Archaeological studies currently show that Aboriginal people have been in Australia for at least 60,000 years. This long history gives rise to a culture and belief system that is intricately connected to the land. This connection to the land, in turn, helps define and identify Indigenous Australians.
All aspects of Aboriginal culture are full of legends and beings associated with the Creation Period, or Dreamtime. Each tribe has many Dreamtime stories, often with a lesson to be learned or a moral tale that revolves around animals, plants, and other beings. These stories are told to children, discussed around campfires, and are sung and acted out in plays and dances during the times of ceremony.
When an adolescent progresses through phases of initiation, they learn the more important, senior and secret parts of these stories, and this knowledge is reinforced by the acting-out of more secret-sacred rituals, songs and dance.
An important aspect of Aboriginal spirituality is the belief that every person has a totem. “Totemism” describes the relationship between an individual with a plant or animal species, or a condition or a situation. Groups may also have a totem. A group totem is ancestral and traceable through a descent line in the language group.
A totem serves as the symbol of, and companion or protector to, the relevant person or group. The Wanaruah People take their totem from the Wedged Tailed Eagle.
The land of the Wanaruah people stretches from the Liverpool ranges in the north to Wollombi in the south and east from Sandy Hollow and Merriwa, across to the western fringes of the Barrington tops.
We, as an organisation, would like to acknowledge and pay our respect to the traditional custodians of this land The Wanaruah people and to pay respect to elders both past and present. We would like to acknowledge ALL Aboriginal people of this area.