Gumbayngirr story

Updated on Fri, 08/07/2020 - 19:33
Chels Marshall, Lisa Roberts, Jason Benedek et al.
Nambucca Heads / Gumbayngirr
"Totemic relationships allow Indigenous peoples to be Landscape Ecologists." Chels Marshall


This is one of many Dreaming stories around Australia that tell of sea level rise - stories passed down over many many generations, through cultural arts of  many forms.

"Father gave us the land and the dreamtime.
Evil be gone through the wind.
Goodness come back through the wind...

Wind - goreen
The ocean - gargul

The ocean was seen as human.
It could be talked to, angered and appeased.
The gaargul is the totem of all Gumbaygnirr people.

One, when the sea had flooded all the land,
one man, gurigan, drove a bargain with the ocean.
He, the ocean, would never again creep up and cover all the land.
However, in return, the ocean could claim one human life a day.

Yal yal - the waves

Gumbaygnirr women used to do their ceremony in the ocean
The yal yal - waves - used to come up and wash upon them.
The women used to pay homage to our totem, the gaargal.
In return, the gaargal used to claim one life a day."

Gumbaygnirr Voice:
Michael Jarrett



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