Friday, 2 March 2012

The Reconciliation or Acceptance Story.


Willie Gordon tells:"In the 1930s there was a decision made by my clan to accept a little girl, my Auntie Ruby, into their midst, even though she had a lighter coloured skin. We called this event the Reconciliation or Acceptance Story.

First of all my Auntie Ruby, when she was old enough to understand, was asked to put her handprint in a cave to symbolise her acceptance into the clan. A hand stencil was made to give the hand's true shadow and to record that she was there. (Aunt Ruby's hand is the first on the left.) The stencil was made by blowing ochre through a hollowed bone to create the spray effect. Thagu, the left hand, was used as this is generally regarded as a person's signature, and because it is the peaceful hand; whereas nganhthirr, the right hand, is generally the first used in anger.

Then the artist and the story-teller sat down to document the event. They had to find a symbol they could paint to represent the story. So in a cave close to the handprint cave, they painted a big fish to symbolise the good decision made.

The reason they painted a fish is because when fish are swimming they sometimes turn and reflect the light. This is called gandal. Light has always been the symbol of spirituality, where good spirits are found. Darkness is where the bad spirits linger. So the reflection of the fish reminds us of how we should be accepting of all people, regardless of skin colour or culture".


Cooktown & The First Reconciliation
The Aboriginal Family: Moieties & Marriage
Yirmbal, the Creation Story

www.guurrbitours.com


This is what Willie and Judy wrote to me:"Wil - Wonderful to see all your lovely photos again, and to know you remember your time with us. We remember your visit well, and hope we'll see you again some time soon :) Stay well and happy. Willie & Judy".




13 comments:

George said...

This is a marvelous story. It makes the acceptance into the clan both special and meaningful.

Shooting Parrots said...

I like the idea that the handprint represents her shadow and that it is our shadows that prove our existence.

The Weaver of Grass said...

How sad Wil that we have lost such a lot of this sort of thing - it has a specialness which is lacking today in many aspects of life.
The colours in that bottom photograph are absolutely wonderful.

Sylvia K said...

Such an incredible story, Wil! It does indeed make the acceptance into the clan very special! I, too, like the idea of the hand print and our shadows! It is sad that we have lost so much of these kinds of things. Thank you for sharing such interesting history and your incredible photos! Hope you have a lovely weekend!

Sylvia

Vicki Lane said...

Thank you, Wil -- a wonderful story!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Thank you so much for sharing this lovely story Wil. I enjoyed your first post about Willie Gordon so; I am glad to have the follow-up. What an honor that you are able to get to know them (and that they enjoyed meeting you just as much!)

Deli said...

Very interesting and touching story :)

http://www.stepsonair.info/the-hill-of-our-past/

Dina said...

A very touching story, Wil.

Jim said...

Beautiful artwork.

zongrik said...

what makes the wall look so shiny or slimy?

Oakland Daily Photo said...

Thank you for this fascinating post.

Marie said...

I love this story so much! The Aboriginal people of Australia are fascinating, and I am glad they are retaining their important and rich culture. Willie seems like such a great person!

Kay said...

This is such a beautiful story of love and acceptance. The photos are beautiful as well.