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Gummingurru in the Landscape

Journey through the Bunya Mountains landscape.

Jaydeyn Thomas

on 1 November 2012

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Transcript of Gummingurru in the Landscape

When the boys had been invited into the
initation ring, they entered via a path. Inside the ring, the initiation ceremony took place. When the boys walked out the path on the other side of the ring, they were men. These five stones represented
the unborn children of the people.
They waited here until it wat time to enter the initation ring. An aerial view of the site. Waterhole Journey to the Bunya Mountains This is the story of how different people came together for
the Bunya Nut Festival in South East Queensland. People came from all over South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales to the festival. But before they went, they visited a range places. of ceremonial A ceremonial place
is often
a sacred space where important life events occur. Bunya Mountains Dalby Gummingurru Maidenwell Brisbane The Bunya Mountains are a place with many resources, including the Bunya Nut Pine tree. These trees produce huge 'cones' full of large edible nuts. These nuts resemble chestnuts and are full of proteins and starch. They can be eaten raw, boiled or roasted. The 'cones' are about the size of a basketball and fall from great heights when they are ripe. You may have seen trees with a shape like this near where you live.
The next time you are out for a walk, look up! You may find
some Bunya Pines. Gummingurru is an important ceremonial site in the Bunya Mountains landscape. SEQ There are many different cultural and language groups in Australia. Even in this small part of the country, there are many different peoples. The Jarowair people are the custodians of Gummingurru. They are part of the Barrungam people, which also includes the Giabal. Everyone camped here and then went to their different ceremonial sites to undergo initiations and other rituals.

This campsite is by a river, with several bunya nut pines along a bank. Where the Men went
The men and boys went to Gummingurru to undertake initiation rituals. Young men were intiated into adulthood at Gummingurru. They learned their rights and responsibilities as adults, before beginning their formal training as men. After their initiation, they were assigned to their yuree (also known as a totem animal or plant) and would learn of their responsibilities to their yuree and the management of the habitat belonging to that yuree.

They would later be custodians of these places, managing the resources and access by other people.
Gummingurru also acted as a men's meeting place to discuss trade and conflict resolution. Men from other groups were invited by the Jarowair elders to attend. They used the ochre from the ochre pits in their rituals. Scarred trees served as a warning as you approached a sacred place. As you walked towards it, the scarred tree would tell you that there is danger ahead. Bunya nuts were brought back from the Bunya Mountains to be planted. These new plantings would help provide food for the campsites in the Summer months. The women and girls went to their ceremonial site for initation rituals. Children and partners of the white settlers in the region remember times when the women were chased away from their ceremonial sites. They ran down the hill and hid in the trees near a small creek. Bunya Mountains From the north, Waka Waka, Gubbi Gubbi and Badtjala peoples went to Maidenwell before travelling to the Bunya Mountains. From the west, people went to Dalby before travelling to the Bunya Mountains. When everyone had completed their rituals, they all met up together again and went to the Bunya Mountains for the festival. The Bunya Mountains Festival occured in January of each year, when the bunya nuts fell from the trees to be collected for roasting. The importance of the festival cannot be overstated. As many as 15 different groups travelled from far away to attend for social interactions, marriages, trades, dispute resolution and initiations. The painted lines visible at the top of the rock shelter are associated with the Carpet Snake, an important yuree to the Barunggam and the Waka Waka peoples. Gatton The Chullawong rock shelter at Gatton has a unique art style. The pecking, abrading and carving of the shelter wall forms shapes and grooves that are not recognisable as pictures. These carvings may be related to a frog dreaming or perhaps tells the stories of marriages and kinship relationships. This is the story of one of the important ceremonial places in the Bunya Mountains cultural landscape - Gummingurru. Before the journey to the Bunya Mountains could be undertaken, the boys had to participate in initation rituals at important ceremonial places. For those in the southern region of South East Queensland and northern New South Wales, this place was Gummingurru. People from Brisbane and the Gold Coast travelled via Gatton towards the Darling Downs and Gummingurru. The Bunya Mountains are important to South East Queensland and northern New South Wales and the site of Gummingurru is a very important part of that landscape. Please enjoy your visit to the site and remember: it is all a part of something bigger. Warmga Pathways connect each site in the landscape, with journeys undertaken on specific paths with a variety of important sites along the way. Each site is not simply a solitary place, but a part of a wider interconnected landscape. A major campsite... Many creeks around this campsite originate in the Bunya Mountains. ...on the way to the Bunya Mountains. Scarred trees tell people that there is
an important place ahead. They sometimes
warn that it is a dangerous place. The Turtle... The Emu. ... and the Turtle's footprints. The view from the Information Centre over the site. The New Starburst. The Initiation Ring, via a pathway. Grindstone for ochre. The Carpet Snake. Starbursts. The Catfish... ... and his whiskers. Example of scars received at Initiation
at places like Gummingurru. A photograph of King Billy and King Johnny Tarampa and their
families near Gatton in 1885. This photo shows the adaptations
in dress that were made at the time. There are many stone arrangements on the site and some of these arrangements or motifs are of common yurees. Archaeologists have mapped the 9368 stones on the 5 hectare site.
Here are some of the motifs that have been mapped. There are many important sites in this cultural landscape that are related to Gummingurru. The motifs on the site were identified by their Jarowair custodian, but during the archaeological
mapping process, this previously unknown starburst was identified and called the New Starburst. www.tripadvisor.com.au Toowoomba Whincop et al. 2012 "Bunya Mountains, Queensland - Identification, Assessment and Management of Indigenous Cultural Heritage Values" p. 52
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