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written by a Darug person

The land. History and Laws

2005-Nov-28

Historians and Anthropologists have studied the Koori Culture since they first arrived on the land, they came to the conclusion that the Culture is dead, of course this has been done without reference to the descendants of the Culture and without even asking the proper questions. The Culture is not dead it's as strong and living vital culture of Sydney and other regions that just had to go underground for a while to be able to survive.

Now that the right questions have been asked we have the way to a vast wealth of knowledge of the past and of the way Aboriginal people lived in the country. But it is difficual to explain to a society based on commerce and possessions. The Aboriginal Culture was not based on ownership of things like land, dwellings and posseions. But did have a strong sence of ownership of information.

That information particularly in story form was not traded but could be given and given freely but it's ownership was respected those stories were not told or passed on by the receiver whilst ever they walked in the land of their people.

It's hoped that present society is now mature enough to be able to accept the Dreamtime stories as they were as they are and as they were always destined to be tools to teach the children of the people living with Earth the Mother in peace and harmony.

Each story contains several layers of knowledge, the first of which are the secrets, which can only be passed on or discussed with persons of the same level of knowledge or higher than the storyteller. These secrets are very important components of the legend and it's the knowledge of the secrets which determines the level of the person's worthiness to ownership of the story.

The next layer of knowledge within the stories was law or laws to be obeyed. The laws of the stories were told and often repeated after the telling of each story, after which the law were discussed and their application in life demonstrated in a variety of ways.

The third layer of Knowledge contained in each story was the lesssons which could be learnt from the story and the lesson were taught to all members of the group as well as visitors. These lessons introduced people to the means to live in harmony with each other and the land and its resources.

The laws in legends have many lessons to be learnt. The Elders believed that children learn better and more quickly when they were encouraged to work through a problem rather then be told the answer. By sharing the stories of our Ancestors with you it is hoped that not only will you recognise and learn the lessons and law of our people of this land but you will also come to understand and respect the Culture of our people and our feelings and relationship with the land.

Stories do not in themselves act as an instruction manual rather they point the way and encourage the people to think to learn and live. It's hoped that by sharing our stories you too may be able to think to learn and live in this land, with understanding and respect for each other and the land.

In the land of the Darug people we have over 7,000 different sites recorded. There are three different types of sites. They are,

1. Camp sites and working areas where tools were made and people ate and slept. storytelling and every day family life was.

2. Sacred sites which have carvings and paintings on the rocks and caves. most of these sites are men sites and woman can not go to a mens site and a man can not go onto a womans site.

3. Secret Sacred sites which are not marked, they are learnt through Elders and Initiation rights of passage.

These sites are important to the Darug people and respected by them and hope that other people will respect them as well.

Austrlia is a country of many countries as Aboriginal people call the land country,we have many different language and Cultural groups. Each group has a vibrant Culture of which they are immensely proud. The diversity of languages, Cultural beliefs and Customs add to the complexity and richness of Aboriginal Cultures. Wherever you visit or traval across and stay in country significant to the tradional land owners. One should remember protocols and laws. people often speak of the lands and waters they have traditional affiliation and responsibility for country. Throughout Austrlia the responsibility to look after or care for country is held by (clans) mob or family groups as well as individuals. Senior people in the community who are responsible for their traditional land and waters are often traditional owners. When talking country we speak to country,sing and visit country, worry about country, feel sorry for country and long for country. Country knows, hears, smells , takes notice ,takes care and is happy or sorry, becauce of it's richness country is home, peace, nourishment for body mind and spirit heart's ease. We hold a unique relationship to the land and waters of our country.The relationship embraces a certain resonsibility to look after the spiritual and envionmental well being of country. Responsibilities include acknowledging and paying respect to the Spirit Ancestors who created the land and introduced customs and languages. Responsibilities to care for country are defined through traditional law. Although creation beliefs and customary proticols vary greatly across Australia they are all based on the journeys of Ancestral Beings and events which took place during the Creation period.

                 
                           "This is the Dreaming or Dreamtime."

Our story is in the land it is written in those Sacred Places.

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