PICTURE: Munibung Creek is in a bad state at this location downstream from Pendlebury Road, Cardiff.
Creeks of our lives – not just channels and drains
Whether we acknowledge it or not, there are creeks in our lives. Just like the arteries and veins in our bodies so there are creeks that carry the life blood of any nation – water – across the landscapes within which we live. In cityscapes we don’t pay much attention to these vitally important aspects of the terrain; hidden away – closeted – as they are in our quest to pave and pipe the land to make way for houses and hard surfaced streets.
So we will feature waterways in future issues of Munibung Musings, consciously recognising them in a small way as being significant parts of the landscape. The intention is to honour the role they played in Indigenous culture and the role they play today in spite of our seeming denial that they even exist.
One of the unfortunate aspects of the denial of flowlines and creeks is the way we describe them. In the case of Munibung Hill most have no names at all. Many are deemed drains or channels – belittling their importance ecologically and socially. Munibung Creek falls into this category. It is doubtful if anyone living in the Munibung Creek catchment has any knowledge of the creekline – where it is visible – running through the suburb on her way to join Winding Creek in Cardiff. More often than not, streams and creeks are often seen as an impediment to development and the expansion of suburbia.
For Indigenous peoples they were part of the storylines. Just as ridgelines were the site of tracks, so waterways played a similar role, connecting the highlands with the lowlands, the hills and mountains with the lakes and sea. They were sources for drinking water and food; a place where many native food plants were abundant.
(This story was first published in MMM Issue # 13, October 2020)