The ‘song of Mount Warning’, the central plug of the Wollumbin Caldera in the Northern New South Wales – South East Queensland cross-border region of eastern Australia, marks the beginning of an important Songline for the Matristic Lore Traditions of the Rainbow Serpent Seven Sister Skinlore Culture – The marriage lore of the Australian continent from the Dreamtime.
Much ancestral Lore has become convoluted since colonisation, and even more so with the advent of State Native Title claims challenging the government’s authority and tenure to vast and lucrative tracts of land and water across the continent…..land and water laden with mineral wealth….so it is little wonder that some unscrupulous individuals claim to be able to claim native title and do so with the help of government funded services who seek to retain control of these vast assets.
Looking behind bureaucratic doors reveals how Aussie tax payers are paying for created Corporations to appropriate the ancestral ‘Songs and Songlines’ from out of the databases to be use as their own and even in court cases that empower corporate aboriginal lands councils to claim and develop public lands, and Indigenous Lands Use Agreements [ILUAs] to EXTINGUISH the inalienable rights of Origine’ Natives.
This has been allowed to occur due to a stylised form of ‘reverse racism’, skilfully marketed as Reconciliation, which has fostered a culture of “mustn’t ask too many questions and hurt anyone’s feelings”….creating a perfect environment for corruption to flourish.
This ‘culture’ has developed over the last decade, empowering a free for all approach to native title claims, and ignores the cultural and intellectual copyright [moral rights] of the ‘real’ Origine’ custodians…..
Native Title services appears to basically aid and abet the confusion and division to escalate within the communities just as government had hoped by seeking genocidal ILUA outcomes.
What we are seeing happen again and again is the State Native Title Services [funded by the Government] repeatedly refusing to endorse any genealogical reports [of genuine Skinlore descendants who could claim native title] other than the ones their own Service has sanctioned –reports which often have garnered ancestral lore and attributed it to some unconnected corporation who [surprise surprise] isn’t too shy to sign off on State Development Projects.
It’s deplorable how shallow the ethics of academics have been forced. Creating new reports which no longer cite the Elders and Informants of the pre-development days…..every newly commissioned report edits just a little more out – with every new report crafted to facilitate the desire of developers….there’s obviously big bucks in the genocide of culture.
It’s become more and more apparent that Native Title and associated Government departments are only hiring or endorsing reports written by Archaeologists and Anthropologists who omit the original Skinlore descendant informants whom they had included in [their] previous reports…… For to not do so renders those Archaeologist and Anthropologists unemployable in this culture of administrative corruption.
Regrettably you don’t actually have to go back too far in the records to see how much history has been selectively ‘edited’ …anyone who can read can easily ‘measure’ past reports against what recent publications are utilised by government to discern which apical informants have been deliberately omitted…..and which developments profited.
In 1985 Margaret Gummow, a linguist, recorded Mrs Millie Boyd [nee Williams] singing cultural song [Lore] about the Wollumbin Caldera…. Milli Boyd described the context in which her Aunt Lella Williams had created it….
The song was recorded in full in the publication “ The Essence of Singing and the Substance of Song – Linda Barwick, Allan Marret and Guy Tunstall” – It is call ‘The Mount Warning Song’ – it is a song about death and the immorality of greed…..it was used by Tweed Byron Aboriginal Lands Councils to claim land – but you won’t find any admission of that, or of the Elders identity in any of their publications anymore…..
“According to Boyd, Lella Williams was travelling with members of her family from Fingal Head back to Kyogle. At that time there was no bridge on the Tweed River but a [“Old South Sea Islander”] man rowed a canoe along the river. The man in the canoe took Lela Williams and her family to Uki, from which they intended to walk to Kyogle.
As the [Islander] man rowed the canoe he took some of Williams’s hair and threw it in a pool near Mount Warning. This was a very dangerous thing to do. It is believed that if someone takes some of your hair they may be able to perform acts of sorcery that can physically harm you.
When the canoe arrived at Uki, Williams began her walk to Kyogle, but she only survived three days longer. At the bottom of the pool her hair had joined onto two bones, which began creaking as they rubbed together.
Margaret Gummow states that “In 1985 when I recorded Millie Boyd she described how Williams had sung this song at Mt Warning and the bones in the Tweed River and describes her feelings of despair as she felt she was unable to control her life. According to Boyd, four days after Lella Williams died her spirit sang this song to Jack Barron, a famous song man at Woodenbong”.
Margaret Gummow…”Yes, and so when did she sing the song”?
Millie Boyd…”after she died. You know the aborigines’ spirit never die. They come back, they give you the news of themselves, of their lives. They sing songs of their own lives, of what’s happening to them, and the elder people listen and they understand who did this and did that and who didn’t do this. Yes, that’s in those times, but today the young people wouldn’t believe it.
You see young people these days, in my time, my people – They don’t believe it.
I believe it was given by God…All this business is given by god for them to use their spell and use it in the holy way”.
Gummow …”and so she sang the song after she died”?
Boyd…”yes, after she died in four days brought that song back to my grandfather, Jack Barron”.
Boyd herself learnt this song from her mother, Charlotte Williams [nee Brown], who learnt it from Jack Barron.
Gummow states that “To my knowledge there are four recordings of this song in existence, all performed by Boyd. The first was recorded in 1977 by anthropologist Howard Creamer of the National Parks and Wildlife Service as part of a project concerning site protection.
I recorded the second performance in 1985 in relation to my PhD research on Bundjalung and Gidabal songs [Gummow 1992].
The linguist Margaret Sharpe recorded the third performance in 1989 in connection with a project funded by Aboriginal Legal Aide concerning the impact of land and land rights at Fingal Head.
[Minister Administering the Crown Lands (Consolidation) Act v Tweed Byron Local Aboriginal Land Council (1992) 75 LGRA 133 at 140 per Clarke JA]
The fourth performance was recorded on video in the early 1980s by Lorraine Mafi-Williams. In an attempt to preserve traditional material, Mafi-Williams produced the film Eelarmarni in 1998, which featured Boyd explaining some of the mythology and singing several songs from the Mount Warning area”.
The selective editing of information no longer reflects the truth that the Fingal Lands Case used Ngarakbal Githabul Lore to claim the Fingal peninsular lands for the Tweed Byron Aboriginal Lands Council….a lands council which exclusively identifies itself as being a part of the governments Bundjalung Nation…a created system that refuses to acknowledge that the Ngarakbal Githabul are NOT Bundjalung and have never identified as such……and now, for the governments “ease of Administration”, Fingal, and all lands within the Tweed Byron Aboriginal Lands Councils Boundaries are being wrongfully purported as belonging to Bundjalung Culture.
Government departments are altering ancient Rainbow Serpent Culture and ‘gifting’ it to Three Bundjalung Brother migrants – from a relatively contemporary cultural epoch.
It should also be noted that Williams is a common name, and a lot of confusion over which Williams is which has also lined some unscrupulous pockets…
It is important to remember within the cultural lore contexts that all tribal family are related not in the immediate way that western society utilises, but in the tribal way…and Jack Barron was a tribal grandfather – through strict Skinlore kinship descent systems
One of the most important kinship tribal skin-lore relationships is “Mothers Brother”…Millie Boyd’s senior [surviving] ‘Brother’ was Stan Williams……In kinship lore a woman may not speak to her senior “brother’ and all rights of authority over the ancestral djurebil [sacred sites] for the family, including her children’s are held by her senior ‘Brother’…. at the same time a senior brother is also grandfather [as senior lore holder]…and the eldest born son of a woman is, in the tribal skin-lore, also grandfather, even to his own mother…..in this way, custodial rights, Bootheram Lore stories and obligations are transferred…and, in a similar manner they are passed down through the women.
Stan Williams was given, by his Elders, all initiation, lore, rituals, songs, dances and ceremonies of djurebil custodianship responsibilities for his Ngarakbal Githabal ancestral estate….and this in turn passed down to his senior son…and so on…
The legal interpretation of transference of ancestral Lore in Law is termed as Core and Contingent rights – a senior lore holder has Core Rights of cultural knowledge, while all other siblings have Contingent Rights…..and in turn, ‘determined’ native title groups have Core Rights , whilst Lands Councils only have contingent rights to ancestral lore and sites, etc….
Stan and Millie were two of nineteen children their parents Euston Williams and Charlotte Brown brought into the world – Post invasion and during the peak of colonisation of the much converted areas of the Byron, Tweed and Gold Coast regions of Australia.
Despite being born and held in Aboriginal Reserves administrated by the Aboriginal Protections Board, forced to stop speaking their ancestral language and cease their traditional culture, Euston and Charlottes marriage was still a traditional Skinlore marriage – A marriage between two tribal skin group moieties – Ngarakbal and Githabul – of the greater Yoocum-Yoocum society, which anthropologists refer to as a Cultural Block.
All Yoocum-Yoocum Skinlore kinships and descent is tracked through the star cycles by initiated Elders. A significant stone complex located near the Pinnacle [Coowarragum] below Warazumbil [Border Ranges] between the Ngarakbal and Githabul estates was utilised for millennia to track these cycles and ensure healthy marriages between the Yoocum-Yoocum skin groups…tribal marriages [literally] made in heaven – with each individuals ancestral descent being able to traced back across [clusters of] 12 generation…… back to dreamtime…..
It is a requirement of the Native Title Act for claimants to legally prove they have unbroken culture and descent – as one would expect…..
On April 20, 1998, Federal Court Justice Merkel handed down a 120-page decision in Shaw and Another v Wolf and Others. A key element in that judgment establishing the status of Aboriginality was the declaration that to be Aboriginal one must, among other things, be descended from the inhabitants of Australia at the time immediately BEFORE European settlement.
But imprudent claimants are attempting to prove their ancestry using the European concept of a family tree descent system which is totally unrelated to Origine’ Cultural Skinlore/Kinships and can only be traced within the timeframe of British occupation of Australia….. While Skinlore IS true culture which defines connection, obligation, authorisation, initiations and inter-relations both Pre and Post-Settlement….
The Government and its Courts utilising and recognising their own ‘imported’ European descent system in the native title process is, of course, completely contrary to the Acts requirement to prove unbroken culture…….the outcome?- Claimants traditional lore and custom is determined as unproven and so it’s a State ILUA and cultural Extinguishment.
Politicians and Developers are laughing all the way to the Bank
The Yoocum Yoocum Skinlore complex was located and recorded in 1980 by Adrian Piper- a senior archaeologist, who registered it on the National Parks and Wildlife Aboriginal Sites Registrar.
The land was purchased and protected by Rosalind Dunwell and her [then] husband Bill Mollinson, the co-creator of Permaculture, https://permacultureaustralia.org.au/2007/07/26/bill-mollison/
And the Skinlore knowledge of how the ‘site’ works was taught to me…….by Millie Boyd’s daughter…..
So while Europeans can conquer continents, import their man-made laws, create their courts, sanitise history, alter names on maps for court purposes, sanction suspect aboriginality claimants to sign off on corporate developments, and endorse claimants who ‘capture’ culture using unscrupulous methods……… the simple truth is that no matter how hard they try to eradicate the matristic Rainbow Serpent Culture, they will never EVER be able to rub out the stars from which it all descends.
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