Christmas is coming & we are trying to finish harvesting chickpeas and drenching sheep. The cool wet spring has pushed harvest back 6 weeks & extended the sheep worm epidemic. But, regardless of how busy I am I will always make time for the CMTs & the descendants of those who created them. A group of local primary teachers old & new, as well as some officials from the NSW Aboriginal Education Consultative Group, came for a ‘connecting to country’ visit Sunday arvo. We only had time to see a few trees but we shared stories & exchanged details in the budda smoke – thanks to Lightning ridge Kamilaroi man, Darryl Ferguson.
Murra-manaarr ( Gingie Station ) will always be open for school visits as long as Im living here. There is no charge, all I ask is the schools must have adequate insurance & kids are supervised. Old Ted Fields used to bring teenage boys out years ago & Allan Tighe more recently. I tried to get the DEG ( Dharriwa Elders Group ) involved a couple of years ago but they had other priorities;
– Wednesday 21st Oct 2020 – text to Wendy Spencer after visit by Dharriwaa Elders on the 20th Oct 2020
It was a pleasure Wendy. I hope you can get some process started to recognize these trees in trees (TinTs) Its just amazing what the people were doing at Murrumanaarr before they were ‘interrupted’ by the arrival of whitefellas. Maybe they were trying to crossbreed different species. Maybe they werr just showing off theur skill & the TinTs were renos or decoration. Possibly burials or unions as the guest & host trees would belong to different totems ? Whatever the reason they need to be recognised & protected. Better go, my sheep are heading in the wrong direction- hope the older blokes werent too tired, jane
Friday 13th Nov – text to Wendy Spencer
Hi Wendy, seeing you at the veggie truck on Thurs. reminded me about the TinTs (Trees in Trees) Did you get any consensus with Dharriwaa re what to do about them? Can you get them classified as CMTs? Does anyone know anything about them? It would be great to get some more local interest, maybe a catalogue of them. I know their GPS data & have photos of all l have seen. What do you think?
Saturday 14th Nov – text from Wendy Spencer
Hi Jane I didn’t see you! Preoccupied. They certainly think they are important. Talk of an Aboriginal Place Nomination. What is a CMT?
Saturday 14th Nov -text to Wendy Spencer
CMT – Culturally Modified Tree. I know it sounds clumsy but it covers scarred trees, ringtrees & Trees in Trees. It will take awhile to break through with the academics but its more important that the local people accept them. There are over 100 here along the sandhills Nth Sth and along the Gingie ( Cumborah) rd. Some are very small – possibly the seeds were planted & stayed dormant for many years. Wilga (the most common guest) are especially hard to get to germinate. Anyway l’ll leave it with you… let me know if you want to bring people out anytime, best wishes, jane
Ive been waiting over 2 years now for recognition of the TinTs as CMTs but havent given up hope (farmers are optimists by nature) I think when Jen submits her TinT paper early 2023 we might see some action. Rhonda Ashby & Priscilla Reid are working on a cultural forward for the scientific research. If you want to contribute – get in touch [email protected]. The ancestors grew camps for future generations that are still found here now. If Jen’s paper gets published that will be available for future generations too. Time is taking its toll on the older dead trees and some have fallen in the last few months. They seem to handle drought better wet – I suppose the wood rots quicker.
The 3 consecutive la nina years have transformed this landscape. I don’t know if the emerging guests have been dormant or they have germinated in the last 3 years. They are still confined to the camp areas but Im only just noticing them now. The Gomeroi camps here are still evolving as perhaps they were designed to? Like the underground river I believe the ancestors are still here – they have just assumed a different form.
here is the same giant box in 2016 – no baby budda back then!