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Yarns Parai

Cultural stories of the Lower Hunter region
An exhibition at Museum of Art & Culture, Lake Mac, By Soretta Fielding
Munibung Hill is one of the featured landscapes in this study. 

On the eastern side of Lake Macquarie there is a stone circle design with an eagle flying above symbolic of the Eagle Hawk stories.
Located on Munibung Hill the stones are a circular erection of about 5 or 6 feet (1.5-1.8 m) in diameter and 2 or 3 feet (60-90cm) high.  Legend is that they were brought there by an eagle-hawk.

 There’s an audio of the eagle-hawk story on Munibung Hill.
Words spoken by Saretta Fielding.

Munibung Hill was also a site where rocks for tools and a special stone were found to make yellow ochre.  The cultural quarry is presented through the stone-axe imagery.


Living with Country – wilderness myths
We are not separate from the world around us, writes Micheal-Shawn Fletcher

‘Wilderness’.  For many, it conjures up images of pristine, wild landscapes untouched by humans.
But increasingly, the term is being recast, as environmental records show that our understanding of ‘wilderness’ is a relatively recent phenomenon — and one that reflects Eurocentric ways of seeing.
Michael-Shawn Fletcher, a biogeographer and descendant of the Wiradjuri people, has been working to understand what lies beneath these layers of ‘wilderness’. He does this by way of drilling down into “lakes, swamps and soils”, to see what drill cores reveal about pre-colonial land management practices      .
Aboriginal people in Australia view Wild Country—”wilderness”—as sick country. Land that has been degraded through lack of care.  Aboriginal ideas of “wilderness” are in direct contrast to the romantic notion of “wilderness” as “pristine” or “healthy” that remains a powerful narrative in conservation efforts across the world today.

Human impacts on the environment are almost always viewed as threats to ecological health. But this framing ignores the fact that Indigenous and local peoples have been actively creating, managing and maintaining most of the Earth’s landscapes for thousands of years.

MMM … Issue 25, November 2021