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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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