Aboriginal Cultural Significance of some local plants.
Early in 2011 we were approached by Hunter-Central Rivers CMA staff to consider taking up an Education grant to explore the value of plants on the site for a traditional Aboriginal community. To make this possible we employed, with the grant funds, an Aboriginal person to observe the plants on our site and report to us how they might have been used by his Darkinyung ancestors.
Recently we had this visit with Gavi Duncan, who began the day with a Welcome Song on his didgeridoo. After he introduced himself and paid respect to “our elders past and present”, he went on to describe how his ancestors suffered, as they met a new culture coming into an ancient land. They left their legacy in the rock carvings and paintings, and in the history of how they lived in their environment with its foods and medicines.
He told how his people moved across the land camping in different places to correspond with the availability of foods, which were abundant in Darkinyung Country, and that we are going to look at the foods and medicines here at Tumbi Umbi, the place of “Tall Trees”. He also told us that there were special meeting places as well, such as Ourimbah, “where the sacred circles are”, where the stories of the land were celebrated.
Gavi then walked through the reserve with us and spoke about how his people had used some of the plants there.
The plants observed during the visit are listed below, and his comments can be found by following detail’s at this link.