Thursday, 27 January 2011

Woggan-ma-gule : Gulaga Dreaming (1 of 4)


Woggan-ma-gule is the indigenous name for the area that we know as Farm Cove and the adjoining Botanic Gardens. Each year on Australia Day (26th January), a 'morning ceremony' is conducted adjacent to the main pond. The 2011 ceremony was conducted by the Yuin people of the South Coast where 'gulaga' is the 'mother mountain', the source of life. So Gulaga Dreaming is a modern interpretation of the Yuin people's creation story.


This morning commenced with a traditional smoking ceremony to awaken, cleanse and honour the spirits of past inhabitants. Led by the Yuin elder, Uncle Max, we were helped to an understanding of the subtleties and connectedness of his people's relationship to the land.


The entire ceremony was very professional, and very moving. The dancing was very athletic and agile, the costumes and make-up were terrific, and the music gelled the parts of the ceremony into a mesmerising whole.


And to cap it all off, as I walked from my home down to the gardens, the city and the harbour were swathed with a dense sea-fog.


Tomorrow: From the oneness, Daramah, the Great Spirit, creates Ngardi and Tunku.

23 comments:

brattcat said...

there are some fabulous shots in this post, julie, particularly the first and last.

Luis Gomez said...

Thank you, Julie for these images. I love this kind of ceremony. I think they remind us that we are close to nature than we would like to acknowledge.

Virginia said...

Wonderful images and portraits Julie. You do them so well.
V

Sharon said...

What an interesting ceremony. I would have loved to have been there in person.

Leif Hagen said...

Happy Australia Day, Julie! Looks like an interesting and fun day of activities!

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Loved all of these, but that last one is an amazing portrait with intensity.
G

JM said...

That top shot is outstanding! Great post, Julie.

Kay L. Davies said...

Wonderful post, Julie. The first and last photos are very stirring.
-- K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

Jilly said...

What wonderful wonderful images, Julie. The first and last are brillant! Everyone is so thoughtful - obviously a very touching and thoughtful event. Wish I'd been there. Happy Australia Day!

J Bar said...

Fantastic shots. You did a great job capturing the atmosphere there.

Ann said...

Lovely shots. I ended up going to Yabun, very friendly and welcoming, not crowded, good atmosphere and none of the over the top, flag waving, hyper Australianism that is increasing year by year. Didn't stay long because of the humidity but will go again.

Julie said...

That is one of the aspects of this ceremony that I appreciated the most. It was reminiscent of a church service. There was a regality and a solemnity, as well as cheekiness. There was a small crown - maybe 2,00 - some of whom were moving on to other sites. But lots (from what I overheard) were like me and going off home, having deliberately targetted this one ceremony for their 'celebration'.

J Bar said...

Julie, yes I'll have to do a post on Nindethana one of these days. Maybe with some other nameplates from around the suburb.

Alan O'Riordan said...

Lovely set of pics. The first is my favourite!

Peter said...

Like the last smoky image - must be hard on the eyes

Vicki said...

Magic! Perfect Australia Day images.

Joan Elizabeth said...

Fabulous portraits Julie. I'm so glad you go to these things so I can enjoy them second hand.

Mo said...

My how Australia day has changed.

diane b said...

I'm with Joan, thanks for doing things and showing us who can't be there. It was a good idea to go early in the morning on such a hot day.Lovely images of the first Australians celebrating the history of their land. I disagree with Ann, I don't think there is anything wrong with going over the top to show that we are proud to be Australian. For too long we have had an inferiority complex but now we are shaking it off.

Mary Ann said...

It's now three days into this amazing series of photos. I'm enjoying every bit of it.

I thought I'd comment on this one specifically because I loved all patriotic details that your found in the crowd. Cool stuff.

Kevin said...

I think you have achieved a wonderful result with these Australia Day posts.

Gunn said...

Wow, this is not something unique and magic!
Thanks for sharing!

Julie said...

I am blessed to have such patient readers who seek out back posts. Thank you.