We honour and pay respects to
past, present and future first peoples …
as a continuity of deeply spiritual knowledges, values and skills, a culture of connectedness, we two as ancients species and environments.
Venessa Possum bangali murura yanmalila, making paths walking together, 2020, ochre and handmade paper 22 x 22 cm, copyright of the artist.
As a brief story, my family are Marriyung, custodians of the pastures, lagoons and swamps made by lightning and flood tides in the region of south west Sydney basin. This is country for emu's and our belgeni (ponds) and kubuwali (shallow crossing) is connecting Nepean and Georges Rivers, murura (pathways) across the primordial sandstone.
As such, our family acknowledges Gubbitch-Barta, Dtharawal and Gundungurra connectedness.
The following images collected as early colonial graphic archives are depicting areas of Marriyung (emu) ngurra (Country).
The first is a map of the area that became known as "The Cowpastures" after Crown appointed explorers found a cave painting of lost herds. An area highlighted in grey is muru tugear ngun. The second image is a detail of a map made by a Crown appointed botanist George Caley. The detail reveals a formation of grasses and small trees marked as E., the feature is cultivated as traditional land management. For example, burning practices used to cultivate areas for seasonal herding. Caley gave this cultural feature a Eurocentric name "Green dingle-E"
balanyini murungun, Revising the Colonial Archive 2020, "WHERE THE WILD HERDS WERE FOUND IN 1795"
(1932, August 13), The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954)
Detail: George Caley's Map of the "Limites of the Vaccary Forest" 1804. Notice the letter E. cultivated as u-shaped area for seasonal herding of kangaroo and wallaby, and below this feature a sharp bend in durrubbin (Nepean River) is our kirbuwali (shallow crossing).
ngurra marayong, country for emu's, as seen by Lycett, Joseph & Lycett, Joseph. (1817). [Two Aborigines hunting emus] Retrieved December 14, 2020, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-138500872
The Cowpastures region: Joseph Lycett c1817, Image courtesy of NLA.
Detail: George Caley "The Limits and Boundaries of the Vaccary Forest" c1804