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History

The Full Story

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History of the Wiradjuri

The Wiradjuri people are the people of the three rivers - the Wambool (Macquarie), the Calare (Lachlan) and the Murrumbidgee. They have lived in these lands and along these rivers for more than 40,000 years. The Bathurst Wiradjuri were the most easterly grouping of the Wiradjuri nation. Their totem is the goanna. They fished from canoes and hunted with spears and nets for duck, kangaroo, goannas, snakes, lizards, emus, possums, wallabies and waterfowl. Their food supply also included various plants, roots and vegetables.

The  Wiradjuri made periodic journeys throughout this well-watered country around the Wambool River. They travelled for trade and to perform ceremonies to honour their ancestors, their dreaming, and their relationships with the land. The Wiradjuri lands were signposted with carved trees which marked burial grounds. Carved trees have been found at the junction of the Macquarie and Campbell Rivers at O'Connell. Bora rings were located on key sites like Wahluu (Mount Panorama) where initiations and other important ceremonies were held. The Wiradjuri shaped their landscape through controlled burning to encourage animals to relocate into cleared grassland for better hunting.

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Story of Wahluu

"Two brothers, Gaanhabula and Wahluu were attracted to the same migay (girl). Gaanhabula suggested a spear throwing contest to see who would win the girl for his wife. When Wahluu's throw hit the target, Gaanhabula was so full of rage that he picked up his bundhi (club with a thick knob at its end) and cracked his brother in the back of the head. Wahluu fell to the ground and when he died all the blood came pouring out of his head and all over the Earth. This made the Gundyarri (spirits) angry and they made the ground erupt and lava poured out over Wahluu's body so what you see today is the shape of Wahluu's body lying on his side."

 

- as told by Wiradyuri Elder Dinawan Dyirribang.

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