Notice

The Wiradjuri Story: Aborigines of Henry Lawson Country by Mudgee’s Local Historian and Writer, Norman McVicker OAM written in 1991. The story is relevant only up to that time as many changes have taken place since.

About Norman McVicker

Norman McVicker OAM, Launched this site on the 20th February 2009

The Wiradjuri Story P.20

Norman McVicker OAM
Norman McVicker

Aboriginal Place Names

Aboriginal place names abound in and around the Eurunderee district. One of the first questions many tourists ask is the reason these still exist when there are no visible signs of any Aboriginal culture. In researching this question many local stories were uncovered. This posed further questions! What is fact and what is fiction? Sometimes even official documents cloud the issue. Diaries and records of the early white settlers often omitted the real facts perpetrating further folklore stories. One thing is certain. There was once a time when all things in Eurunderee were in harmony with each other, when the Wiradjuri warriors hunted kangaroos and emus, wild birds and ducks and various edible plants. The Wiradjuri people since the beginning of time, had lived here and been one with the land.

Wiradjuri Country

Eurunderee was an infinitesimal speck on the area inhabited by the Wiradjuri. Their lands stretched from the high mountainous ranges in the East to the three rivers to the west, the Macquarie, Lachlan and Murrumbidgee. The Murray River was their southern boundary with the plains and hills just beyond Wellington being their northern border. In all, about 12,000 people divided into clans, co-existed as the Wiradjuri nation or tribe. They hunted, fished, and being semi nomadic, moved from place to place living off the land.

Wiradjuri people

The Wiradjuris were dark brown in colour. Their hair was either straight or curly, worn long, usually held back with a head band decorated with bird feathers. Other body ornaments were made of kangaroo teeth, possum or kangaroo skins. They were a healthy and very fit people. The men hunted the larger game with a variety of spears and nets of different sizes. The women gathered berries and roots in either wooden dishes or baskets used to store the grain collected, especially when they were changing camp sites. They often travelled by bark canoe, hunting fish, turtles, yabbies or water fowl as they progressed. The tribe was governed by strict codes of moral and social behavior. The breaking of these codes, enforced by the elders of the tribe, resulted in harsh punishment to any guilty party. The leader of the Wiradjuri people was a warrior named Windradyne.

 

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