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 are part of the Yoocum Yoocum moiety from the most eastern point on the Australian continent…..and Guyoongun Bootheram means Star-Lore in Ngarakbal Githabal language…..
This is a small film extract from a lecture I gave at the Science-Art Research Centre in Uki, Northern New South Wales…..it was 2007…. during José Argüelles [Mayan Prophecies] tour of Australia…..I was given permission by the Elders of the Ngarakbal Githabal to present their lore on their ancestral country…it was a great honour and a big responsibility…..it was also my very first lecture to a large crowd whilst being filmed…….I was very nervous…… many of the senior Elders were in attendance, including Elders from Central America, South America, Canada and New Zealand….as well as Jose, and a myriad of enlightened and learned souls…This is only about 10 minutes out of the 75 minute film….just the beginning…..Hope you enjoy it
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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…
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…. The 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..
Bogangar, 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.
“…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”……
You 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…
…”….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…..
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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In 1885 surveyor Edward Johnson gave the name Cooloon to the entrance of the Tweed River – an area today known as Tweed Heads/Coolangatta, the “Twin Towns” marking the state border between New South Wales and Queensland on Australia’s east coast.
Cooloon was the Ngarakbal name for the blue fig tree that grew in the area….Cooloon was also the name of the one of the tribes [or family clans] that occupied the area before invasion – today this Ngarakbal family choose to spell their name Calhum [or Calham] and most of them still reside in their ancestral estates on Ngarakbal/Githabal lands.
Many of the ancestral Aboriginal people became known by the English name of the first settlers whom they lived and worked with and many of the geographical place names in Australia today are still Aboriginal words of the local ancestral dialect tribes [families] who traditionally occupy the lands…Cooloon was an English butchering of the name of the tribe – the Culham [family] – who’s ancestral area included Tweed Heads in what is traditionally known as Ngarakbal ‘country’ …During the systematic relocation process of removing ancestral aboriginal peoples from their land, the remnant survivors of the Culham [family] were [eventually] sent to ‘Mulli Mulli’ Aboriginal Station near Woodenbong, which is the ancestral ‘country’ of the Githabal, who are their traditional marriage clan….and lots of Culham descendants reside there today.
Many of the Ngarakbal/Githabal Elders were instrumental in achieving the success of the Aboriginal Civil Rights Campaigns which were ratified by government in 1967, granting aboriginal people legal ‘human’ status instead of the Flora and Fauna classification they had lived under since invasion….The Civil Rights campaign had taken over a decade to achieve…many of the Elders who ‘gave their all’ in that campaign had worked first hand with the crowns surveyors who mapped their ancestral country – so, they knew the Aboriginal names on the maps were very important to show that THEY were the original inhabitants of Australia….This worried the crown greatly, as it threatened their legal tenure to Terra Nullius….So the crowns way of handling this problem was to start the renaming process of the geographical, or geospatial data…Change the maps…..a ‘classic’ administrative process utilised since Roman times.
Renaming geographical names on maps has been the systematic invasion process of the crown throughout the commonwealth countries….after all that’s how they claimed the Australian east coast from the pre-crown Spanish tenure and then rescinded the Dutch tenure of the Australian western lands…In these contemporary times, in order to retain tenure post-Civil Rights  and then Native Title  they systematically move shire boundaries, or change the names of towns or important geographical features by removing the aboriginal names, or the ancestral dialect those names are attributed too…Cooloon was one of the towns this ‘Roman’ administrative sleight of hand was applied to.
“Cooloon survived as the official name, though rarely used, until 1965, when in that same year the name was officially changed to Tweed Heads by the New South Wales [Geographical] Names Board”….[Keates]
You also find the names of Mountains and significant places in Australia have English names from the surveying day’s too….for example; Mount Brown on the Richmond Range….Mt Brown is an extremely important djurebil [sacred site] from the Creation Bootheram [Dreaming] of the Ngarakbal/Githabal moieties….Mount Brown is where the birds all flew from, in the ‘Dreaming’ [or Bootheram, as the Ngarakbal/Githabal call it] ….and each bird who flew from Mount Brown became the totemic creator of the various ‘Bird Tribes’ [Feathered Serpent Traditions] where each species landed…..This totemic attribution can be seen in the Aboriginal Site Registration of Mount Warning/Wollumbin of which the totemic creator is a Turkey….in the site registration it state’s “Turkey flew from Mount Brown”…and Turkey created the Ngarakbal tribe of Gullival..[see previous post Significance of Mt Warning ].
At the time of the original surveying and mapping the Ngarakbal/Githabal ancestral area was pristine natural rainforest….Beautiful rainforest land, heaven to a Ngarakbal person, but to an Englishman, foreboding…
“The Tweed at that time was practically impenetrable to the settlers travelling overland. Only a barely discernable mailman’s track wound its way through precipitous mountain ridges to the nearest settlement of Casino on the Richmond….Miles of undulation clothed in thick moist rainforest, filled with razor sharp Lawyer Cane [vines ] gouging at the unwary horsemen’s face and arms .Overhead the canopy enclosed the darkness and exuded an ever present odour of decay”…[Keates]
Mount Brown was on the designated Mail Route that ran from Cooloon/Tweed Heads to Casino in the late 1800’s….The tracks were treacherous for English settlers, but they were paradise for the ancestral Ngarakbal peoples….in those times it was common for an Aboriginal man to be given the job of delivering the mail….A local Aboriginal man was accustomed to the terrain of his homeland, and more importantly, he would not be killed as he travelled through his ancestral country, where as a White man would.
Johnny Brown was the English name that first settlers gave to one of the Ngarakbal Aboriginal mailmen and his ‘run’ was from Cooloon [Tweed Heads] to Casino, located on the other side of the Richmond Range…The mail track took in a portion of what is now known as Mount Brown, which is an extremely important djurebil [sacred site] of creation of the Bird Tribes in Ngarakbal/Githabal Lore…It is the Bootheram ‘beginning’ point from where all the birds flew from to make the tribes…..Bootheram is the Ngarakbal/Githabal word for the DREAMING, and, Johnny Brown-Ngarakbal knew his Lore, his Land and his Language, and he also knew the surveyor, Edward Johnson who had mapped Ngarakbal land for the old Queen…
“Between the years 1844 and the arrival of William McGregor and his four boatmen, Henry Brown, Alfred Gray, John Whelan, Willam Parkes and their families in1870 to establish a pilot station at the mouth of the Tweed River, the area remained an enigma and a remote outstation of the fledgling New South Wales colony”…[Keates] .
In the mid 1800’s the old Queen [ Victoria] had given orders to all her surveyor to only use the local Aboriginal names of places on the new maps they were creating….there was a legal reason for this….The Dutch still held three quarters of the continent to the west and had used Dutch words on their maps…and the Portuguese had mapped the East Coast in the 1500’s and had used Spanish words…the Dauphin map of 1536, below, was charted before the discovery of Longitude…
The Spanish had been defeated by the French and the maps had been taken into their possession…But those maps were reproductions from ancient Khemit [Egyptian] maps….and so, to claim the ‘Great Southern Land’ Napoleon had to invade Egypt to capture those maps for the French… of note is that Khemit is the original name of Egypt before Roman invaders changed their maps too…and of course England has Roman links…
The maps to Banyan [Bird] Land, aka Australia, were held in the Khemit libraries of Alexandria from their long ago expeditions – 4000 years long ago and more – Khemit maps to GOLD MINES – Napoleon needed those maps, or rather to destroy them before anyone else claimed the “Land of the Red Princes”, or, before he could claim it for France….
So, then His-story goes that the English [Roman descendants] declared war on the French against Napoleon, and in due course defeated him and then they had the Khemit maps in their possession again…..The east coast of Australia was ‘up for grabs, well, according to the Roman descendants, the English, that is…
Then, La Perouse from France [who still had copies of the Portuguese maps Napoleon had captured] raced Captain Cook to Tahiti, purportedly in pursuit of mapping the Venus transit so as to define longitude , which is what the ‘accepted’ academic texts tell us…but, the actual reason for this race between La Perouse and Cook was to travel on to claim Australia – but La Perouse arrived three days too late, Cook was already there – and so Cook claimed the east coast for England as instructed by the Queen….
And what of the Egyptian [Khemit] maps?…Well, that’s the story of another English war isn’t it?….actually, there is more, but that too will come to light in the near future from good people whose work in this field is far more qualified to tell of it than I….
It is also of note that Aboriginal men from the east coast Reserves had been sent to fight in the Boer War…after it ended in 1902 the crown left them all in Africa…The Australian Light-horse stress were also abandoned….The crowns excuse for this travesty was so as to prevent possible disease coming back to Australia….The east coast Aboriginal men were classified as Flora and Fauna by the occupying British..This was a perfect opportunity to prevent breeding age Aboriginal men from returning to their ancestral lands….
Anyway, back to Ngarakbal/Githabal country and the His-story of the Australian East Coast invasion…..Well then, the old Queen [Victoria] had been advised by her counsel to use the Aboriginal words of the local ancestral moieties – so her surveyors dutifully befriended the ancestral peoples and garnered their assistance in fulfilling her orders, aboriginal people like Johnny Brown….The reason was that [the crown thought] it a way of proving that they had been there first, and that they could prove this because the ancestral aboriginal ‘tongue’ was on their English maps…In their opinion this would serve as evidence that they discovered Australia’s east coast first – before the Portuguese had, and [if they could ‘capture’ them] also before the Khemit had too….
In other words “Bluff it”, by re-mapping the place and destroying the records of any maps the others had ever created, and if that meant war, then that’s what happened…..Banyan Land [of the Red Princes] was full of Gold and that would fund the wars…
So….That is my version of the crowns invasion in a nutshell…In reality it’s a sad His-story of War and death….conquering and claiming… and it worked for a while, but is rapidly failing…Claiming by Re-naming is one of the crowns fortes…..and I have personally had first-hand experience of this in order to be able to tell this story now….specifically with Mount Warning and it’s geographical renaming as Wollumbin…
Apart from my own research and lobby [to aid the Ngarakbal/Githabal] I have met lots of people around the global village that also have the old maps and amassed mountains of verifiable proof of archaeological sites of the Portuguese and the Khemit/Egyptians in Australia…check out Sonya Vangelders work on the Gosford Glyphs which casts long overdue light onto the Khemit expeditions, which also visited Ngarakbal/Githabal lands…along with Professor Cann’s work on MtDNA which uneqivicably verifies the original ancestral aboriginal people claims that they were here before all of them – 350 thousand years longer – which blitzes the accepted academic benchmark texts that tell us of Aboriginal occupation being only 70,000 years…..
That Australia, the ancestral land of the Bird Tribes [Feathered Serpent Traditions], has been coveted for its mineral wealth for thousands and thousands of years is not surprising news, but that they actually had operating trade agreements with the Dutch, the Portuguese and the Khemit to name a few, is , and thanks to more good peoples works this also is coming to light….
Though attempts have been made to eradicate this important information of prior occupation and trade – like the names and places on the maps being scrubbed out by administration or swept away in the wars – the global village has woken up to just how much ’His-story’ gets corrupted, sanitised and spoon fed to the masses, and what a brutal and unnecessary thing war was….Forgiveness and compassion are something that the whole planet can learn from the Australian Bird Tribes, along with their Bootheram lores of sharing and mindfulness of resources, and most importantly NEVER altering the truth…
Good Lore’s – Ancient Time tested Lore’s – How else can we learn to ‘care for country’, or this planet, and become better human beings if we don’t keep the truth pure…and learn from looking at our past mistakes.
Here’s a beautiful Bootheram from the Ngarakbal/Githabal lore…It is related by Mr Joe Calhum, a survivor who was systematically removed from his ancestral lands of Cooloom [Tweed Heads] to eventually reside at ‘Mulli Mulli’ Aboriginal Station near Woodenbong….He told this Bootheram as his part in the Civil Rights Campaigns to free his people from the suffering of being classified as Flora and Fauna – not human- by the crown…He’s one of the unsung heroes of Australia…an exemplary HUMAN, who ‘held’ [in his turn] the Bootheram Lore [unchanged as Lore decrees] as a true ‘Custodian of the Land’ must….Lamington Plateau is featured in this Bootheram, it’s a chain of remnant volcanic mountains behind Tweed Heads marking the New South Wales/Queensland geographical border….Remember, Bootheram is Metaphorical…it appears a fairy-tale about Dogs and Kangaroos and Humans, but it’s not…it has layers and deep meaning…..See if you can ponder the ‘truth’ in this ancient Lore…..
The Two Dogs – Burrajahnee & Inneeroogun A legend from the Lamington Plateau as told by Joe Calhum [Cooloom] of Woodenbong – pictured above – this story is a Bootheram Lore and must NEVER be changed.
“Where the north-eastern border of NSW & the south-eastern border of Qld meet lies the rugged MacPherson Range, and on this range there is a plateau known to the white man as Lamington Plateau. Many long years ago in the Dreamtime, in a very young world, there lived an old man and his nephew on the Lamington Plateau. The Old man and his nephew had two dogs of which they were very fond.The dogs were named Burrajahnee and Inneroogun.
One day Burrajahnee and Inneroogun saw a kangaroo. They chased it down the side of the plateau. When the old man and his nephew saw the dogs chasing the kangaroo, they called out to them,… “Burrajahnee and Inneroogun, come back to us!”……
The dogs took no notice for they were excited by the chase. Some people from a tribe that lived near the plateau also saw the dogs chasing the kangaroo. When they saw the kangaroo running towards the lagoon, they placed two nets in the pathway. The kangaroo was big and strong. He got through the first net, he got through the second net, jumped into the lagoon and turned into a bunyip; and there he lives to this day.
Burrajahnee and Inneroogun also got through the first net, but they were caught in the second one. The people who had tried to catch the kangroo killed the two dogs, saying to each other “they will serve us as food as well as the Kangaroo. We shall light a fire and cook them”. And this they did.
When the dogs failed to return the old man and nephew were sad, because they knew some evil had befallen them. They went to look for their dogs, and tracked them down the side of the plateau to the place where the fire had been lit, calling out “Burrajahnee and Inneroogun come back to us”. Great was the anger of the old man and his nephew when they found their dogs had been killed and cooked. The old man sent a big cyclone to destroy the people who had killed Burrajahnee and Inneroogun.
The uncle and the nephew picked up the dogs, wrapped them in bark, and carried them reverently back to the plateau. Whenever any part of the dogs, such as a foreleg or foot, fell off as they were being carried back to the plateau the placed was named after it and is known by the same name to this day.
On the way back to the plateau they came to a waterfall. They climbed to the top and sat down and rested placing their burdens on the ground. One of them faced in one direction and the other facing in the opposite direction. There the remains of the two dogs Burrajahnee and Inneroogun were turned into stone.
Those two dogs are still to be seen at the top of the waterfall. One facing in one direction and the other in the opposite direction.
The stone dogs are sacred. No man dares to touch them. To the tribe of people who are descendants of the old man the stone dogs will always be sacred.
That is the story of the two dogs Burrajahnee and Inneroogun, and the part of the plateau were they began to chase the kangaroo is called Goonbundah”…..Joe Calhum/Cooloon
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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.
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…..
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, 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….
The 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 .
This 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….
Anyway….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
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
At 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.
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….He 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 men 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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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…
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:
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
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
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 Ngarakbal [Nganduwal] Moiety are the Eastern bloc of the ‘Yoocum – Yoocum’ dialect groups – …. Their ancestral territory spans from Byron Bay to Nerang [Ngarang] and takes in the full sweep of the Wollumbin caldera ….they are the ancientCarpet Snake Clans, the Traditional Owner Custodians of the Wollumbin Volcano which includes the iconic Mt Warning that Captain James Cook named in 1770.
To the Ngarakbal & Githabal Moiety members their central mountain Wollumbin has many totemic names. As the central significant mythological site within their Ancestral ESTATE their entire totemic lore revolves around this sacred place, but at the same time this lore travels – following the path of the creator spirits across the continent …..these pathways are part of their Starlore.
A Moiety is an anthropological term to describe a cultural block of four ancestral marriage groups….Males remain within their ancestral area of birth throughout their life, but the women marry into the opposite group….For the Ngarakbal on the east, their opposite group is the Githabal on the west…this ancient system of matrilineal marriage lore – SKIN LORE – ensures the health, strength and purity of the ‘bloodlines’ of it’s people….and this is why marriage lore is so strictly adhered too.
The ‘Beereen’ Cultural Bloc
The Beereen [Birin, or Birrain] cultural bloc comprises four principal groups –
Yugambeh[Jukambe] the Northwest, around Ipswich and as far south as Canungra and Beadesert and east as far as Oxley
Githabul [Kitabal] to the west – including Main Range
Widjabal[Wadjie]to the South, south west – Bundjalung Tribe [proper]…not Nation, but Tribe
Ngarakbal[jergarbal –‘Kawul’ the carpet snake people] to the east – to the ‘boorgoor’ [the sea].
The opposing directions, North, South, East and West make up the two marriage clan’s within the traditional totemic ‘Skin’ groups…..Ngarakbal and Githabal….and, Yugambeh and Widjabal.
Within kinship exists the subsection system divides the entire population into named categories called ‘skins’….hence ‘Skin’ groups.
This Skin system provides a sort of short hand reference to the complex system of kinship and marriage and the appropriate behaviour for certain categories of kin. A person is born into their Skin group and thus in addition to a personal name, shares with other relatives who are similarly classified, a ‘skin’ name
The Ngarakbal and Githabal draw on their intimate knowledge of family, personal life history, ceremonial status and relation to land…..In order to understand the different sorts of ties one needs to understand the kinship relations to each other and country
Thus, this Kinship Lore & descent system of the totemic ‘Skin’ lore which governs their lives is also the same system that connects them to their ancestral country…and it permeates through their cultural ritual roles of increase or fertility under the Lore’s of the Feathered Serpent Moieties …Matrilineal ….RAINBOW SERPENT LORE…..But, more on that later.
Aboriginal Star Lore Author & Lecturer Stella Star Lore