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Under The Quandong Tree by [Minmia Smith]

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Under The Quandong Tree [Print Replica] Kindle Edition

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Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B07DPVBLTG
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Quandong Dreaming Publishing; 1st edition (12 June 2018)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 2782 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Not enabled
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
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My name is Minmia, which is ‘the messenger of birds’. If I want to

contact anybody or say hello you’ll find yourself being stalked by

magpies. Don’t be afraid because that’s my totem.

I am a Wirradjirri woman.Wirradjirri country runs from Dunedoo

in New South Wales right down into Victoria, and from the Blue

Mountains to Lake Cargelligo bordering onto Parkingee country. It’s

country for the biggest tribe in New South Wales. This is the riverland

of the Murrumbidgee, Killara (Lachlan) and Macquarie rivers.

I want to take you on a walk with me, a walk I hope will change the

way you see the world and your place in it. My wish is that, in the

difficult times in which we live, reading this book will give you a

greater understanding of yourself and tolerance of others.

I’m Murdoo’s great-grand-daughter and I was born down a line of

women to carry Wirradjirri women’s lore/law. My great-greatgrandmother

comes from the Gurindji line and my great-greatgrandfather

from Pitjantjatjara so I have connections there. I’ve been

one of the very fortunate people who have been able to learn some of

the lore/law.

Some years ago now, one of my old aunties, my great-aunty, was

caught doing a ceremony and taken to a mental institution and locked

up there for thirty-eight years, where she died. So, the fear of not

offending the Christian God has had dreadful consequences for my

people. For a long time our teachings went underground and some

were lost entirely, breaking the teaching lines. I wasn’t allowed to teach

any of this until 1990. For many Indigenous communities this was the

time the old people called back the lore/law because so many bad

things were happening. This was done through ceremony; one of these

ceremonies was the breaking of the sacred stones Biami left behind for

the purpose of restoring what is right.

I was born to a Koori mother and a white father. This antagonised

some of my old aunties when they were told I would carry the

Wirrloo line. But the tradition is the line is carried through the

women; even my cousin Ivan inherited his lore/law line through the

same great-grandmother.

Our teachings became almost extinct under a tsunami of

Christianity. Many of the remaining stories, songs and teachings were

passed on through the paddocks when Kooris were doing all the

seasonal fruit picking etc. In many cases this was where the Aboriginal

Protection Board and Christian ‘thought police’ never bothered to go.

Too hot or too wet and too many flies and kids with snotty noses, I

guess. However, it served its purpose in keeping and passing on what

little lore/law remained. This is why some of the words I use are not

Wirradjirri, but I have tried to maintain the integrity of what I heard

many years ago.

I was taught in secret, from the time I was about six years old by my

great-grandmother. I was thirteen, just a wanai, when she died. And I

was nineteen when Subbina died. Subbina was a wirrloo (powerful

healer/teacher) and she was older than the Lachlan River. She had

been here many times and Subbina is still around me. Since Subbina I

have had many teachers — not only from many places in my country,

but also from around the world. I am also guided and rescued by the

Tall Ones; these are great beings that have never been born.

One of the most profound teachings that I have ever received was

from a five-year-old girl called Amy Edwards. I was invited to Amy’s

friend’s birthday party to meet her very best friend. I don’t remember

the friend’s name but I remember Amy. She was everything one would

expect of a beautiful ‘Australian’ child — cute, blonde, blue-eyed. We

arrived at the party and she took me through the house to the backyard

where all the children were playing. I asked her which one was her best

friend. Amy replied, ‘The little girl in the corner in the pink dress.’

The little girl in the corner in the pink dress who Amy had pointed

to was the only child at the party who was black, really black. I realised

that the true Amy was far deeper than the blonde hair and blue eyes.

This was one of the most sacred teachings I have ever received. It made

me look beyond and spread my awareness much deeper. Teachings

come in many shapes and forms, and often by way of unexpected

opportunities, so don’t let them pass you by.

As I have said, I was born into the Wirradjiri nation to take up part

of the Wirradjiri women’s lore/law. How much do I know? I’ll tell you

how much I know. Let’s say all the teachings in this country amount

to one handful of sand. The teachings I know would amount to one

grain. So you know, I’m not wise. I might look wise, I have grey hair

and I’ve earned every one of them. But I’m not ‘walking wisdom’. I

teach the teachings that were given to me. I struggle every day, like

every single person does, with my conscience, with my way of life, with

right and wrong, with ego, all of those things that weaken my Miwi. I

struggle just like you do. So revere the wisdom from the teachings and

just leave me as the tongue or the voice or the noise it makes.

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