STORY POLES | Wiradjuri Dreaming Centre, Hill Street
Each of the eight educational story poles help to depict a part of Wiradjuri culture.
1. Religion ~ Muraymin
The Wiradjuri kinship system is born of the Ancestors of the Dreaming and is among the most complex in the world. Based on the concept of reciprocity it is all embracing, tying the human to the physical and sacred worlds. It defines an individual’s position within the immediate and extended family as well as the wider community, and determine the rights, obligations and appropriate behaviours of kinship relations.
2. Arts ~ Yibirmanha
Dance, music, weaving and painting are all important components of Wiradjuri ceremonies and rituals. The practical or ceremonial purpose has always been more important than the visual value. Wiradjuri were one of the main groups in Australia to develop tree carving as part of their culture, carving patterns into the bark or wood.
3. Food ~ Dhangaang
Wiradjuri people lived by gathering and hunting, using their knowledge of food and water resources. In most areas, a few hours of hunting and gathering provided ample food and raw materials. Wiradjuri people were intimately acquainted with the breeding and migration patterns of wildlife as well as the cycle of flowering and fruiting plants.
4. Agriculture ~ Ngangaaligu
The land provided everything needed for the survival of the Wiradjuri. They were taught early to manage rivers and land to protect resources. Population pressures on water and food were low. Wiradjuri commonly used fire as an aid in hunting and to alter plant communities to increase game. This fire-stick farming is still practised today in some regions.
5. Organisation ~ Buyabil
The people of Wiradjuri country as known as ‘people of the three rivers’. These rivers are Macquarie River (Wambuul), Lachan River (Galari), and Murrumbidgee River (Marrambidya). Laws are passed from generation to generation orally rather than through the written form. Different people in the Nation know different aspects of the law. Men’s and Women’s business is passed on to young men and women by their respective elders
6. Technology ~ Widyungura
Wiradjuri people has drawn on the resources of the environment for medicines. Many plants have been used, generally without elaborate preparation.
Plant material is very often bruised or pounded to use as a poultice, or extracted with water to be taken internally. The Australian flora is particularly rich in aromatic plants such as eucalypts, tea-trees, boronias and mints and these have been considered especially suitable for treating many illnesses.
7. Domestic Life ~ Murunngidyal
All through childhood boys and girls learned the correct behaviour by watching adults. Any misbehaviour of breaking of the buyaa incurred punishments according to the seriousness of the crime.
8. Family ~ Miyagan
The structure and relationship of Wiradjuri people are governed by their totems, clans and moieties. These are strict rules of behaviour and interactions between these clans and moieties. Both men and women have complimentary roles, thus dividing the world into equal parts to create balance. All relationships, behaviours and decisions are based on maintaining a balance as one cannot exist without the other.
Brett 'Mon' Garling (Dubbo), Rosie Johnston (Forbes) & Scott 'Sauce' Towney (Peak Hill) | Bronze, Hardwood and Coreten Steel | 2018