebil site of the Baloogun…and as fate would have it, despite crown orders to destroy all records of battles, James Bray did have at least one recorded instance of this altercation with the ancestral Aboriginal people…

It was Sunday September 16th 1866, just a few months after Joshua Bray’s arrival in Ngarakbal lands .Chained to a tree - sunset

“Blacks away all day until late in the evening when they returned I got Bony & Jimmy to accompany me to Coolamon – to put my horses over by high tide on Monday morning. When I got over H.Clarke said my place was not safe as the Tyalgum Blacks had left their Gins up there and that meant mischief. So I had a cup of tea at half past seven p.m. and got ready to return at once accompanied by Clarke. When we got to the camp the Blacks immediately ran away & swam the river….We then made all haste to Skinners and made our way through the brush on the middle arm. We succeeded ‘Thank God’ in reaching the boat before the Blacks – made our way home to Dunbible and surprised the camp – making Wollumbin Johnny prisoner -& to our surprise discovered next morning that they had planted in the scrub in close proximity to the main camp – the following grim warriors – Jacky Bundash- Big Jimmy – Jimmy Kelly or Scrammy Kelly – Wigam – Monday – Big Billy – Dickin – Charley- [and two or three names unknown] – the names of my own Blacks who were implicated in the plot were Jacky Merrylegs – Bony- Pointer- Jimmy Crow- Jimmy or Talgemma- Bob & Wallumbin Johnny.

I kept Wallumbin chained up until Monday morning and then threatened to shoot him – he then revealed a portion of the plot, that they intended murder but it was a black to be the victim – so I let him go- tho’ I was convinced that he was telling a lie – but I had no proof against him” ….James Bray  

By 1879 there were six appointed Magistrates to operate the Police Districts of Cudgen; Murwillumbah; Tweed and Brunswick…….They were Joshua Bray, Thomas Robinson, W.Hindmarsh, George Nixon, Frank Nixon and James Pringle…….At this time the Tweed District included Byron shire

James RowlandJames Rowland, pictured, left,  with ‘his’ Aborigines was a half-brother of Joshua & James Bray. Rowland also selected his lands at Byangum on the pathway from Brunswick . He was enumerator of the Aboriginal Census for Brunswick in 1871 – The number James Rowland registered was 70 [Ngarakbal Githabal descendants] …James Bray in a letter to the Register General wrote

..”He has to take a guide [black] and go across the mountains, a great part of the distance being dense scrub through which they must cut their road…”…   he used a guide to get to Byangum, and hence the name Rowlands Creek, at UKI today, near Mt Warning on route to Byangum – The guide following an ancient pathway of the Sky Ancestor Baloogan – Burrigan, Durramulan or Durrigan, the Warrior Sage who carried a vine and taught the people Lore…pathway

Because of his resistance Johnny Brown was relocated to the Brunswick Reserve. His descendants had already been incarcerated there. Because of his crimes against the crown, they sent him north to Purga Reserve, and then on to Barambah Labour Camp in south east qld…from there he was sent east to the policed labour camps on the Sunshine Coast – 500kms from his family and his ancestral homelands…Johnny Brown – along with his enslaved kinsmen, had rallied to uphold Baloogan’s durebil against all odds…he gave this song to his surviving family….It was related by his Granddaughter, Charlotte, in the 1950,s as her part in the Civil Rights campaigns to recognize Aboriginal people as legally being human, and not Flora and Fauna as the crown had so cruelly classified aboriginal people in those times….He is singing for the loss of his djurebil…His Culture, His Land, His life

The Song of the Vine….related by Charlotte Williams [nee Brown] Gullival tribe – Ngarakbal Githabal Moiety…

“There was a vine whose spirit was a man.

These forest vines’, they were the Spirit peoples vines.

They were not made by men.

And someone cut this vine, and there this man is struggling to be alive.

This is my own grandfathers song.

“I am here”, the songs say’s…”I am this vine”…

“My life is going away from me, from this ground”                         

“This place, this dust. My ears are ringing”

“Gaungun the spirit woman is making my ears no good”

“My ears are ringing. I’ll never see this world no more”

And one man came along and saw this vine struggling to be alive. He covered it with dust. When I think of my old people, how they would sit down and sing their songs to me, I could cry…”.

Rest assured…despite the best efforts of authoritarian systems Johnny’s descendants survived and so did their Bootheram Lore, just as it has done throughout time….

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Genesis of Genocide….and the art of Wrestling

Aboriginal Australians have produced some of the finest sportsmen and women in the world…what many don’t know is the part that sport played in keeping the Lore alive during the colonisation process… Forced onto Reserves by the Native Police force, the Ngarakbal warriors kept morale and Lore breathing at Brunswick Heads Reserve – Byron Bay- until it was wiped off the maps by the crown.

cape byron

The Ngarakbal / Githabal people of what is now the Byron Bay Tweed Kyogle area know a lot about the history of the colonisation of Australia…they were there….their grandparents and great grandparents were forced into created Reserves; or exterminated…Today many of the Reserves have been removed from the maps….but they haven’t been removed from the memory of the people….and the traditional art of Wrestling played an important role…
On the East Coast of Australia– New South Wales as it was all known then – the enforced Aboriginal relocation process was implemented over a period of 50 years before the crown moved to take over the west of the continent from the Dutch…..Oceania Early Discoveries

Commencing in 1848, when the Native Police force was formed, and until the late 1800’s the focus of these forces was primarily to ‘round-up’ the aboriginal population and to assist the crown in surveying and gazetting the East Coast into States [Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania] in preparation for colonisation by free settlers….at this time the western three quarters of the continent was still under Dutch rule

English had only claimed the eastern coast of Australia, so naturally,340 Native Troopers Dispersing a Camp the East Coast tribes were the most brutally hit by the invasion forces….The crown had commenced carving the country up in the 1860’s after removing the ancestral people…removal often meant extermination of entire tribes…they then began selling land to the first ‘free’ settlers at specially organised land auctions using the Crown Land Act along with each newly created state’s own legislation for the same – in New South Wales [NSW] this was the Robertson Lands Act – This paved the way for the East Coast ‘land grab’ to begin….

1880 crown lands sales2The crowns treasure vaults were filling from the sales of the ancestral estates, and the surviving original people were forced onto specifically created Reserves, Stations or Missions….Forty years later, the crown now had enough money to fund a war against Holland to take the western three quarters of the continent by force.. The Borer War was fought in Africa against the Dutch; and England won…the prize was the west Australian lands…… So now all of Australia could be remapped and renamed – no longer NEW HOLAND, it was becoming the commonwealth country of Australia, wholly held by the British….and “by 1901 as white colonialists were undergoing their rite of passage into nationhood, the original Australians were also participating in a rite of passage- but of quiet a different kind”…G. Souter .

1899 Boer war -British v dutchThis historical photo of Australian Troops training in 1899 in readiness to assist the British attempt to exert control over the Dutch in South Africa in the conflict known as the Boer War –  the political process of claiming and retaining control of Continents is dependant on maps & Geographic names and   APARTHEID processes
So, by 1901 the Aboriginal people lost all recognition for, and claim to, their own individual countries and their respective ancestral estates – by force of the crown….They were no longer known as the Ngarakbal, or the Githabal on the East Coast, or the Pinjantjatjar in the centre or the Ngarrindjerri in the south, or any of the other distinctive tribal countries that existed before invasion [ of which there were over 350 individual countries] ….Now, as part of the crowns invasion, claiming and renaming [the maps] process everyone was classified as just being Aboriginal, right across the continent – no distinctions…By 1901 the crown had successfully locked them all into Reserves, Missions and Stations and classified them as Flora and Fauna…’Operation Invasion’, complete….
On the East Coast the Native Police Forces were the initial administration body for the reserves…during this period [the first wave] the ancestral people had no option but to retreat and relocate…..if they didn’t they were terminated…..many battles were fought and many lives were lost endeavouring to hold their lands against the guns – they’d never seen guns…..yet to this day, the crown refuses to recognise that any wars were fought. Which can only be concieved a complete self-serving myopic view, as these following extracts from the governments Byron Bay Native Title reports reveal….
…”The first wave of the relocation process by the Native Police occurred in the early 1850’s ….. Documentary and oral accounts suggest the actions of the native mounted Police had a direct impact on the Aboriginal population numbers occupying the region. The Native Police were active in the area throughout the 1850’s and engaged in punitive raids”….[ Waters 1999;14 McKeown NSW-NTS 2005: 19]……………
“Oral accounts suggest further massacres occurred in the [native title] claim area at Suffolk Park, and further north at Hastings Point [Cudgera] and at Mount Warning as the Troopers returned north”…. [McKeown NSW-NTS 2005: 19 ; Reibe 1999: 97-99]

These reports are [as expected] very pro-crown; despite stacks of evidence within the Ngarakbal/Githabal Oral Lore about the epic battles with the invaders…but it challenges the crowns tenure; so it’s been quashed…..Anyway….., over time there was a second wave of administration where the Aboriginal Reserve’s management was transferred from the Native Police and taken up by church groups…..The respective faiths [churches] obtained leases to land and created the ‘Missions’ …..and some of these were so large that they were known as ‘Stations’ and they held stock belonging to the crown….It is of note too that most of the church leases were for 27 years, after which time they kicked the Aboriginal people out and sold the land for profit….

North NSW Aboriginal Reserve closuresAnyway….The first wave of the invasion administration [the Native Police] had fought the wars against the ancestral people – reducing the population numbers……Then the second wave [the churches] enforced a new religion onto the people and it was the function of this second wave to break the ancestral knowledge apart and reprogram them….Children were taken and placed into separate Mission institutions to learn to speak English and worship a foreign god in the expectation that they would forget about their ancestral lore and language….Adult survivors were sent to Station Reserves and hired out by the police administration [ ironically re-titled the Aboriginal Protections Board ]…they were used as labourers for the first settlers, denied access to their children and punished if they spoke their language or followed their lore….They were allotted numbers [for ease of administration beside their ‘new’ English names] and they could not leave the reserves unless they had authorised administrative permission from the central administration office which was then the Armidale Police extract from State Archives of Aboriginal Reserve at Brunswick - 2029

This administration process served to sever entire families who were divided and sent to different Reserves, Mission’s or Stations – to break down the ancestral culture……if anyone who was [or had been] an antagonist survived, they would be relocated multiple times…sending them further and further away from their ancestral estate area and their family – often sending them interstate 1000’s of km because the legislations were harsher in the remoter unestablished areas of the colony away from prying eyes….it was brutal heartless administrative policy…..genocide by paper – the power of the pen…
Surviving men –warriors- were targeted the most severely throughout…..The lush landscape of the East Coast was deemed ‘ perfect for colonisation’…. for the Ngarakbal/Githabal men this meant many were sent cross border into Qld to a police labour camp known as Barambah….”a dumping ground for the lame, the halt and the incorrigible….the black criminals of the state”…W J Bleakley 1913
…”since the establishment of this settlement in 1904, it has been the dumping ground for natives of all classes from all parts of the state but principally those whose removal from undesirable environments on the fringe of civilisation became necessary for disciplinary reasons…”….W J Beakley 1934….
From Barambah, any antagonists or ‘troublemakers’ who still opposed the invading process would be punished and relocated yet again….often up into Far North Queensland or across to Military Reserves on the Sunshine Coast….some survivors got moved up to eight times….further and further away from their ‘country’ and their kin… Today that same reserve, Barambah, is called Cherbourg and it’s still the largest Reserve in Queensland, but it’s got a lot of beautiful people there with a lot of culture and lore and, surprisingly, compassion ….all survivors of a very dark history and despite this they hold no grudge against the white settlers….displaying a level of forgiveness that many [white] church going citizens could only hope to aspire too.
Back in Ngarakbal/Githabal country [now gazetted as the Tweed, Byron and Kyogle shires] the small reserves began to be ‘reclaimed’ and reallocated as crown land, or sold off by the churches….they just shut them down and moved everyone off into the more centralised Missions and Stations in less desirable country …..systematically heaping more and more people from all different places into ‘controllable’ space, and further and further away from their ancestral areas and their kin…..Overcrowding, deprivation and lack of sanitation caused illness, depression and death….population numbers dwindled and no-one seemed to care….the invasion process orders were on schedule and the outcome was expected to be total genocide via assimilation, within three generations……

What many people today don’t realise is that there were lots and lots of small Reserves everywhere on the East Coast….Nor do they realise that they have been systematically removed from the maps – Sanitising the history and the evidence – Nor do they know about the important role that the sport of Wrestling played at the Reserves…but the Ngarakbal/Githabal do….their role as the keeps of the first portion of the transcontinental songline requires that they keep the historical Bootheram [Lore]…and they do………
Now, the Reserve at Tweed Heads is well known and documented…however it was also reclaimed and is now a shopping centre, hospital complex and a housing estate – it even makes a mention in the box office hit “Muriels Wedding” – where a sleazy councillor takes the reserve away to redevelop – the sub-plot for the film was based on a true story ……but, here is the one the crown tried to hide – probably due to a Native Title claim in the late 1990’s over Byron Bay
Anyway….

for the use of the Aboriginals -Brunswick VillageAt Brunswick Heads [Byron Bay] there was a small Reserve, It was the southern administration facility to the northern one at Tweed Heads… and; thankfully, despite the best efforts of the invasion process, the lore, land and language survived intact….and, how they did that is another story for another time, and its an awesome inspirational story too… I will however, tell you a bit about Charlotte Williams who was sent to the Brunswick reserve as a young woman….
Above is a close up of the Brunswick Reserve, and below is picture of the village of Brunswick, it shows the same Reserve which was wiped off the maps….this is one of the crowns own maps.  Note it has cancelled written across it….its that simple – they just cancel it and remap a new one….this happens with all their maps.1906 Mullumbimby Aboriginal reserve
Charlotte Williams [nee Brown] – Granny Charlotte as her descendants call her- was one the Ngarakbal survivors shuffled by the Administrators…She was a noted midwife, and this granted her ‘authorised’ travel permits between the Brunswick and Tweed Reserves….at that time no-one could leave the reserves unless they had written authorisation and every aboriginal person had been allocated a number – Charlotte had a number and an important purpose…into her was entrusted the Bootheram [Dreaming Lore]….. The crowns administrative policy was strict – “No number, No authorisation, No travel” – culminating in arrest and punishment if “No Paperwork” could be produced…for the Cultural Lore to survive it had to go underground…..This following extract was prepared in conjunction with the Native Title process of Byron Bay….however Charlottes descendants have never been recognised as originating from Byron Bay by the crown….the maps had been sanitised…..
“Charlotte Williams was an ‘ARAKWAL’ woman who, with her family in tow, frequently moved between the coast and the Nimbin area. For a time the Williams family lived at Middle Pocket near Mullumbimby and it has been reported that a woman known as Queen Charlotte performed domestic duties at homes between Skinners Shoot and Tyagarah in the period c.1925-30. Charlottes Williams clearly had traditional knowledge of the Byron Bay locality [e.g. the myth of the Fairy Emus and the song Wao] and a great deal of knowledge was passed on to her daughter Millie Boyd”….[Colins1990:45]

Women were the last to be relocated from the coastal Reserves  – deemed less troublesome…As a young woman Charlotte had been allowed to remain on the Brunswick Reserve in her ancestral lands but over time she was systematically relocated many times as well….Charlottes Father was a white man…[Aboriginal women were often exploited by the Administration]…  Her half Brothers had previously been sent to other Reserves….Tom [Close]was one of her half brother’s…He was sent to ‘Stony Gully’ Reserve near Nimbin and then onto Mulli Mulli Station….Charlottes Full-blood Ngarakbal warrior Grandfather – ‘Johnny Brown’- was relocated many times due to his opposition to the invasion….king Brown -WoolumbaHe eventually was sent to military Reserves located at Lake Cootharaba and Tin Can Bay near Fraser Island Queensland as punishment, but he sure gave the crown some hell before he was captured…. Also a story for another time…..Anyway, how does Wrestling come into all this???…..
Well, despite all the tragedy the Ngarakbal warriors, of which Johnny Brown was a senior Lore man, kept their spirits and their warrior skills alive whilst incarcerated at the Brunswick Reserve….and to do this [undetected] they used Sport…
The spirit of Sport is universal and it provided entertainment for the Native Police and the White Administration to watch….Among the most ancient of all sports are Wrestling and Running….Of course the warriors were denied their weapons which were traditionally used in their sport events….spear, boomerang and nulla nulla [club] throwing contests to demonstrate strength and proficiency were common before invasion… but the sport of wresting was something they could still do whilst held captive on the Reserves… it also meant they could train for combat.
So, let’s look at traditional wrestling….Now, the object of traditional wresting amongst the Ngarakbal was not to link or grip their opponent in such a way as to overpower them and make them helpless and unable to move…..It was instead the skill and agility in grappling with the opponent, to throw him to the ground clear without him holding you…..but, he could hold you as long as he could carry you….the craft taught combat skill, endurance, patience and timing
It works thus…..First there are three persons selected from the one totem tribe, and another three from another totem tribe…..for ease of explanation I will call the first group the Pelican Men and the second group the Emu men1890- byron Bay men Mitchel libraray PXA689no
This 1890 photo of Byron Bay Aboriginal Men appears in the book Time & Tide Again – Library of NSW PXA689 no.14…..
….”A clear ground, free from shrubs or rocks, is selected, a soft sandy spot. Before the contestants arrive, the members of the respective tribes congregate to witness and barrack for either side……then the men arrive, their bodies may or may not be smeared with oil and ochre…presently a person steps forward and he holds in his hand a boomerang and a small throwing nulla nulla [club]
He turns to the contestants, addressing them…” You are called upon today to uphold the honour of your tribe. One of you may win or take the prize”….and he holds before them the newly made boomerang and nulla nulla
These weapons are placed into the ground, like you would with cricket stumps/wickets at one end of the ring …..The referee then calls to the men who will defend these weapons…..[in this example] it’s the Pelican totem men who step forward…and their supporters shout encouragement…and they walk to the end of the ring that has the weapons standing upright in the ground.
The three Pelican totem men stand in front of the weapons, facing the opposing team members of the Emu totem who are standing ten to twenty metres back at the other end of the ring…..then the referee calls to the Emu totem men to take the weapons from the Pelican totem men
The first of the three Emu men walks forward towards the weapons and at half distance he is met by the first of the three Pelican men, who grapples with him to prevent him from coming closer to the weapons…..Now, let’s suppose the Emu man throws the Pelican man to the ground…He can now rush forward where he is met by the next Pelican man [number 2] who has come to defend the weapons… The Emu man now must wrestle with Pelican man -number 2…. and suppose he also throws him to the ground…. Emu man rushes on and is now met by Pelican man – number 3….and now the war begins….The third Pelican man strains every muscle to defend the prize and the honour of his tribe… he must prevent the Emu man from advancing to where the weapons are standing upright in the ground….They wrestle, both falling to the ground, and then rise….. The Emu totem man is getting nearer and nearer; he reaches out to take hold of the ‘nulla nulla’,….almost gets it, but his strength fails….He gives up and returns back to his team members with a feeling of defeat. Now… the second Emu totem man makes the attempt, but he may not have the skill or the strength to tackle the three Pelican totem defenders….but still, in honour of his tribe he will try….he also fails and must return to his team at the other end of the ring…….Now comes the third Emu totem man….instead of walking he runs and perhaps knocks the first Pelican totem defender down, then meets the second and throws him to the ground….Now he grapples with the third Pelican totem man, throws him to the ground and takes the ‘nulla nulla’ and returns to his team companions amidst cheering from his tribe….
Now they are given a rest….perhaps an hour or more.
The referee then takes the boomerang, and places it on the side of the Emu totem men….and says “Take the weapon from the Emu totem”
The first Pelican totem man goes forward and is met halfway by an Emu totem man, they begin wrestling and perhaps the Emu man lifts him and throws him upon his shoulder, and then carries him to the end of the ring back to his Pelican totem team…this means he lost – he doesn’t continue to wrestle with the others…..
So then, the second Pelican totem man also fails in the same manner…he can’t continue either….so, it’s up to the third Pelican totem man to defend his tribes honour and capture the boomerang….But he tries and also fails…..
Then the barrackers of the Emu tribe shout with joy, because the Emu totem men have won the prizes; the boomerang and the nulla nulla…
The Pelican totem men in their defeat will take it in good spirits and wave as a sign of friendship and of expressing desire to meet again in the future in a similar challenge…”….adapted from original by D. Unaipon
So…. it’s an attack and defend version of wrestling, running and endurance….and as you can see by the photo above, being placed in Reserves didn’t stop the Ngarakbal warriors from practicing their training….training for a war to defend their land…more on that later thou…..
Some of the more complex traditional games can involve up to 50 men who, using a wooden cross like object that is spun on the surface of the competition ground [moving it like a football between the teams] teaches the important skill of hunting agile game, like kangaroo, emu and wallaby….This ancestral game has also produced some of the best natural footballers in the world
Then there are other more complex gaming events that involve whole tribes gathering to compete….many of these game events will last an entire day, and some even longer….to an outsider these events appear to be war….but this is not the case…the object of these gatherings and sporting events is to solidify community ties and also serves the purpose of exchanging information that improves the skills of making boomerangs and spears…for the women it is a great opportunity to learn new weaving techniques and meet with kin…..but most importantly it was the opportunity to gather and entertain each other with the added bonus of maintaining the spirituality of the land and all it contains….
Upholding the Bootheram [Dreaming] Lore through performance, dance, song and oral tradition is one side of the lore….maintaining a living culture unbroken despite all attempts to wipe it off the map or lock it away to die in Reserves requires stamina…No…the culture never died…it adapted…Taking the best qualities of whatever it was exposed to, maintaining morale and morals, applying the lore’s of healthy competition, endurance, skill and patience…aka, the art of wrestling.

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Ancient arrivals to the Land of the Bird Tribes…Part 2

Many People from many lands have come to the Land of the Bird Tribes…In Part One we looked at the Pre-Crown arrivals of the Dutch, Portuguese and the Egyptian, to name a few…..and now we come to the arrival of the Three Brothers – escaping the war in the centre of the word.

galleon2

 

The Three Brothers Bootheram was also told by Mr Alex Vesper in the 1950’s Civil Rights era…..  The Vesper family are one of the numerous direct bloodline descendants of the Ngarakbal/Githabal – from the ancestral Mother Clans of the Bird Tribes…..Today there are over 500 living descendants from that bloodline still residing in their ancestral estate…and they are all proud of their ancient unbroken heritage….A heritage that goes way back to their ancestors of the ‘Dreaming’.Alex Vesper

William Charles, Alexander Vesper and Herbert Charles unveil a memorial plague to their Githabul ‘Grandfather’ Doc Williams at the ‘Bokal-Ynee’communtiy Hall, Muli Muli Aboriginal Reserve Woodenbong in 1972

There are many unsung Hero’s within the Ngarakbal/Githabal community…Three of them were Mr Alec Vesper along with Euston Williams and his wife Charlotte and they were instrumental in the civil rights campaigns of the 1950’s…They obtained the correct permission [through tribal protocol]of their ‘Boss’ Elders to speak their Bootheram Lore in order to overthrow the crowns pre-1967 classification of Aboriginal people as Flora and Fauna…The crown laws of those times required them needing to prove they had a religion in order to prove that were Human…which is a totally outrageous concept, but that was the times…

rightsTo achieve this feat they spoke about their LORE – and the Bird Tribes descendants worked with the Three Brothers descendants…in unity….overcoming the ancient division between the Lore [and in respect for the ‘Eelmarni’ Marriage Rites that had occurred long ago] ….

This unity of TRUE Reconciliation of the Past divisions of the matrilineal lore descendants and patriarchal lore descendants was THE vital key that empowered the laws to change in 1967….and it effectively united the Aboriginal people, and gave great strength to the achievement of Land Rights and the creation of legislative recognition and protection of Sacred Sites in the 1970’s…and al appeared well, until the crown’s Native Title procedural processes divided them again in the 1990’s….

roland r head shot

Roland Robinson collected many Bootheram from the traditional descendants during the 1950’s…He always published them verbatim – unchanged just as their Lore decrees ….One story he collected was from Mr. Alex Vesper about The Three Brothers… In it Mr Vesper is telling the Ngarakbal/Githabal Bootheram of The Three Brothers who were the first people to find the land of the Bird Tribes, and they came in a Sailing Ship…….This story has been handed down by Aboriginal people through their generations.  This story can-not be altered – that is the Lore….

…”I am sixty-seven years of age.  I heard this story from my Grandfather who was a full-blood of the Ngarartbul tribe near Murwillumbah.  On my Grandmothers side the tribe was Gullibul, from Casino and Woodenbong.  I heard this story also from many old Aboriginals who came from other tribes…”…

…”The first finding of this unknown land, Australia, was made by Three Brothers, who came from the central part of the world. They were compelled to explore for land on the southerly part of the world because they were forced out of the centre part of the world because of revolutions and warfare of those nations of the central part…”.

“They came in a sailing ship. As they made direct for the south, coming across different islands and seeing the people in those islands, they kept in the sea all the time until they came to Australia, to the eastern part of the continent”.

“There first coming into this land was as Yamba Head on the Clarence River. They anchored just off the mouth of the Clarence.  This was the first landing of men in this ‘empty’ continent. They camped, taking out of their ‘empty’ ship all their camping belongings, such as a steel axe and many other things of the civilised race in the central part of the world…”.

“After they had rested from the voyage, through the night a storm started to rise from the west.  The force of wind broke the anchor and deprived them of the ship, which was driven out to sea and never seen again….”…….extract Mr Alex Vesper -Three Brothers – Roland Robinson

The Bootheram goes on to describe how the Three Brothers and their families were forced to remain in Australia….They have children and migrate North, South and West……

Other Elders of the moiety provided further information of this Bootheram of  how when the three brothers fled the war and arrived with their families the earth had been covered in a great flood…the ancestral Bird Tribe ‘Mother clans’ had retreated to higher grounds….’Nimbinje’ saw them coming and ‘sang’ up the wind….and of the subsequent death of the Northern Brother in an epic war that took place at NIMBIN Rocks ….but that’s another Bootheram for another time….

rightsThe Lore was told by Mr. Vesper to overcome the crowns Non-Human classification of all Aboriginal people…..Traditionally the Bird Tribes had been ‘classified’ as not being human by the Paigal [Men]…A lot of epic battles had occurred in respect to the arrival of the Paigal that goes way back in Lore and these events, just like the arrivals of all the peoples who followed after the Three Brothers, are still told within the Ngarakbal and Githabal community…

The relatively contemporary Bootheram of the Three Brothers arrival in the land of the Bird Tribes appears to match the geo-anthropological data post “Long Summer Holocene epoch’ in the Anthropocene [age of humanity] which heralded the collapse of Northern Hemisphere civilisation due to the shift in earth’s orbit forcing human migration as sea levels rose….and  …Current mtDNA studies verify the migration pattern as not having come ‘Out of Africa’, but of actually originating in Australia…..

IMG_195253334027910…..“Mitochondrial DNA puts the origin of Homo sapiens much further back and indicates that the Australian Aboriginals arose over 400,000 years ago from two distinct lineages, far earlier than any other racial type.”…..….and further, that…“The Aboriginal racial group has a much higher rate of mutations than any other racial group, which suggests that the Aboriginals split off from the common ancestor about 400,000 years ago. By the same theory, the Mongoloid originated about 100,000 years ago, and the Negroid and Caucasians about 40,000 years ago.”….Professor  Cann – Dept of Cell and Molecular Biology – University of Hawaiʻi, Mānoa

Scientists are now beginning to look more closely at the vast repository of oral Aboriginal mythology across the continent and have discovered that what had once been perceived as primitive myth is actually important knowledge correlating with and predating much of the northern hemispheres accepted academic disciplines;…..The ‘accepted’ migratory patterns of ancient peoples into the continent 40,000 years ago appears to be the patrilineal line [escaping an ancient war in the centre of the earth?] whilst a matrilineal line was established sometime in the 350,000 years of prior occupation as the Bird Tribes – and continues, in conjunction with the Patrilineal …

Academics are also realising that the same historical tales of epic Dreamtime battles between the ancestral matrilineal lines and migrating patriarchal lines were occurring all over the Australian continent in the same time [epoch] period – arriving in waves, all fleeing from an epic war in the central world of long ago….…and because of the requirement of Bootheram Lore to NEVER be changed, this magnificent LIVING library contains the most accurate portrayal of the REAL and un-sanitized history of Australia….and potentially, the planet…..

If you would like to receive automatic notification of future posts to this site then subscribe to my newsletter… And for more info on the ‘Language of the Birds’ check out Sonya Van Gelders website- Ancient Wisdom of the Ancestors at http:www.ancientwisdomoftheancestors.com …it’s located in the links ….Hoo Roo

We ALL come from the Bird Tribes

“We are the Bird Tribes…We did not ‘come’ here, we were always here…we were ‘made ’here”. …Marlene Boyd    IMG_1066642208575158

Women are rarely mentioned in the Anthropological literature as owners of country in their own right or as decision making individuals; they appear as wives and mothers, their relationship to the Bootheram always mediated through another….but this is not always Traditional Lore way…

Millie Boyd was an exception to European patriarchal thinking, and so was her Mother Charlotte Williams [nee. Brown] because they maintained their ancestral lore traditions after invasion and in spite of European Authorities

I was very blessed to have known and worked with the late Mrs. Marlene Boyd….Charlotte Williams was her Grandmother…..Marlene was an amazing being. She loved her country – Ngarakbal country, the beautiful Tweed Caldera…..She told me about her Grandmother’s Bootheram, the Fairy Emu Dreaming….It’s a ‘traveling’ Bootheram – the transcontinental songline –  which commences in the Ngarakbal ancestral estate – first place to feel the dawn light of Mother Sun…..It tells the ‘Dreaming Lore’ of one of the Ngarakbal and Githabals supreme creation ancestor ‘Nguthungalli’ who walks towards the west creating the geological features of the landscape as he travels…..He ‘sings’ everything into existence…..

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…”….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…”……Extract form the Fairy Emu Dreaming by Charlotte Williams [Brown]

Marlene Boyd spent a lot of time insisting to me that her people were always ‘here’……..”We did not come here, we were always here…We were made in the west….We are the bird tribes” she would state emphatically……and then she would ‘sing’….

The Boyd and Williams’s families and their relations are survivors of the crown invasion – post colonisation of Terrra Nullius….Australia – Ancient Island of the Bird Tribes which Marlene said was the origin of all the tribes upon the planet….

The whole Ngarakbal and Githabal community is extremely proud of who they are and what they represent….and deservedly so, for the Ngarakbal and Githabal descendants have always been involved at the ‘coalface’ of indigenous political, environmental and, indeed, scientific developments heaped upon then by government and the crown…..

But their association to this land is much, much older than when Capt. Cook sailed past Cape Byron and first sketched ‘Wollumbin’ and named it Mt Warning for the Crown to ‘claim’ Cooks Sketch Mt Warning 1770

on Tuesday the 15th of May 1770…..For their association goes way, back……into the Dreaming, which they call Bootheram…..way, way, way, back…..

.”The Bootheram is one continuous moment STRETCHED – across time and space”, Marlene told me…..”It’s made in the mountains. It’s made in the water….They can take our land, but they will never take our Bootheram”, she would say……She was a proudly Traditional Lore Woman from a very long line of the same, and even though we would be sitting in my beach shack [which had become the Ngarakbal/Nganduwal Aboriginal ‘office’], when she spoke her Lore, she meant business, and  the spirit of her ancestors came through her loud and clear……

Marlene was very ‘strong’ about who she was and who the Ngarakbal and Githabal are, and of their place within the ancestral tribes of this ancient continent, of which she insisted had always been ‘here’….…

“We are the Bird Tribes….We did not ‘come’ here, we were always here….We were ‘made’ here….”…when she said this she wasn’t just refereeing to Aboriginal Australians, no, she meant the global peoples – from “the time before time – way, way, way, back”….and she wasn’t the only one saying this either….

“They say we have been here 60,000 years. But it is much longer. We have been here since the time before time began … All other peoples of the world come from us.” ……Aboriginal Elder: Page 122 – “Voices of the First Day”

Marlene’s ancestors had been extensively studied by the scientific academics since colonial times and a great raft of research has been collated specifically about these families….one of those academic studies shows the blood sampling that was taken of her grandparents and great grandparents by the government of the early 1900’s….

Now, the Ngarakbal ancestral women’s ‘Skin Lore’ is Biological Genetics in Native Science….the basis of ‘Skin Lore’ determines ‘right way’ marriages, but is by no means limited to just that…like all Lore it has multi dimension facets and layers of meaning……It’s important to remember that an isolated island nation, like Australia, needed to be mindful of avoiding inter-relation marriages that could weaken the genetic strength and health of its people….and so the ‘Skin Lores’ govern that strictly…..it’s matrilineal descent recorded in totem of bloodline descent – through Grandmothers….much like MitochondrialDNA [MtDNA]…

Marlene was adamant that contemporary science was wrong….that, “the Aboriginal people didn’t walk out of Africa” and that it was actually the other way around…She insisted that the ‘Skin Lore’ would show that…..So, she got me to research the science and then we started lobbying government to use MtDNA in Native Title…The by-product of all this Science v’s ‘Skin lore’ was that she showed me, that what she was insisting appeared to be quiet valid….

The research found that in the last 20 years major advances had been made in the study of blood samples, and, interestingly, they directly challenge any supposed African link to Australia’s ancestral people, and dramatically extend the purported 60,000 years of occupation by ancestral tribes to a FAR, FAR GREATER timescale…this had occurred because of advances in cellular and molecular biology – genetics and their origins….To date, even the scientists who first established the “Out of Africa” theory have readdressed their own work and now concede that Australia appears to be the birthplace of ALL modern human beings….

Most notable of these scientists is Rebecca L. Cann, who is currently Professor in the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa…. Cann was the geneticist who made a scientific breakthrough on mitochondrial DNA variation and evolution in humans, popularly called ‘Mitochondrial Eve’….. Her initial discovery and theory was that all living humans are genetically descended from a single African mother who lived <200,000 years ago….this became the foundation of the Out of Africa theory, which she assisted in developing whilst  a doctoral student under the supervision of Dr. Alan Wilson, the then Professor of Biochemistry at the University of California, Berkeley……  Wilson was a pioneer in the use of molecular approaches to understanding evolutionary change and reconstruct phylogenies, and a revolutionary contributor to the study of human evolution…..They had checked all the facts and they were sure that they were right…but they weren’t……

After graduating from Berkeley, Cann continued her mtDNA research.  She has since stated that…..“Mitochondrial DNA puts the origin of Homo sapiens much further back and indicates that the Australian Aboriginals arose over 400,000 years ago from two distinct lineages, far earlier than any other racial type.”…..….and further, that……….“The Aboriginal racial group has a much higher rate of mutations than any other racial group, which suggests that the Aboriginals split off from the common ancestor about 400,000 years ago. By the same theory, the Mongoloid originated about 100,000 years ago, and the Negroid and Caucasians about 40,000 years ago.”….
And Professor Cann was not alone in these findings either…Her ‘new’ research led Wilson to visit Australia in 1985 and he too has had to reformulate his previous theory of “Out of Africa”…more and more eminent scientist then added to the ‘picture’ of our global human origins

Roy Simmons of the Commonwealth Serum Laboratory states, “Australian data indicated that the Aborigines actually evolved earlier than the African Negroes. There was no blood evidence to indicate the African Negroes had any connection to the Australian Aborigines.”…..

Professor Lanarch of Sydney University concurred with Simmon’s insistence the Australian Aboriginals stand alone. “We therefore have no hesitation in omitting the Negritos as the ancestors of the Australian Aborigines.” ….

Cann and Simmons, along with a growing number of academics have now concluded that Aboriginal people are far more genetically diverse than any other population….according to Cann, 10 times more than Africans….

Added to the scientific findings was the voice of Keith Windshuttle, an Australian writer and historian [authored The Fabrication of Aboriginal History, etc]……Windshuttle stated that “fifty years of blood genetic research has failed to provide any clue to Aboriginal origins”…and elaborated with “May I state here and now that our extensive blood surveys conducted in Australia, Indonesia, Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia, produced no genetic evidence that the Negro even entered the Pacific.”

It seemed that everything Marlene was telling me from the Bootheram was the truth…”Forget everything they taught you Stella and begin again with the Lore”, she told me…it was blind leap of faith to begin with, but over time the Bootheram always turns up trumps……

One day I’d asked Marlene, why would the government academics collude to keep this amazing information so secretive?…..Was it because of maintaining land tenure?…..Was it to thwart Native Title recognition of Traditional Ownership pre-crown?… Could this whole ‘Out of Africa’ concept be part of a global government ideology to maintain tenure and control of the global sovereign lands…and could this be why they change the maps and the original geospatial linguistic attributions of the names on those maps?….Marlene smiled……”Now you’re getting it girl” she said……….

What a wise old woman….

 

I’ll post the full Fairy Emu Dreaming [in full] in the future, and the Song of Wao – that accompanies it … as only extracts appear on this site at the moment…will also post some of the lobby documents in the future too….so, if you’re interested subscribe to my newsletter so you’ll get them…and check out Sean O’Shea – Byron Bay Artist…..some of his beautiful photo’s feature in my posts…just click on his website is in my links…..Hoo Roo

THE MYTH OF THE MOUNTAIN – JULGUMBUN

Mount Lindesay is the most significant sacred site of the Githabal people…the Githabal are the marriage clan of the Ngarakbal…these two ancient volcano clans are located on the most eastern point of the Australian continent, where the first light of magnetic ‘Mother Sun’ rises from the ocean and awakens the whole land……

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The Ngarakbal and Githabal Bootheram [Dreaming lore] is inextricably interlinked….Bootheram tells of the creation of the land and all the inhabitants of the land….Plants and animal, fish and birds, everything has a Bootheram – and all Bootheram is interlinked…..its Native Science held in oral format and celebrated and related through song, dance and ceremony…Ancient truths held in metaphoric lore….Contemporary scientist’s and physicists would find correlation in disciplines such as morphogenetic’s, crystallography, biology, geology, and hydrology, to name but a [mere] few….the Githabal and Ngarakbal Bootheram is totally beautiful stuff…..and why wouldn’t it be….for they have grown along with this landscape throughout time and space.

I want to share with you a creation Bootheram about Mount Lindesay that was related to Phinney MacPherson [who managed to ensure to name a substantial portion of the landscape after himself when he surveyed it for the crown]…..Anyway, the important person in this is the Githabal Elder who he recorded this Bootheram from…it was a Mr Euston Williams…..Mr Williams was the husband of Charlotte Brown, a Ngarakbal woman from the Tweed Caldera…..Charlotte sang the Ngarakbal ‘portion’ of the Fairy Emu Dreaming [transcontinental songline] about her ancestral country and it’s central significant/sacred Mountain – Wollumbin……

Now, Euston and Charlotte were instrumental in the Civil Rights campaigns of the 1950’s….during those times the crown did not recognise Aboriginal people as being human, and had crudely ‘classified’ them under the Flora and Fauna legislations of the day….back then, one of the prerequisites for legally being a human being was to have an identified religion….So, Euston and Charlotte, along with many other Senior Elders agreed to start speaking & singing about their ‘religion’…they spoke their truth…Bootheram- LORE…and many other Senior Elders from their respective ancestral countries joined them right across the country…..collectively they campaigned for more than a decade [it’s an awesome story]….In 1967 after mounting pressure from the Australia public  the crown rescinded the flora and fauna classification and human rights were granted……the collective force of a positive campaign to speak their ancient truth produced a positive outcome….morphic field resonance…..Bootheram

Euston Williams

The Myth of the Mountain by Eustan Williams

….”Look at that mountain standing up, see how it goes straight up on it’s sides. No man can climb that mountain.  Look at it’s head, through the mist, covered with trees.  I worked as a chainman to Phinney MacPherson, the surveyor, right along this range and, when we come to Jalgumbun, he says to me, “Now Eustan, let me see them steps you say are cut out in this mountain”.  And I pointed out them steps. He stood there, writing in his notebook the story of the mountain that I told him………………That mountain Jalgumbun was once a tree”.Mt Lindsay pic

.”A man went after honey in that tree. He climbed up with the vine-rope round himself and round the tree. And as he climbed he cut footholds with his stone axe.  And his wives were waiting in the forest down below.

“Where are you?”, they called out.  And he called back, “I’m chopping out the honey”.  At last he called out, “”Here it is” and rolled the piece of wood with all the honey in it down to the butt and big roots of the tree.  They sat down in that camp and ate that honey and travelled then away along the range.

That night there was no moon. The women looked out into the night and whispered to each other “oh look what is that ‘something’ over there”….”oh its like a shadow, see, that ‘something’ over there is blocking out the stars”.

And in the morning when they woke they saw the mountain that was never there before. Jalgumbun, standing up against the sky.

Well there’s a tree called Jalgumbun that grows here in the ranges.  It has real soft skin.  The fellas from the mill at Urbenville come with their axes, tractors and their gear, and fell and lop them trees and drag them out from the ranges of their native home….”………

 

Beautiful stuff Bootheram….It has many layers….and the strength of these beautiful people to keep their traditional lore and custom aflame is an inspiration…..and their is so much more…..if you are interested subscribe to my newsletter….Hoo roo

Aboriginal Significance of Mount Warning/Wollumbin

The Ngarakbal and Githabal are the descendants of the ancient ‘Bird Tribes’ of Australia…..They call the dreamtime, ‘Bootheram’….In 1977 Howard Creamer an Anthropologist for Australian National Parks and Wildlife Services recorded many  of the significant cultural sites within the Ngarakbal Githabal lands as part of the governments Aboriginal Sites Survey…

king Brown -Woolumba

The Ngarakbal and Githabal have witnessed many arrivals into their homelands. Some came in peace, others in war… Many cultures from far away lands have come to this beautiful place over the thousands and thousands of generations just as they come today…and with each arrival, or conquest the Yoocum Yoocum have encompassed these event into their ancestral Bootheram [Dreaming Lore]  – oral traditions, songs and dances of the historical truths about the events that took place in their ancestral lands…because Bootheram is not only the story of the land and all its biological inhabitants, plants and animals, but also the story of the all the peoples who have ever come to this ancient Volcano….the Abode of the Rainbow Serpent.

The Ngarakbal and Githabal refer to themselves as keepers of the ‘Feathered Serpent Lore traditions’ – The Bird Tribes…Birds are the Feathered Serpents, the descendants of the Goanna [dinosaurs]…and the Ngarakbal and Githabal are the descendants of the Bird Tribes…thus,  the Ngarakbal and Githabal are the ancient ancestral moieties of this landscape….They did not come here, they were always here…There lore tells of how they were made here…This ‘knowing’ is held in their Bootheram lore [Dreaming]…..The birds gave them their Lore, their land, and their LANGUAGE….but more on that later

In the meantime, here is the Aboriginal and Anthropological Significance of Mt Warning/Wollumbin  – recorded by Howard Creamer for the Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service in 1997…..it’s an extract of the  transcript of the site registration but I have attached the original site registration…and the original audio file that Howard Creamer gave me…..

Aboriginal and Anthropological Significance of the Site Wollumbin recorded by Howard Creamer, Anthropologist for Australian National Parks and Wildlife Services.

The following information on Wollumbin was recorded by Mrs Milli Boyd [nee Williams] of Woodenbong…see below….She was born at Woodenbong around 1910 and comes from there but her mother and husband were from the Tweed Valley area and she has maintained links there all her life.  Woodenbong is in the traditional territory of the Gidabal people, while Wollumbin is in Nerackbal country. There are today very few people who identify as Nerackbal and the Tweed Valley is now perceived by most people as being within the area of the large Bunjalung tribal language group.  The following transcript of a tape recording made in December 1977 with Millie Boyd explains the significance of the site:

milli boyd [nee Williams]

See they’re three sisters those – there’s Wollumbin, Mebbini, Byorgini that Nimbin Mountain.  That‘s my mothers’s mother’s mountain.  That’s Byorgini and in the middle that’s Mebbini and Wollumbin in the front, like that, you can see it. That’s Mebbini, that story came from here, from Mt Brown, you know where all the birds got together and spoke their lingo and this big bird came up and frightened them. They was talking Gullyval, Muli, Gidabal.  Magpie flew somewhere else.  Parrot flew down there to Evans Head, that’s how thee came to be Bundjalung.  And the wounded parrot flew back right near Lismore out to Casino, you see a gully there,  they reckon the waters blood there, red, where he settled.  And Turkey flew back there, wounded.  That’s why Mt. Warning got that little bend in his neck.  That’s why that National Park,  they look after it very well.

Wollumbin,  that’s a wild turkey.  He flew 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 there’s a little point there on the top,  you take good notice today when we get down there.  Yeerin’s there,  that’s where the fairies come from.  He carried the gold there,  right on the point….[Milli sings the song Wollumbin]

Below is the actual Australian National Parks and Wildlife site registration of Wollumbin

Mt Warning Rego #2 of 2

and here is the original recording that Creamer made of Mrs Milli Boyd telling him the significance of Wollumbin and associated sites within the Ngarakbal and Githabal areas……”Biorgini”- Blue Knob, Mt Burrell – Wind Spirit….”Mebbini, Momoli” – Lofts Pinnacle -Eaglehawk….and “Wullumban” , Wollumbin – Turkey

This is just one of many audio files made by Howard Creamer that explain how the Birds gave the Ngarakbal Githabal their Language, Lore and Land…I will be uploading more in the future …so stay tuned or subscribe to my newsletter [its free] and you will automatically receive my posts in your email……..Hoo-Roo