The Origine cultures of Australia are the oldest living cultures in the world….and the last unbroken Matristic cultures on the planet…….
Matristic Lore is neither patriarchal or matriarchal , but instead is derived from the ancient nomadic traditions which honoured both sacred masculine and scared feminine for their own essential qualities….qualities ‘gifted’ to them from the celestial realms from which all life descends
One of the reasons the Origine have survived for so long is their ability to live in harmony with the grand celestial cycles which impact our solar system and planet. The Origine people’s ability to adapt to change has allowed them to maintain their ancestral traditions unbroken since the Alcheringa, which is the Ngarakbal Githabul dialect for ‘the beginning’ of the dreamtime.
Commencing on the east coast of Australia the ancient matristic lore of the Origine Dreamtime radiates across the continent. Spiralling from the south celestial pole the ancestral creator beings rise one by one in the Australia skies in the unending celestial particle dance of All Creation. Refreshing and recreating the journeys of the Sky Ancestors which birthed our solar system including this small blue planet we all call ‘home’.
For the past 200 years, since invasion, the spirituality of the Origine culture has been deemed primitive and incapable of supporting genuine religious life. Messianic Christianity undermined Origine spirituality in the belief that the Origine had been living in darkness prior to the advent of the church in their lives. As a result the Origine people found themselves the victims of cultural genocide. Their traditions and beliefs swept aside without treaties to protect them, without even official acknowledgement of their humanity until the 1967 civil rights recognitions. And still the systemic dispossession of the ancestral traditional lore’s and customs continues today, despite many voices calling for its preservation and perpetual protection. The oppression and disenfranchising of the Origine peoples continues in an attempt by contemporary [patriarchal] corporate governance to maintain tenure of the rich and abundant resources of the great southern land….a pattern of administrative governance inherited from Rome and used all over the contemporary world today.
All administrative governance is derived from the Roman church doctrines…..all law.
These Roman laws are exclusively patriarchal and have no inclusion of the feminine to balance and sustain the earth in accordance with natural lore…..and so everything and everyone are subjected to entropic decay – and a dying planet
On the flip side the ancient natural lore, commencing with the All Mother, who is terrestrially defined in Australia as the Tweed Caldera Volcano, the most eastern land form of the southern continent, and it still holds the embers of the last fire of the ancestral matristic lore – a fractal lore of increase rights and obligations which once encircled and unified the entire planet …..even now this last fire battles from being extinguished as a result of patriarchal law processes…. and erased from the face of the earth just as the Romans encompassed all of the ancient ‘goddess’ religions of the globe.
However, today, science is validating the profound truths of the wisdom held within the ancestral matristic lores essence. Academic researchers and historians are piecing together the surviving fragments of cultural heritage and working with Origine Wisdom Keepers to reignite the fires of traditional lore and culture of the matristic lineages of Australia in peace and harmony with all nations for the greater good…..the Vision – to rebuild a new global paradigm of community and love for all, from the embers of the old matristic lore. A lore that encompasses and acknowledges the sacred connectedness of every life force and form sharing this precious orb, together….
One Earth. One Sky. One Lore
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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 planet
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
The 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….
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….
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…….
Bootheram 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….
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’….
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…
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
……..”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…..”…..
….”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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“We are the Bird Tribes…We did not ‘come’ here, we were always here…we were ‘made ’here”. …Marlene Boyd
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…..
…”….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’
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 Africanmother 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
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……
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
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”.
.”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
The Ngarakbal hold the first portion of one of the important Transcontinental Bootheram Lore’s [Dreaming]…as above so below, it is written in the stars for the Lore to travel on the land through the peoples songs, hence, Songline…… and each tribal cultural block hold their portion of the ‘song’ as It travels across the land….following the stars….ironically it was the same stars that the British followed to Australia
Lore must always be sung in sequence…..just as one cannot fully understand a play from only half way through the plot…neither can one understand the lore unless it commences at the beginning….
Land and language [dialect or linguistics] are linked…and the name of the clans who hold portions of the ‘song’ is the same name as their dialect…and as the song travels it changes dialect, passing through each ancestral clan Estate….
For the Ngarakbal their central sacred site, Mt Warning/Wollumbin has many names….it depends on the Bootheram that is being related as to which name is used
In historical Bootheram’s each timeframe, or epoch, has a Creator Being …a totem who embodies that time and place…When the Wollumbin volcano was part of the deep ocean it had the totem of the Tiger Shark – and a specific name for that creation ancestor….And as it was ‘sung’ from the waters by the ancestor spirits [skybeings/starlore] the totems change to represent the next timeframe/epoch……The totemic creator spirit changes with every epoch.
One of the ancestor creator spirits was a Turkey….and he also has a Bootheram for his own epoch…The Turkey’s name was Wollumbin…the Tweed Caldera is the best example of an erosion caldera on the planet….Wollumbin Volcano Bootheram of the Turkey and the language of that song is in Galibal dialect…The Galibal were a tribe within the Ngarakbal area…….Gallibal is the sound of a Turkey, and the name of the tribe who hold his Bootheram.
The central plug of the Caldera was named Mt Warning by Captain James Cook when he ‘discovered’ and charted the [so-called] unclaimed east coast for the crown in 1770.
Recently it has had the dual-name of Wollumbin applied and recognised by the Geographical Name Board – who control the mapping. They incorrectly gazetted the central plug alone, instead of to the whole Volcano that Wollumbin [the creator spirit] created way back in the dreamtime. As a result of this gazettal the ancient lore has been obscured, because Wollumbin has also been incorrectly attributed to the dialect called Bundjalung…. Administrative bungle by government?….or deliberate move to rewrite history to their advantage?
This ‘administrative bungle’ occurred because the first Police Administrators, who also managed the Aboriginal Protections Boards [which is a nice administrative way of naming slave camps] in the late 1800’s were ordered to collect the languages of the Aboriginal peoples….and they incorrectly classified an entire region of Northern New South Wales as Bundjalung….which is the name of a tribe from the Widjabil who are one of the four groups in the moiety/cultural block of the Yoocum Yoocum…and in traditional lore and custom the Bundjalung tribe [proper] has no jurisdiction over Gallibal Land, Language or Lore.
Interestingly, Bungil-lung is also part of the ‘Lung’ Lore – another songline which travels up from the South Gippsland of Victoria along the east coast…. I won’t cover that now but will explain that in later posts….or subscribe to my newsletter for more in-depth info.
Anyway, the original name of the cultural block that the Ngarakbal and Githabal come from was the Yoocum Yoocum….but that fact had been stealthily buried as part and parcel of the conquering and claiming of the east coast of Australia – and as we all know, rewriting history to the benefit of the conquerors is the classic pattern that has occurred all over the planet…Cultural genocide essentially…..and there have been many wars written out of the historical records…including the fact that only the east coast of Australia was claimed by the Crown, because the other four fifths had been claimed by the Dutch….and these facts have also been conveniently obliterated from the contemporary records of today since the Boer War – British v’s the Dutch – ousted the Dutch and allowed for the Crown to claim the rest of the Australian continent. As you can see on this pre- Cook map of New Holland below….the east coast had not been charted, and therefore not claimed according to Northern Hemispheres laws of tenure.
Anyway, back to the east coast history…..
Joshua Bray, the first Tweed/Byron Shires Police Magistrate collected the Ngarakbal’s linguistic records in the late 1800’s under orders from the crown who were busy fighting the Dutch at the time….Joshua Bray is pictured below
Using the legal process of applying Aboriginal language to landscape for the use of naming geographic features was required in order to oust the Dutch who had used their own language to map the west…..So, Aboriginal language was used to validate the crown maps and thus their legal tenure of Australia….
These Police records of Joshua Brays Ngarakbal language were submitted as evidence to alter the gazettal of the name of Mt Warning to Wollumbin in the mid 2000’s – as part of the contemporary governments Reconciliation process of dual naming significant sites – Though government was recognising the Aboriginal significance of ancestral sites it was, at the same time, stealthily changing the ancestral attributions from the original truth [lore, land and language of the Yoocum Yoocum] to the administrative records of the Police [Bundjalung]….wiping out Yoocum Yoocum completely from the Lands records….This administrative sleight of hand trick then travels all the way up to the UN, and thus, the U.N Geographical Names Board now endorse the bogus historical referencing of Bundjalung. The ancestral names on the maps have been sanitised and the ability for Aboriginal Native Title claimants to prove pre-colonial title of their own country has been thwarted……Cultural genocide. Pretty dastardly manipulative stuff isn’t it…..and yet another verse in the ancient Starlore Bootheram of the Ngarakbal and Githabal people .
The ‘Kidjabal’ or Githabul ‘Skin’ are the traditional cultural marriage clan of the Ngarakbal…This ancient ancestral lore begins with Landscape Creator Spirit journeys, starting from the Tweed Coast and traveling across the continent, linking to all the ancestral countries of this vast ancient continent…each cultural block holds the lore within its own ancestral landscape and does not encroach beyond the territorial boundaries of another tribal country .
There are several important Song lines ‘holding’ the Dreaming of ancestral creator journeys commencing from the most eastern most point of the Tweed Caldera, in Ngarakbal lands ….This oral [linguistic] Bootheram [Dreaming lore] links the ancestral names of natural features [places]. The right names has profound meaning to the ancestral Aboriginal people because Bootheram is ‘sung’ [linguistically]…. Thus Spiritual Lore is dependant on the faithful maintenance of the original linguistics of the local area…. Lore, Land and Language are LINKED by and through the Bootheram [Dreaming] and must never be changed.
The ancestral Ngarakbal creators sites and the traditional lore’s and customs which govern these, all sit within the landscape of the Wollumbin Volcano; and the Githabal’s creator sites, along with their traditional lore’s and customs sit within their ancestral lands of the Main Range/Focal Peak Volcano….these two tribal volcano’s lore’s are linked by the ancestral beings traveling journey of creation …and this same system of totemic site and skin association is repeated throughout the Yoocum Yoocum and in turn flows out across the vast Australia continent…..its perfect native biological science…..but more on that later
The Githabal and Ngarakwal [Nganduwal] are part of the ‘Yoocum Yoocum’ Moiety
The East Coast ‘Keepers’of the Feathered Serpent / Rainbow Serpent Traditions of the ancient ‘Bird Tribes’ of Australia…
The ancestral lands of these people are located in some of the most beautiful [and expensive] real estate in the entire country…..from north of the famous Surfer Paradise to south of Byron Bay….it really is nothing short of a miracle that the traditional totemic culture and lore of these ancient tribes survived the relentless invasion of crown colonialists. But survive [and thrive] they did…Its an amazing story of keeping the embers of an ancient fire alive despite blatant attempts to extinguish it forever. But more on that subject later. Right now here is some of what past experts have recorded about the Ngarakwal Githabal people and how they fit into the ‘cultural block’ of the most eastern moiety of this ancient land
One has to remember that the ancestral peoples didn’t write their language, and it wasn’t until the first studies by post-colonial anthropologists and academics that the original oral traditions became text. Translations were based on a somewhat myopic perspective of the conquerors and most of the information was collected from surviving tribal peoples who were either enslaved or incarcerated in those times.
Anthropologist Radcliffe-Brown refers to this same cultural bloc as the Yukum or Yukumbil tribe;
Kidjabal was Radcliffe Browns way of recording the tribal dialect of Githabal….many and various versions of spellings occur throughout the records….here is what he had to say about the Githabal and Ngarakbal peoples…..
“This large tribe, named in it’s negative [yukum = No] occupying the region of the Richmond and Clarence Rivers in the north of NSW and extending over the Qld Border. Their country extends about 100 miles north and south and about 80 miles east and west. Within the north there are considerable local differences of dialect, and a number of the sub-tribes are recognised. The sub-tribe about which I have most information is the Kidjabal of the country at the head of the Clarence River “…Radcliffe Brown 1929A:400
And then there was Archilbald Metson. He was, at one point in his career, the administrator of the Aboriginal Protection Board. This was a Police/Crown administrated board that governed all the Aboriginal Missions and Labour farms…..
“All the Tribes from Nerang to the Clarence spoke variations of the great “Yoocum-Yoocum” dialect [Yoocumbah], which went west to New England and down to the head of the Condamine at Warwick, where it joined the Wacca-Wacca of the Darling Downs”…Metson 1894
The “Yoocum-Yoocum dialect which extended from the Logan River south to midway between the Clarence and the Belinger River, and all New England from Armidale to near Warwick, whence it was joined by the Wacca-Wacca of the Darling Downs, the dialect which came down the north side of the Brisbane River to the sea and Toorbul Point and down the Burnett to the sea at Bundaberg”..Metson 1923
“On Nerang Creek at that time [1869-70] was a Tweed river blackfellow called Tulaman, afterwards killed in a myall row where bad rum played a leading part in the programme….Tullman was my sole companion in a ten days’ tour on the MacPherson Range. He belonged to the Brunswick “Minyahgo-Wallo”, who extended from the Nerang to the “Amburra” blacks on the Richmond and the “Wadjie Wadjie” tribe of the Clarence”..Metson
And then there was the Rev. Hugh Livingstone, a Presbyterian minister who resided in the Richmond District for Ten years between 1876 and 1886 [Rowland et al 2001] In 1892 Livingstone published a paper entitled
‘A short grammar and vocabulary of the dialect spoken by the Minyug [Minyung] people on the North East Coast of NSW’. The contents of this paper are generally well known, and have been extensively quoted and cited in the literature [ see for example Sharpe 1985, Steels 1983, Crowley 1978]. According to Livingstone, the people occupying the Byron-Brunswick area spoke ‘Minyug’, [that is the people who say minyug for what?], one of a number of dialects of an unnamed language that was spoken over a large area from the Clarence River in NSW to the Albert River in Qld [Mckeown2007; Curr1877]
It is Noteworthy that Livingstone despite having resided in the Richmond area for 10 years does not identify the greater dialect area as being attributable to a group known as BUNDJALUNG…..nor does Radcliffe Brown…..nor does Metson……..So, What happened to the ‘Yoocum Yoocum”?????
Well, thankfully, the surviving descendants of the Yoocum Yoocum are alive and well…despite governance attempts to eradicate their ancient lore and culture from existence…but every day is still a struggle to survive intact in the corporate structure that deems any pre-crown native tenure to the lands as an obstacle they could do without
TODAY corporate governance HAS ALTERED ANCESTRAL LORE TO CLAIM and promote NORTHERN NSW AS BEING the ‘BUNDJALUNG NATION’, apparently [blatantly] eliminating all reference to early ethno-historical and anthropological data thus causing extensive damage to true Aboriginal Culture, Lore, Religious & Ritual practicesAcademic fraud [ or collusion] can be identified when scrutiny of academic research timelines reveals that all the ‘confusion’ about which ancestral tribal peoples belong to which ancestral tribal land is occuring AFTER the Lands Rights legislations were created and Native Title was first achieved in Australia, both of which give Traditional Owners the ability to claim un-used crown lands .
A clear pattern of the same manipulation of the early ethohistorical and anthropological data exists the throughout the country.
It appears to many in the public that government [MOU] contracted universities, academics & local historical societies who have known access to the unadulterated early ethno-historical and linguistic materials and even carry them in their collections, have either omitted them completely or have not correctly cited that earlier data, and are instead altering their reports in apparent empathy of governances Private Asset development Agendas, such as Crown Lands [Report No54/01 Jan 2008 –Local Gov Private Partnerships & Asset Development]
Further; the collusion appears to have a dual function of the Academic and Historical facilities altered data ensuring them Government favour & funding for facilities, by enact dispossession of ancestral moieties from their traditional lands [crown lands and waters] that governance wishes to profiteer from….contractual formats shifts governments duty of care to protect STATE and Archival records integrity by transferring data creation [and subsequent legal obligations & repercussions] outside of the Government departments…..but more on that later
The Githabul and its marriage clan the Ngarakbal have an ancient history which is told through their Butheram (stories) and yaribirri (songs) that connect people with their country through pathways and song lines.
This is a lovely story about the flame of traditional culture reigniting in a strong positive manner despite the invasion and dispersal attempts of the colonisation processes
Creative journeys abound in Aboriginal Mythology. Two cross the Australian continent & begin from ‘Cugin’ [Cudgen] in the ancestral lands of the Ngarakbal Githabal moieties….
The following Bootheram is called the Fairy Emu Dreaming and is one of several ‘Bootherams [Dreaming Lores] about the totemic journey of the ancestor creator spirits across the land. It was recorded from Charlotte Brown in the 1950’s…….Charlotte Brown was the Ngarakbal wife of Githabal man Euston Williams…
The Fairy Emu Dreaming
…”….A big rock stands in the sea six miles from Byron Bay
A man named Nguthungulli made that rock. Nguthungulli is our Father.
He’s the Father of the whole world.
He’s the man we’ve got to be afraid of.
No matter what we do wrong, or where we do it, He’ll know.
And no man has seen Him.
“….Nguthungulli had a cave in the rock. After he made the rock, he told the four fairy woman, ‘gilarmavell’, to stay there…”.
“….Then he went away from there and walked inland from the coast. He traveled over the mountains with his dog Korung. He had a walking stick, and when he put the stick into the ground He left behind a stone like a basin..”…..
…”As he traveled He left the bean-trees, and He named the different places on His journey. He named Woodenbong [where we are now], Nguthumbung.”
“He went over the range to the head of the Condamine. When he knelt down at the river to drink, He left his handprints there in the stone…”…….
“….Nguthungulli went away out into the desert, towards the sunset. In our language we say that Nguthungulli is away out in the Borrgorr now that means the sea. …”…..
“…The old people knew that the sea was out there. They knew that whichever way the butheram, the story of Nguthungalli went, it was towards the sea, Borrgorr. You can hear the sound of the sea in that word. They had seen then that we were on an island.”……….
“….Nguthungulli has big rocks in the Borrgorr, the sea, where he lives today. Out in the caves in those rocks in the sea, Nguthungulli has four daughters and one son. And his son is called Yar Birrain…”….
Ngarakwal [Yoocum] Totemic Lore as told by Charlotte Williams [nee Brown] of the Ngarakwal Githabal moieties – East Coast Australia……The name Yar Birrain has several meanings , one of which is “First Light”….The summit of this sacred Mountain [known as Mt Warning] is the first land in Australia to receive the dawn rays of ‘Mother Sun’….
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,
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
The Ngarakbal and Githabal Lore of the Eelemarni was made into an award winning short film in the 80’s
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
Aboriginal Star Lore Author & Lecturer Stella Star Lore