Topics: Culture

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West - view

Darug woman, Leanne Tobin , shows three of her paintings and describes their meaning and purpose

South Coastal - view

Uncle Dennis Foley , Gai-Mariagal elder, describes how to cook mangrove snails.

South West - view

the story of Mirragan, the hunter who chased Gurangatch, the big eel thus creating much the landscape around Sydney. Gurangatch was finally caught at Gulguer, Bents Basin .

North West - view

Sharon Hodgetts , project officer at Darkinjung Land Council, shares her experiences of growing up on an isolated property at Gulgong, and the stone axes she and her father found that connect her to her Aboriginality

South Coastal - view

Aboriginal names used to be used for the fish and octopus

Central - view

the importance of educating non-Aboriginal (and young Aboriginal people) on the significance of Aboriginal cultural sites

South Coastal - view

under the water are Aboriginal rock paintings and carvings. Uncle Greg feels that “this land is a powerful spiritual place” and wrong-doers will be punished eventually

South West - view

the many Aboriginal art sites around the Southern Sydney area , many of which she grew up knowing about.

North West - view

Gavi Duncan , youth worker at Youth Connections and a director on Darkinjung Land Council, describes the young people who are born in this area as New Darkinjung Mob

Central - view

young people know the importance of the land, but they don’t practise it much

South Coastal - view

many Aboriginal sites around the Bardens Creek area were not being well cared for by National Parks and Wildlife – trail bikes had destroyed bush and some sites, houses built too near – so in 1985 she mapped all the sites and put in a blanket land claim for them.

South West - view

heritage preservation work through NSW National Parks and with miners

North West - view

One of her roles is to take Jawun secondees out bush and introduce them to culture and country

Central - view

The Foundation for Aboriginal Affairs was established to give opportunities to Sydney Aboriginal people: housing and employment, but also a place to meet and develop their own ideas. This led to the purchase of a building on George St in 1964 where they had an art shop, ran dances and concerts and acted as an action planning centre.

West - view

Stonecutter’s Ridge , a large Aboriginal site where silcrete was mined and traded since long before white settlement. He also explains how stone tools were made and the uses of different kinds of stone. Uncle Gordon is also in charge of a local reburial.

West - view

some of the other men could speak and understand some language

North West - view

feeling drawn to Mt Yengo , then discovering that it was a major east coast ceremonial gathering place. “That’s why I feel it; it’s been passed down through my DNA

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.