Tag Archives: cudgen

Aboriginal spiritual significance of Cudgen – Tweed Coast – Australia

Cudgen on the Tweed Coast is a significant creation site for the Ngarakbul and Githabul moiety…..Lore Land and Language are linked…..

“I want to share with you an important creation event from the Ngarakbul Githabul Bootheram Lore about how Tweed Coast area of Cudgen got its name, and how our warriors know when to hunt the grey kangaroo flock,  gurumanmari”….

It is called  a “Boodharam gawari”, which means story ‘run’, or Songline, with all of the associated djurebil, sacred sites, connected across the landscape, and in the sky”….

Stan Williams - Duroom - age 34 - Woodenbong - Tindale“Stan Williams was my Grandfather, his mother was Charlotte Brown from the Ngarakbul estate, of the Tweed Volcano – Charlotte was the daughter of Mary Brown, a full blooded Ngarakbul woman, who had seven children….four daughters and three sons ….all of them married proper tribal skin lore way, following the sacred starlore cycles, within triangles of each clans respective territorial boundaries“…  

“The following is a Bootheram Mr James Morgan gave my Grandfather Stan Williams to protect and teach…. this same Bootheram gawari [story run] has been faithfully passed down in my family since the Alcheringa , the beginning….. It explains our country and  links our people to it through Lore Land and Language – since the Dreaming ”……

“Its called , Goodgin Guruman Boojeram”

 “A handsome man Buluggahn who lived in the Dreamtime, the Alcheringa, when the world was just beginning went out hunting everyday”…

“One day when he was down at the sea ‘burgur’,when  he saw a buck grey kangaroo – Guruman, is what we call him……..So Buluggahn cast his spear, ‘bilahru’…….He hit that Guruman,’bilahru bira’ but the spear did not kill the animal…it only wounded the Guruman”….

“That ‘bilahru’ had gone  into the kangaroo’s thigh…but when the Buluggahn came close to the animal to pick it up and take it back to the camp, it struggled to its feet and hopped away”…..

“The Buluggahn followed after that wounded kangaroo…He could see he was badly wounded, losing a lot of blood  and he took pity on him ‘gidhir’…so Buluggahn, who was a powerful Wayun – cleverman- collected the earth with Guruman’s blood and painted it under his eyes and across the bridge of his nose and  began singing a magic song, ‘jingan’, to make that Guruman stop and go to sleep, ‘ngurahm”….Burrigan Goodgin Djurebil

“But the Guruman was a spirit animal, a totem, and knew what was happening…. he wasn’t going to give up easily …he fought the magical ‘jingan’ urging him to sleep….and he fled as fast as he could into the ancient Hoop Pine forests of the coastal range, desperate to escape his fate”…..

“Wherever the Guruman leapt, blood, ‘gumar’, dripped from the wound that the Buluggahn spear, ‘bilahr’, had made in his thigh ….his ’gumar’ seeping all over the coastal range”…

“All the while the Buluggahn continued tracking him,  through the pine forest, then into the rainforest, always singing his, ‘jingan’ magic song……..and every time  he got close to Guruman that Kangaroo would summon his strength and leap away”….

Cudgenbil waterhole --Braeside turn off“Soon Guruman became thirsty….He stopped to drink at a river ‘Wayal Balun’ , that means river in our language, and it also means Milkyway,  and his blood dripped into the waterhole…we call that waterhole ’Cudgenbil’,  near Uki….that’s a Rainbow Serpent djurebil there- part of the Women’s Water Lore,  its sacred there …..the Rainbow Serpent Grandmother Warazum is our moieties protector,  but not to strangers…strangers shouldn’t  go swimming there… Warzum will punish strangers…. and send buban, floodwaters” ……

“After he quenched his thirst Guruman continued on …….On and on the kangaroo went… still bleeding…with the Buluggahn singing him…..until at last, exhausted he came to a sacred mountain…. There was a cave, a ‘birman , in the mountain…”….. 

“Guruman knew his time was short ‘gubanjahy’…so using the last of his strength he crawled into the birman cave, and there, he died…………Juluhnnggi, that means died, in Ngarakbul Githabul dialect”….

“No sooner had the kangaroo died than ‘jingan’ the Buluggahn’s magic song turned Guruman’s ’gumar’ in the earth to goodgin [cudgen], the red clay paint that warriors wear”…..

Cudgenbil waterhole - buban - flood“All through the land, at every place that Guruman had leapt, his blood was turned into red clay…and you can still see it today……. all along the ridges behind Kingscliff, Duranbah , Cudgen, Condong Range and running all the way back towards Kyogle through Eungella, Uki and Mebbin, and into the Tweed Range…and when warzum sends the  ‘buban’, the floods,  his blood can be seen in the Cudgenbil waterhole”…….

“But the place where Guruman was first hit with the spear that place has that name Googgin/Cudgen which is the name that Buluggahn’s  song gave the red clay soil stained forever from Guruman’s gumar…his blood”…  cudgen topo map   “But the goodgin that is found in the sacred birman [cave] is far redder than that found anywhere else…. and this is because that Guruman died in there” …

And Juluhnnggi, means that Guruman was a strong spirit…. So the WayunBuluggahn used that  magic song and made him into a djurebil, a sacred site, and at a certain time of the year we can see that Guruman spirit in the stars of Balun, Wayalthe Milkyway – its then we know when to hunt the Gurumanmir, the flock in accordance with proper lore” ….

“Bird Tribe warriors wear their ochre when we corroboree, ‘jangar ba’– that’s what we call our shake a leg dance…we hold ceremony to increase the Gurumanmir before we hunt…. then we paint a strip of that red ochre under our eyes, across the bridge of our nose just as the Buluggahn did when he speared that spirit Guruman at Cudgen Heads, Kingscliff. ” …..

… This illustrates how Boodharam gawari,  Lore,  links people to Land, through Language”

“Lore Land and Language are LINKED”

“That’s the creation lore my Grandfather taught me about Goodgin Guruman ”….

Allan Euston Williams 

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

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Cudgen Lake – “Coodgen Headland” Kingscliff & the Rainbow Serpent

-Coodgen Lake and its Headland, Kingscliff, is a most significant sacred site of the Ngarakbul people…the Ngarakbul are the marriage clan of the Githabul 

“I want to share with you a creation Bootheram about Skinlore marriage lore which links the two volcano’s together – from the stars……  This Bootheram that was related by my Ngarakbul Great Grandmother  Charlotte Brown from the Tweed Volcano where Yar Birrain [Mt Warning] is the centrepiece of the Ngarakbul ancestral estate……it aligns with a sacred Lake – Coogen Lake” – which flows to the sea at Kingscliff , once known as Coogen Headland”….

This story governs all of our kinship skinlore and it comes directly from the Star Ancestors…..it is written in the sky and into our ancestral landscapes…it is very sacred to our people”. 

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Euston Williams – Githabul – Skinlore marriage – Charlotte Brown – Ngarakbul

“Charlotte Brown inherited the custodianship of Yar Birrain from her Grandfather King Brown of Wollumbin who was the keeper of the first Origine’ Lore of this continent – the Skinlore, Kinship and Starlore  Bootheram’s of the Rainbow Serpent and Nguthungulli [God]  who gave us the Lore”…..  

“It tells of a sacred union between our two volcano tribes …the Ngarakbul and the Githabul in an ancient tribal Skinlore Marriage from the Dreamtime……back then there lived a young beautiful girl called Kumbarra.  Her people were the Beereen people of the Ngarakbul moiety”….

“At the time there was a great war, for the Githabul were fighting the Ngarakbul….and while the tribesmen were fighting the girl saw a handsome valiant warrior, Burrigan, wearing feathers in his hair, who is the champion…..and when the fighting was over a great corroboree was held and Kumbarra was given in marriage to the victorious Burrigan“……

“On her journey to her new husbands country everywhere Kumbarrra travels she plants the “Boorlum” or Ti-Tree……when she comes to the border of  Ngarakbul country she encounters an old uncle of Burrigan, and he tries to steal her by impersonating the young warrior….Kumbarra realises the plot and begins to run, so the old uncle calls up a magic fish called Warragun, who is the rainbow serpent to form a living bridge…..when the old uncle steps upon the bridge Burrigan commands the serpent to roll over and the uncle is drowned for breaking lore” 

“Our creation Lore is ‘written’ into the geological formations of our country – and at night the sails across the vault of heaven…..it can never be changed because it is written in the stars which Nguthungulli, our Father,  created” ……

” A very sacred story of divine marriage , made in heaven …….Man, Woman, a Serpent and a Sacred Tree….. The celestial Adam and Eve from Genesis” 

“This same lore has been faithfully passed down in my family since the beginning of the dreamtime …This is how my  Great Grandmother Charlotte taught me our Lore about our Star Ancestors ….it is called “Boorlum Bootheram” , the Ti-Tree Dreaming“…… 

“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 – Wooyung ….. 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” …. leho-leva-and-wollumbin-nite-sky-1-small

“It happened that one day the fairy people were travelling 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”…..

Kingscliff - cudgen headland“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”. 

coogen headland

“When the battle had been fought at Coodgen 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”….. 

“This Bootheram was collected from my Great Grandmother Charlotte Williams [nee Brown] by Mildred Norledge who interviewed Charlotte on Radio and published the Ti-Tree Dreaming in the Dawn Magazine in the 1950’s….” 

“Cudgen is very sacred to both men and women of our Culture…the red soil has great spiritual significance to our people and our creation lore …this sacred landscape represents the beginning of the transcontinental Songline of Australia – on the land and in the stars of the Milkyway”

“ Cudgen Lake – that’s the beginning of the Rainbow Serpent SUMMER SOLSTICE Star Lore, Marriage Lore, my Great Grandmother taught me – it is sacred to our Women and their StarLore of the Seven Sisters, which tells of the creation,  and our ‘connection to country’ through our Grandmother Lore ……this same creation lore links our moieties together across Australia…”…..

Allan Euston Williams 

allan logo triangle DRAFT3

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

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Eelemarni – Marriage Lore of the Ngarakbal and Githabal

Traditional Aboriginal Lore is held in story,song and dance;  and Marriage Lore has its own specific songs and dances within that greater Traditional Lore and Custom…..In the Ngarakbal and Githabal moieties the marriage lore is known as the Eelemarni…..It is the first verse of the ancient song line pathway that flows across the Australian continent from the eastern most point to the west coast…Collectively these marriage songs and dances are a foundation part of the Seven Sisters Starlore,

7sisters-web_1150195279

Each ancestral country respectively ‘holds; their portion of the song[line] in their own specific ancestral dialect, in their own ancestral country……These ancient lore’s are the base ‘contracts’ of tribal boundaries, access and trade throughout the individual countries cultures.

Traditional Aboriginal Lore dictates that correct marriages MUST follow ‘right skin’ – ‘Skin’ is an individuals totemic birth right association to country….Lore Land and Language are LINKED and must never be changed.

Skin marriages are arranged by senior Elders who hold the knowledge of the correct totemic ‘Skin’ that each individual is born into.  It is this personal ‘Skin’ totem classification that dictates who you can or can’t marry….‘Skin’ Totems are, essentially, an ancient form of recording matrilineal DNA genetics….. Skin Lore provides vital information on maintaining and  strengthening  the health and wellbeing of the moieties throughout time…

Through these sacred stories, songs and dances linkages are maintained right across Australia and record the inter-relationships between the people, the land, and the universe…..as in the Flower of Life

flower of life and cells

The Ngarakbal and Githabal Lore of the Eelemarni was made into an award winning short film in the 80’s

Eelemarni cover 1

Here is a Bootheram [Dreaming Lore] of the Eelemarni…

“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 …. 

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]

Below is a Lands Dept map from 1890 showing Cudgen Heads….today this area is know known as Kingscliff

Cudgen head 1881