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!