You don’t have to go o/s to experience culture shock you know – it happens right here at home. If gossip was an Olympic sport the community of Walgett would be world champions. They would also be on the podium for the self-promotion, self-interest & self-serving triathlon. So be it – as Ive said before – You can lead a horse to water but you cant make it drink. Ive been uploading photos of TinTs to this website since April 2020 and still no one believes they are of Aboriginal making. I must be too far ahead of the times – all my attempts to bring recognition to the local custom of growing trees in other trees have failed. Either that or the TinTs are so far behind their times that no one could be bothered with them now. I might have had more interest if I claimed it was the original white settlers who planted trees in other trees … wish I’d thought of that 3 years ago!
Despite the apathy of academics & Aboriginal Elders I cant help myself when it comes to TinT hunting. I spotted this magnificent kurrajong in coolabah near Wellington on the Burrendong way.
A songline is a sequence of locations, that might, for example, include the rocks that provide the best materials for tools, to a significant tree or a waterhole. They are far more than a navigation aid. At each location, a song or story, dance or ceremony is performed that will always be associated with that particular location, physically and in memory. A songline, then, provides a table of contents to the entire knowledge system, one that can be traversed in memory as well as physically.
Animals & birds & reptiles in Australia have their own songlines. Turtles fall into my pool regularly despite there being no water in it. Emus run up & down fences determined to get to where they know they have to go. Even thunderstorms follow a seasonal pattern. How many european descent aussies have a ‘rites of passage’ trip back to the ‘homeland’ after they finish school? You can throw around words like “invaders” or “colonisers” but Im proud of my English heritage. Oxford University is older than the Aztec Empire btw. I believe in science but unfortunately science cant exist in a vacuum. Without Aboriginal support the TinTs will remain unseen & unacknowledged – Ive done all I can do – how about you?
Like carved trees & ringtrees it seems likely that TinTs served different purposes & signified different things in different “nations” – The kurrajong TinT is surrounded by a cluster of smaller kurrajong trees. Interestingly kurrajong fibre nets were used to hold Bogong moths so perhaps the travellers had this in mind when the heading down to Kosciuszko in summer? This is an example of a plant fibre net made by my Gomeroi friend & AEO Andrew Oldfield.
If you are interested in carved trees you might like to google this Art in the bark: Indigenous carved boab trees (Adansonia gregorii) in North West Australia
O’Connor, S., Balme, J., Frederick, U., Garstone, B., Bedford, R., Bedford, J., . . . Lewis, D. (2022). Art in the bark: Indigenous carved boab trees (Adansonia gregorii) in north-west Australia. Antiquity, 1-18. doi:10.15184/aqy.2022.129
The Gomeroi carved trees here too but unless the lines were renewed with a steel axe in the last century or so like these – google – Caged carved trees of Collymongle, Gamilaraay, Collarenebri, New South Wales, 1986-1999 [picture] / Jon Rhodes and Marion Ravenscroft – they have probably either been hidden by overgrowth or weathered away. I have quoted this from the Art in the bark article:
“Although no comparable studies have yet been carried out on the health of older boab trees in north-west Australia, they are vulnerable to lightning strikes and bush fires, and insects that bore into the outer bark, destroying or obscuring carvings. There is clearly, therefore, some urgency to record those ancient trees with Indigenous carvings”
Below Allan Tighe showing people scarred trees & TinT on murramanaarr earlier in the year.
I wish I could get some of those Archaeologists to help me – clearly there is no urgency to record anything here. The murrumanaarr trees will be here for awhile yet but I wont be. So in the words of Douglas Adams who died over 20 years ago….