Tuesday, 14 October 2008

M for Milbi Wall in Cooktown, Queensland, Australia.





To acknowledge the significance of the first known European contact with the Aboriginal people of the area, Cook Shire Council decided, as a reconciliation project, to have a Memorial to tell from an Aboriginal point of view.( see also the story of " Mary Watson and the Dingaal People" below)

Cook Shire Council invited local Aboriginal people to tell their story in ceramic tiles and build a Story (Milbi) Wall right at the spot where, in 1770, Captain James Cook and his crew first set foot.

Milbi is the Guugu Yimithirr (local Aboriginal language) word for story.

The Milbi Wall was developed by a group of local Aboriginal artists and storytellers, with assistance from a well-known potter and the Gungarde Aboriginal Corporation. The 12 metre long wall is divided in three parts and it shows the history of Cooktown.
The first part is the Dreamtime, the time that the indigenous people of Australia were the only inhabitants of this continent.
The second part is the time they came in touch with first convicts and later the Chinese gold diggers. This was a very bad time for the Aborigines. It traces the history of Aboriginal people from the early settlement times and the gold-rush days, until the Second World War.
Part 3 depicts the important 1967 referendum when the Australian people overwhelmingly recognised the right of Aboriginal people to equality with all other Australians and it shows the advances Aboriginal people have made as well as recognising the problems they have faced

The wall is made in the shape of a snake: the Rainbow Snake, the creator spirit.
The tiles are made by the inhabitants of Cooktown under the supervision of Roy McIver, a wellknown artist of the Guugu Yimithirr tribe. He is an uncle of my daughter's ex husband. She sees him quite often. I always meet him and his wife when I am in Cooktown.
Thanks to Mrs. Nesbitt, who has hosted this ABC game for the third round to the letter M for ABC Wednesday. For more ABC posts click on ABC picture in my side bar.Join us in this wonderful meme!



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37 comments:

Old Lady Lincoln said...

What beautiful colors and paintings. Thanks for sharing.

richies said...

How very interesting. I am always curious about the history and culture of other places. Thanks for a very informative post.

ellen b said...

What an interesting project and story. It's right up my alley to see story in pictures/paintings.

Old Wom Tigley said...

I've seen this 'Milbi Wall' on a program and found it of interest then as I do now... I must make the time to google and find out more about it.

Great 'M' post

Tom

Liz said...

that is really amazing and beautiful.

One of the artists in our church has done a painting in the Aboriginal style of 'dreaming'. I must post about it one day.

leslie said...

Gee - very intriguing photos and story behind it. Thx for sharing on our M-day! :D

Kim from Hiraeth said...

That's and interesting form of monument. Very pretty.

babooshka said...

This was completely fascinating to read and the images just wonderful. Learing of other cultures and histories is one of the bonuses of blogginf. Excellent post.

antigoni said...

Beautiful post!

magiceye said...

very interesting path through history

ArneA said...

Milbi is the Guugu Yimithirr (local Aboriginal language) word for story.
Thanks for sharing the story with me in readable language

Greyscale Territory said...

Lov ed this post! I did not know about the wall! Intriguing idea to create the images with tiles!

Liz said...

Hello again! I had a feeling that I might have written something on my blog about the aboriginal art work I spoke of and I did. If you search my blog for Linden Dreaming or go to May 31, 2007, you'll find it. It wasn't stained glass but a painting.

RuneE said...

A very thoughtful and and highly appropriate post. I hope that this issue has now been settled, but I fear I have heard rumours to the contrary.

MumbaiiteAnu said...

Wow, this is interesting and beautiful. A history wall.
Great one for 'M'

My 'M' for Mumbai Machhi-walis

Abraham Lincoln said...

Wow. I am impressed by this post and the dreaming style.

naturglede said...

I love the rainbow snake. Intersting choise fore the M.

Bear Naked said...

A very unique choice for the letter M on ABC Wednesday.
I now know a little bit of information about the Aboriginals of Australia.

Bear((( )))

Bibi said...

I agree with Richies---good information and lovely photos.

onangelwings said...

Stunning. Love the sea plane photo too.

Suburbia said...

I have learnt so much about Australia by visiting you recently! Thank you for your lovely photos and text.

Janice Thomson said...

What a fascinating piece of history! - excellent photos and post Wil.

Jay said...

That's quite startlingly beautiful and a fascinating project! Thanks for that - I had no idea it existed!

Gordon said...

An interesting and informative post. Projects like these are helping put our history in perspective. Yesterday we visited the National Museum of Australia where they have a large indigenous Australian display.

Reader Wil said...

Thank you all for the comments! This post is very special to me, as I know some of the artists, many of them are aboriginals and I have heard their stories. I believe that Cooktown is a good place for reconciliation.

splummer said...

Hi!
Awesome photos and story! Thanks for sharing, enjoyed the trip to Australia. Thanks for stopping by my place. Take Care!!

Sherrie

photowannabe said...

A fascinating Memorial Wall. Thank you for sharing .

Vicki said...

Amazing. It's beautiful.

Neva said...

What a stunning wall....wow.

Alan said...

That is very interesting. It is fortunate the aboriginals have survived. To my knowledge all of the original natives from this area of Florida - called the Timucuan - died off long ago after the Spanish arrived in the 1500's. They lasted a while but diseases eventually did them in, so the only stories we really have for them are from Europeans (not accurate) or from archaeology (incomplete). Sad. I'm sure they were a very interesting people from what we do know of them. It is great that Australia has tried to move forward with their situation and make the best of it while there are still people alive to tell their own stories.

Lily Hydrangea said...

this is fascinating stuff, great M theme!

kjpweb said...

Excellent and informative! Great "M"!
Cheers, Klaus

Rose said...

Fascinating history, Reader Wil. I'm sure this memorial has many visitors; the preservation of the history of the aboriginal people is important in informing all of us who know so little about these people.

Joy Leftow said...

Such a beautiful & historical piece.
I found you! You visited my blog & now I caught you.
Thanks,
Joy
http://joyleftowsblog.blogspot.com

Dragonstar said...

An excellent project, and very beautiful.
I've found these three posts full of interest.

kml said...

What a unique work of art. Excellent post and photos!

Rambling Woods said...

I too like to learn the culture of other places and it's good that it is being put on display so that it can be appreciated by everyone...