Friday, 28 January 2011

Woggan-ma-gule : Gulaga Dreaming (2 of 4)

This post is about Daramah, the Great Spirit and his creation of Ngardi and Tunku. This story is passed on by Yuin elder, Uncle Max Dulumunmun Harrison, and given a modern interpretation by Peta Strachan, who is a descendant of the Darug people.

In the beginning, there was only oneness, only the environment: the trees, the bush, the water, and the animals. Daramah, the Great Spirit created Tubnku (man) and Ngardi (woman) from the connectedness rock (creation rock). He presented them each with a gift. Ngardi received the gift of the tree, and Tunku received the gift of the rock.

Daramah here, is danced by one of the Doonooch Dancers, but I don't know which one. Suffice to say, he was fabulous. His actions reminded me very much of a Brolga. He danced pretty much for the full 45 minutes, in character the entire time. Mesmerising.

We all faced east with Uncle Max, who led us in the greeting of Grandfather Sun who warms the earth, our bodies and gives us light, so we can see the food that Mother Earth brings.

There were three song men: Mathew Doyle, Cecil Mcleod and Richard Green.

One of the really great things about living in this country - even with all the whingers who have climbed out of the sodden floor boards in the last 24 hours - is that our political leaders can wander in and around the people without any apparent security presence. The two women in the front row are the case in point. With the big floppy hat is the Governor of our state, Professor Marie Bashir. She is a professor of psychiatry, and Chancellor of the University of Sydney. And very popular. Next to her, in the dark sunnies, is the Premier of our state, Kristina Keneally. She is very unpopular, struggling with only a 20% popularity in the polls, and heading for a rout at the poll this coming March. Nary a policeman in sight. And long may it continue.

Tomorrow: Journey with the Seven Sisters as they transit from East to West, and blow in the great wind spirit, Kooro-Kori.


Luis Gomez said...

Julie, what a beautiful ceremony. Thank you for bringing us images and sharing them with us. By the way I meant to tell you in the Balance image the rocks are some 3 feet high.

Virginia said...

I'm loving this series. Maybe I shared that one of early years of teaching Birmingham saluted Australia. I did a huge thematic unit on your amazing country with my third graders. We read "John Midas and the Dream Time" and did aborigine art projects etc. This brings back nice memories of all that.

JM said...

I would love to see this! The body paintings are amazing. Fantastic shot on top and a great post once again, Julie.

Margaret said...

Where else, but Australia? Thank you for posting this. I'm really looking forward to my trip to Australia next year.

Victor said...

Great photos and I agree with you about the ability of political leaders et al to roam around in public comparatively freely.

I remember when Bob Carr was Premier I sometimes saw him on his own purchasing a loaf of bread at Edgecliff shops after a hard day at Parliament House and then later at night he and his wife would slip into the movies at Paddington unaccompanied by security.

Julie said...

Victor, I have seen him, too. And I recall in the Drama Theatre once watching as the two seats in front of me filled with Gough and Margaret, no security, no hangers-on. But with obvious ramificatons to my abiity to see the stage ...

Ann said...

Wouldn't mind seeing that. Must try and drag myself out of bed early next year. Got up to Victoria Park too late for the dancing. I hope the egalitarianism and respect for privacy in this country never changes. Once passed Joan Sutherland in the street outside DJs. Just shopping like everyone else.

What was the decision re Theme Day?

J Bar said...

You really had a good spot. Brilliant photos.

Andrew said...

I suppose security would have be around, but very discreet. These days it would only take one Calwell like incident and we would never have that again.

brattcat said...

another post at which to marvel.

J Bar said...

Julie, last time I drove past Burwood post office it had a 'For Lease' sign on it. It would be ideal for a trendy cafe, which is what many former post offices are used for these days. Burwood has a thriving restaurant and cafe strip along Burwood Road.

Mark said...

Wow this is an incredible series Julie. Lots of interesting observations. We are lucky in Oz, when Julia Gillard came to Grafton she had a toasted sandwich at the Coffee Club with very little obvious security.

Joe said...

Glad to have discovered your blogs. You have such a wonderful way with words. If only we could all write like you.

diane b said...

A very colourful and educational ceremony with free dignitaries. Bravo Australia.

freefalling said...

I recently saw Marie Bashir in a doco about Macquarie and I was immediately taken with her lovely face and manner.
I guess she wouldn't be called a traditional beauty but she just emanates such warmth.
I was absolutely blown away to discover she is 80 years old!!!
Can that possibly be right?

Julie said...

Yes, I believe she turned 80 last year, and in about 4 weeks will have been the Governor of NSW for a decade.

Bashir has beauty by the bucketful. And yes, she is very approachable and interested in ordinary people. She is of Lebanese descent and was born in the Riverina. She has 3 children. Her husband represented Australia in rugby and was once Lord Mayor of Sydney.

She has an involvement with indigenous people stretching back to her childhood. When addressing her in public, they call her Auntie Marie.

haha said...

why cant they pay tax
the show was great
but as for ethics they suck big time
other mobs pay tax when they work and dont tell centerlink what they earn,the sydney mayor supports this is she corrupt ? who knows

The artistic director for aus day
has she paid tax ??????????????

she has left debts with lots of councils in sydney

and still they are goverment funded i suppose the labour party is stupid or the tax office

Im not saying all indigenous people in the arts are ripping the system off but if they are part of the aus day they are ripping off australians
put this way when your grandma cant get that operation the above is party to that

stop making a bad name for other mobs