Possum Skinned Cloak / Smoking Ceremony / Tarnuk

Uploaded by parliamentofvictoria on 22.07.2010

CAROLYN BRIGGS: And wearing the possum skin cloak that day was significant. It gave honour
to showing our clothing and also showing a map of our country. The symbols on those cloaks
were designs of our ancestors showing the pathways that they had traveled, or their
journey that they travelled through their country. The presenting of that cloak to the
Governor was giving a gift, a gift acknowledging that he represents all people of this land
and particularly the first people of this land. It was recognizing that we could offer
a symbol of a gift-giving back to our Governor that represents the law of our lands.
The fire, the ritual of the fire is significant to what we do, every culture in the world
has fire or smoke as a cleansing process. That process was to acknowledge nature, nature’s
way of cleansing. So we would put in the barley which is like the… what represents or barley
represents or the cherry balah represented the children, because it needs host trees,
it’s a parasite, it needs the energy and it needs the nutrients of other trees to be
able to grow, so that represents our children, so that’s placed into the fire. Then the
kile or wattle which is iconic to Australia, the green and gold, and that provides us shelter
and food and it’s all that is bound from that tree the wattle and there’s many types
of wattles, the diversity of the wattle or the acacia and that is put in and that represents
our family. And then the eucalypt or the manor gum, there are so many different diversities
of that as well. There is wherever you are in this landscape you are going to get different
types of the eucalyptus tree and that represents our community and the diversities of our community.
So that is part of why we acknowledge nature as a part of the cleansing process, and the
smoking, the clearing of all resentment and anger that people may, or frustration that
people may feel when they’re coming to something that, and acknowledging that we had rituals
when we honoured guests coming in. The tarnook was also a part of the ritual as well where
it held the water and it was offered to the person to take the leaf as a part of their
passport and their safety for a journey through our country and that was a law that was created
many thousands of years and that’s Bunjil’s law to welcome all guests to country.