September 4, 2017

Cultural immersion field trip to Wahluu (Mt Panorama)

Today Ben Phạm and I joined Charles Sturt University teacher education students on their the cultural immersion field trip to Wahluu (Mt Panorama). Local Wiradjuri Elders, Uncle Brian and Uncle Bill, and other Wiradjuri knowledge holders explained the significance of Wahluu, songlines, and ceremonies. They showed us the V trees that indicate significant areas and the stones showing the pathways. They also showed us other important stones for grinding, using as plates, and sacred customs that were gathered up without permission and made into a cottage in 1939. The women's sacred area has now been fenced off for new construction. It was sobering to see the impact our community has had on Wiradjuri customs and history. Here is an extract from a local history website:
"Bora rings were located on key sites like Wahlu (Mount Panorama) where initiations and other important ceremonies were held. The caretaker’s cottage in McPhillamy Park is believed to be constructed from the stones of three bora rings where, for thousands of years, the Wiradjuri held initiations and corroborees." (http://heritagebathurst.com/history-matters/indigenous-history/)
V tree
The women's area is no longer accessable
Wiradjuri plates for ceremonial feasts were used as a vent in the cottage wall
Ceremonial stones were gathered up and made into the caretaker’s cottage in McPhillamy Park in 1939