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So the best thing that has happened in scarland lately is the brief visit of a dozen or more indigenous/ interested women. My friend & Kamilaroi guide Allan Tighe brought them out here and seemed to be related to at least half. We only got to walk around the house paddock scartrees & view some artefacts when the ladies had to leave due to the passing of a friend from the Gathering in town. The rapport established and future links should result in a giant leap forward in accumulated understanding. A special thankyou to Penny Evans www.pennyevansart.com for getting back re another visit & Dossie Tighe from Moree who is studying arts & archaeology and was willing to share her extensive knowledge on scars and artefacts. I’m not sure why women share information so easily while it has to prised out of men with a chisel? Accordingly I have rethought my approach to soliciting future help by deleting all male archaeologists, indigenous experts or Elders from my contacts. Also Aboriginal women with trust or reverse racism issues or who simply lack basic manners. Not being a social media person or political player I suppose I was naive to think many of these people actually cared about these scarred trees or wanted to contribute what they knew to any database. So be it, but it is still the greatest privilege to live among them and as the Lebanese pig hunters told me over Easter … everything happens for a reason. Now that’s off my chest with a 2 fingered salute the other thing that has been keeping me awake at night is these mad “Ring” trees & other manipulated types. If the loop da loop tree doesn’t do your head in then you are reading the wrong blog. All these grafted/fused trees are associated with underground or semi reliable water sources such this extensive billabong system. With water there is community life & campsites & culture. As well as turtle, freshwater molluscs & snail shells & once even a desiccated crab Allan & I found. You wouldn’t know it now bone dry and barren but these shells along with the CMTs (culturally modified trees) indicate much wetter weather… in the climate spectrum of Australia. I’m writing listening to rain on the tin roof – send her down Hughie!
May 3, 2019  by Jane 





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Burial site totem
March 24, 2019  by Jane 


So there was this young Kamilaroi guy getting around 150 years ago who liked to climb trees and carve...


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These astounding trees never stop surprising you. Trying to make sense of the weird marks and patterns is like attempting to understand the weather. The pinched trees in Goorie and also occasionally in Warrambool are hard to work out. At first glance they look like Chinese ringbarking that doesn’t go totally around the tree. It’s as if a giant has pinched the outer layer of wood together with his fingers and it remains bunched up in one section forming a kind of handle. The length & thickness of the gathered wood varies but like other cultural scartrees these pinched ones are generally found in groups. Its location, location, location with cultural scarring only the axcut, handhold and resource scars are found randomly scattered where the people hunted for tree dwelling game. The close orientation of these pinched trees indicates Aboriginal origin but the fact that most of them are dead would suggest ringbarking. No help to be had so just speculation really, I will see if I can attach a pinched tree collage for anyone who would like to guess. New information re local indigenous borders has emerged suggesting this is Kamilaroi not Euahlayi land. Also the Murrumanaarr traditional owners were of the Emu ( Dhinawan ) not Goanna ( Beewee ) people. The boundary between the 2 nations being the big Warrambool not the Barwon river. Sometime during the last ice age ( Pleistocene era ) this old river disappeared underground and the surface channel changed to its present course. These sand hills and patches of redgums with their associated native wells in the old river became a kind of no man’s land and a right of way for those making their way to the Narran Lakes for feasting & ceremony. The campsites of many travellers are obvious in the campfire/fireplace scars on the bases of the trees and all the scattered clay oven heat retainers and hearths. A rare surviving Kamilaroi carved tree, the few “Marker” trees as well as a “Ring tree” identified last week adds weight to these ideas. Ring trees are associated with national boundaries and Marker trees with directional information and significant sites.
January 21, 2019  by Jane 





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As the drought digs its feet in and any predicted rain evaporates from the forecasts before it hits the ground, the scartrees endure. Some trees have been trashed in wild wind squalls but the significant widespread erosion is exposing many old campsites and artefacts as well. The scalded flats are being peeled back as topsoil is blown away leaving hollows littered with the flakes and fragments of foreign stone. There is no natural rock here so the variety and quantity of the different chips & chunks of stone is remarkable. The trees in these areas are always heavily scarred and the clay oven balls are scattered around like red mushrooms in some apocalyptic film set. The remains of the earth ovens now emerging from the clay pans is a reminder of how long this land has been home to Aboriginal Australians. Luckily the carved tree is surviving this mother of all droughts, decaying gracefully but gradually becoming less decipherable every year. To the shame of our archaeologists, anthropologists, aboriginal advisory bodies, academics & activists, none of whom have shown any interest or enthusiasm towards these astonishing trees. Like how many living Aboriginal carved trees do we have in this country? Those from Collymongle ( Collarenebri, NSW ) were enhanced with steel tomahawks early last century and many carted off to city museums. There may be a few burial trees surviving in Wiradjuri country so let’s hope someone is looking after them… what price our heritage … going, going, gone
January 7, 2019  by Jane 





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local primary school visit
November 15, 2018  by Jane 


Years 5 & 6 came out this week to see the scars and various bush tucker trees that live around them....


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Campfire trees
September 26, 2018  by Jane 


Elaborate scars left by old campfires are found on the side of the tree that leans toward you. Many eucalypts...


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strange trees
September 11, 2018  by Jane 


I’ve come across some interesting trees lately. Much easier on the eyes than looking down at the ground...


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Ethnographic Artefacts: the Iceberg’s Tip – Tania Konecny
June 15, 2018  by Jane 


Although not taphoglyphs ( carved trees around a burial site ) a tree at a burial site here could have...


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carved trees
June 11, 2018  by Jane 


These are some of the ceremonial tree designs found in our area taken from The Australian museum magazine...


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Scartree visitors
April 18, 2018  by Jane 


The following post is drawn from : The Astronomy of the Kamilaroi People and their Neighbours Robert...


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