I would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of this land, “The Wiradjuri People”.
This column is dedicated to those who have gone before us, to those present and to those who will follow us.
In about 1829, Charles Sturt was guided by Wiradjuri warriors to Malebo Hill so they could show him the mighty Kengal (The Rock) in the distance.
Kengal is a large outcrop of primarily quartzite that rises over 360m above the Riverina plains south west of Wagga. It is the highest point in a small range that stands distinct from the flat farmland that surrounds it in all directions. Kengal, as it was known to the local Wiradjuri Aboriginal tribe, is instantly recognisable from the east. It played an important part in local initiation ceremonies.
Kengal (The Rock) was originally named "Hanging Rock" by European settlers, due to a large boulder overhanging the east face. However, that fell in 1874, and the town which bears the same name was officially changed in 1918 to The Rock.
As one of only a few areas of uncleared land in the area, it provides habitat for a number of threatened animal and plant species. Their protection is one of the reasons that it was declared a nature reserve, which has a higher priority on preservation than recreation.
I have climbed this place several times, one day I took and played my yidaki (didge).
I felt totally connected as I played, I also had a maliyan (eagle) circle above me while I was playing as well which made it all that more special.
Early next year, 2016, I’m going to start Wiradjuri cultural tours around the Wagga area.
The tours will be a full day and will include bird watching, bargan (boomerang) and gama (spear) throwing, learning about our amazing ancient Wiradjuri mayiny (people) and garray (land).
The tours will run on the weekends and will also include places like Flowerdale and Bomen stone axe reserve, also I hope to take in the new Marrambidya wetlands and Wollundry lagoon. These places are now gazetted Aboriginal sites.
Some smaller towns around the area will also showcase in my Wiradjuri tours.
Of course “Kengal” is the show piece of our area and will feature heavily in my tour.
Many tourist will get the chance to listen to Wiradjuri language, will be able to connect to our garray (land) through my stories and passion for my mayiny (people) and ngurambang (country) Wiradjuri garray (land) has so many stories to tell, from the madhu madhan (many tree) that have been scarred by our people to indicate special areas and also as markers for ngurambang (country) to the wide array of budyaan (bird) and balugan (animal) that still freely roam our garray (land).
What we take for granted madhu (many) tourist see as amazing and beautiful. Just too even gaze at one of our multi coloured yirawulin (sunset) or yiramiilan (sunrise) is something that can stay in your memory for a long time.
Our Wiradjuri warriors took Charles Sturt out to show him just part of our amazing and ancient garray (land) in 1829. Those places and part of our landscape still exist, we just need to make time to slow down, breathe in deep and connect to ngurambang (country)
For more about my tours and cultural items go to my web page at www.bundyiculture.com.au.
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