Topics: Culture

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North Coastal - view

sacred sites

South West - view

Glenda Chalker describes hopes to return to traditional fire practices, and the ways that her family are reclaiming other traditional ways

West - view

it was some kind of sacred ground, even though you can’t see anything

West - view

story teller explains that it is not just entertainment, there is a teaching in it as well. He goes on to play the story of the joey who couldn’t jump the fence on the didgeridoo.

South West - view

Auntie Frances Bodkin , speaking with Karen Maber , tells part one of the story of the lyrebird and how it came to speak all languages.

North Coastal - view

the knowledge that was taught to him as a child

North Coastal - view

cultural connection (with their knowledge of the land and bush foods)

North West - view

Liz Cameron describes the healing techniques she has learned and how they apply to individuals and communities: the importance of healing the person and the community through being on country, artistic process, intimacy and belonging

South Coastal - view

Uncle Greg calls it his “university campus”, because the elders taught him values and how to live – “how to drift with the tide” and “how to be in deep water”. Now, as an elder himself, it is his job to teach about these things. He tells the story from when he was eight and had an encounter with a spirit man who, gently, helped teach him to consider others and not let his anger get the better of him.

West - view

Darug through her mother’s side and Gandangara through her father’s . Dual descendance can cause friction among local communities who want people to be one or the other.

South West - view

These remains have now been returned to Australia and are waiting to be returned to their descendants.

Central - view

famous painting, “Judgement by his peers”.

North Coastal - view

land grant given to a non-Aboriginal person in 1813

South West - view

Mt Annan , where men and women had their own places, and how she came by one of her names

South Coastal - view

“In the old days it was the women that used to do all the bush tucker.” Auntie Pamela Young, ranger at Kamay National Park at Kurnell, teaches a group of children the many uses of the Lomandra plant. It can be used for food and for making bandages, baskets, belts, bangles, fly swatters, traps, bookmarks and paintbrushes.

West - view

discoveries of burials

South West - view

skeletal remains and indigenous artefacts that can be identified are returned. “We have been privileged on occasion to be invited to those funerals.”

Before Cook - North Coastal - view

Koori people are living on the east coast of Australia. Observers of the first fleet note many formal ceremonies including burying and cremating the dead, and initiation rituals such as ‘era-bad-djang’ where the upper right incisor tooth of young males is loosened and knocked out (this called yoothsay in Cameraigal language). Koradji (clever men) carry out ceremonial rituals, often in the higher, sandstone country. Young girls have the first two joints of the little finger removed by pressure from spider web or wild string tied children. They become ‘mal-gum’ fisher women. Observers in the First Fleet also note the very large number of rock engraving (at least 180 art sites in the Hawkesbury River region). Some are secret-sacred sites for men and women, other are for the education of young people to be initiated. Subjects represented in carvings include Daramulan, the one legged god who is present at initiation ceremonies and Baiami, the sky-culture hero. Other subjects represented on rock platforms are mundoes (footprints), fish and ancestral beings and stories engravings. Koories also produce ochre paintings of animals and handprints. In both cave and on rock platforms, totemic figures were also reproduced in soil and sand during ceremony. (See NSW Department of Education and Training nd, http://www.rumbalara-e.schools.nsw.edu.au/publications/mypeople1.pdf ) Many blade and axe grinding sites are still to be found, mostly near running water. Trade items like chert stones from the Upper Hawkesbury are traded to make axes and for artefacts used in ceremonies. Also traded are stones for tool making, food, clay, whale blubber and ochre. Koori women and men use bone awls (needles) to sew possum skin cloaks, and fashion fishhooks by grinding sea shells. Inter-tribal fights and ritual spearings are not uncommon.

Before Cook - North Coastal - view

Other discoveries in middens include bone points with drilled holes or grass-tree resin glued to them, and small stone tools. Women collect shellfish. Men use spears for fish, eastern grey kangaroo, swamp wallaby, red necked wallaby. Men and women hunt bandicoot, echidna, goanna, snake and birds and many other species. Huts are made of grass and bark ‘Kokorre’ . A drink is made ‘Bool’ from soaking Banksia blossoms in water and allowed to ferment to make an invigorating drink. Koories carry out annual burn-offs in late winter to assist in the capture of grass-eating animals. The green pick attracts game such as kangaroos and emus so they can be managed in a sustainable way. They gather sometimes annually at sites where traditionally food is available, for ceremonial business or for settlement of grievances, initiation ceremonies, betrothal and marriage, corroborees for the renewal of the natural environment and benevolent spirits. Bora grounds are used for some ceremonies. Clan meetings attract large numbers from Manly Cove, Collins Cove and Farm Cove. (Attenbrow 2003)

Before Cook - North Coastal - view

The Guringai (Kuringai) speakers are thought to be the original inhabitants of northern Sydney and the inner eastern harbour regions. Guringai-speaking clans of about 40 to 60 people were made up of smaller extended family groups of perhaps a dozen people.