Wominjenka is a Promise.

Wominjenka is a Promise.

Wominjenka is a Promise

Womenjenka is how to say hello to one another in the Wurundjeri Woiwurrung language. The Wurundjeri are a tribe of first nation peoples whose land surrounds the Yarra River – Birrurang.
Woiwurrung is the language spoken by the Wurundjeri, who originally comes from the Yarra and they are a tribe of landowners that are a part of the Kulin nation of Victoria.

When we are welcomed to country we are invited to share in a promise to protect the land, the people, the animals, plants and waterways and uphold the lore – the way of nature.

Bundjil – The Eaglehawk

Bundjil is the eaglehawk and the creator spirit of the Wurundjeri country. Everything you see on country; the mountains, the sky, the plants and the valleys, the people and the animals comes from Bundjil, who is now in the Dreamtime.

Waang – The Black Crow

Waang is the black crow. Waang is the guardian of the waterways. Waang keeps the river Birruang flowing, and keeps watch over the animals and spirit of the rivers.

Disclaimer

None of our content, including information provided by external resources is meant to replace professional medical advice or intervention.

The views and opinions of third party resources included in our posts are not necessarily the views and opinions upheld by Horatio's Jar.

If you happen across something on our platform that may have been disproven by a reputable resource, please let us know.

Copyright Horatio's Jar, 2021, All Rights Reserved

Wurundjeri Woiwurrung and Garrong – The Black Wattle Tree

Wurundjeri Woiwurrung and Garrong – The Black Wattle Tree

Wurundjeri Woiwurrung and Garrong – The Black Wattle Tree

Acacia mearnsii – The Black Wattle

Yellow screams optimism

Spring is coming, it seems, as the warm sun finally shows up to burn up the blanket of grey that smothered Melbourne for what seemed an endless winter. The sun, so missed, finally burned brightly over us and the Yarra river shimmered under the midday light.

Wattle Universe

This year, like last year, has been challenging for Humans. And the sun for me arrives as a welcomed friend I have missed for too long. It is late August and a full sunny day in Melbourne; the bright light and warm air have elevated the mood of everyone. I can feel it. There is optimism in the air that good things are to come.

I crossed over the bridge to my place, and hedging the narrow walkway of the bridge and paths was the unmissable Carnival of fluffy yellow blossoms that exploded from nowhere. Everwhere were voluminous clouds of thickly packed gold wattle. A whole universe of yellow had consumed the bush overnight.

Whoa, I thought! Wattle season exploded out of nowhere, and what I remembered to be the cool coloured leaves of gums and wintered trees was now painted over in supercharged bright yellow.

The bush, heaving a multiplicity of yellow blooms was intense, and a tiny part of me wished it wasn’t all so yellow.
Still, it was gorgeous and different, and it made me consider whether this was our version of the Cherry Blossom festival in Kyoto, Japan.

Perhaps our wattle explosion is just as extraordinary?

The Black Wattle, Why?

The Wattle trees are a dominant species of tree and shrub in Australia. Also known as Acacia trees, there are about 1600 species in the land Downunder and 160 native to Victoria, 16 of which appear nowhere else in the world.
Recognisable by their fluffy bright yellow pom-pom like blossoms, the acacia trees have an irregular shape to them, the leaves can be ferny and refined, with soft green-grey colour ( in the case of the Black Wattle, The Silver Wattle and The Golden Wattle), and the blossoms can be intensely golden or pale yellow like the Black Wattle Tree.
Other species of Wattle bush have prickly pointing leaves with woody stems, leaves similar to eucalyptus and sometimes very prickly and thorny.

Garrong – The Grandfather Tree

It is not advisable to eat the gum of any Acacia – they can make you very unwell. I would advise guidance from a bush tukka expert or botanical expert when exploring edible plants.

To the Wurundjeri people, the Black Wattle is Garrong, the grandfather tree.  The Wurundjeri view Garrong as the symbol of their grandparents who have passed; it is a sacred plant in their culture used in a multitude of wellbeing practices and ceremonies.

The Black Wattle is a significant natural resource to Wurundjeri Woiwurrung; like many Acacia trees and shrubs in our country, it has medicinal qualities and practical purposes.
Our Black Wattle has gum that can be eaten as a treat, used in tea for medicine, and the sap is also an excellent adhesive. The bark is used to make woomera, spear and boomerang and is sometimes turned into a poultice to heal wounds.
Many Acacia wattles, including the Black Wattle, are traditionally used in smoking ceremonies to help relieve pain, fever, migraines, stomach upsets and rheumatism. The Acacia is also used in smoking ceremonies to purify the spirit of a newborn baby and to calm the nerves of hyperactive minds and rambunctious children.

The wattle is a food store for birdlife and people. It houses the edible Witchetty grubs, bleeds edible gums, the flowers are to flavour teas, and the seed pods are used to make flour.

The seeds from the plant’s pods are collected are ground to make flour, and the amber gum, which blisters and oozes from the cracks in the black charcoal stump, is edible, medicinal and practical. Not all wattle and Acacia are edible, and the ones that are, are not always palatable and sweet – they are purely restorative.

 

Disclaimer

None of our content, including information provided by external resources is meant to replace professional medical advice or intervention.

The views and opinions of third party resources included in our posts are not necessarily the views and opinions upheld by Horatio's Jar.

If you happen across something on our platform that may have been disproven by a reputable resource, please let us know.

Copyright Horatio's Jar, 2021, All Rights Reserved

The Witchetty Grub People & The Manna Gum – Part 2

The Witchetty Grub People & The Manna Gum – Part 2

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are warned that this post contains names and images of people who have now entered the Dreamtime.

Thank You

I hope this project transmits the wonder and joy I experience when I am alone on country. To the Wurundjeri Woiworrung of the Kulin Nation, thank you for keeping culture alive.

Thank you for the wisdom and knowledge you work so hard to protect. It is acknowledged that it is for our benefit that we keep the fires of our Indigenous wisdom alive. Our very survival depends on it.

The Witchetty Grub People – Part 2

Wurun Djeri

As I look over the gulley where the river, Birrarung glides through, I see a landscape dominated by the silvered trunks and slender green leaves of the Eucalyptus viminalis. It is late May, and the gums have blossomed with creamy yellow flowers that fall all over the ground like small confetti. The birds get drunk on the sugar of the blossom. They squawk and haggle on branches low enough I can about touch them if I tried. Lorikeets with their distinctive brassy voices fight pole position on hollowed logs, and I laugh at them, and they look at me, heads titled and call out to mates nearby to come and check me out.

We are the land.

For a race of people whose experience of identity is inseparable from the land in which they come, it is no wonder then that the Wirundjeri tribe of the Kulin nation (Melbourne) take their name from the Manna Gum and the grub that lives in and around the tree trunks.

“The Wurundjeri People take their name from the Woiwurrung language word ‘weren’t meaning the Manna Gum (Eucalyptus viminalis) which is common along ‘Birrarung’ (Yarra River), and ‘djeri‘, the grub which is found in or near the tree”. –https://www.wurundjeri.com.au/our-story/ancestors-past/)

The European colonists named the White Gum Tree the Mann Gum – Apparently, Manna was a sweet tree sap collected by Israelites in the Old Testament, and the tree is a symbol of conservation and sustainable living to the colonists. To the natives of Melbourne, it is the self.

For the indigenous clans, the Eucalyptus is important to the ceremony, Welcome to Country. It is significant to the Wurundjeri as it represents who they are.
Wurundjeri Woiwurring people are the people of the Manna Gum, and the tree binds them to their ancestors and cultural wisdom. It provides them with medicine and healing, food, protection and natural resources.

The Witchetty Grub

The Witchetty Grub or Witjuti Grub is the larvae of several wood-eating moths in Australia.

This rather large grub is a staple in the diet of many different native Australian groups across the country and apparently, the cooked version is crispy chicken on the outside and raw egg in the middle.

No comment!

This image is supplied by the National Library of Victoria. – https://aboriginalhistoryofyarra.com.au It shows Wurundjeri men dressed in hunting gear and holding spears.

Disclaimer

We provide resources selected on their relevance and believed authenticity, but we do not hold responsibility for their accuracy.
We are not responsible for fraudulent or inauthentic claims made by external resources.

The views and opinions of third party resources included in our posts are not necessarily the views and opinions held by us.

A huge effort goes into creating each article, blog, activity, artwork, and video. The desire is to make sure the information included in our content is useful, meaningful, and honest. If you happen across something on our platform that may have been disproven by a reputable resource, please let us know.

Copyright Horatio’s Jar, 2021, All Rights Reserved

Wurundjeri & The Manna Gum

Wurundjeri & The Manna Gum

A collage of my daily life here on the bend of the river.

The Witchetty Grub People – Part 1

When I first arrived at my new home here on the bend of the brown river, I wasn’t exactly in good shape. You could say, my spirit had gone walkabout. I was sick, mentally and spiritually. I had no connection to anything, and it had been that way for a very long time.

Welcome to Country

For the next few weeks, take a walk with me through the place of the Wurundjeri Woiwurrung. I will help you to see what I see as I walk the banks of the ‘River of Mists’. It is where I have begun to learn what it means to have a place ‘on country’ here in Melbourne and how it finally feels to be connected to where I live – from the ground up. This place is where I have started to heal my spirit through a connection to land, to ancestry and nature.

From bush medicine, and edible weeds, the Manna Gum and Birruang, I will show you what I know so far to be –  Wurundjeri.

Welcome to Country!

The Manna Gum

It was the blue, grey-green of the eucalypt, the Manna Gum trees that soaked up my attention the first time I stood there on that river. It was February of 2021, and it was only two weeks into my new life here.

Speckled with tiny creamy bush blossoms, their salty bark and perfect colour palette drowned out the noise of the industrial world in the background; as I zoomed into the trees like a camera does , I was enamoured.

I inspected the textures, the smell, the details and the life attached to those trees nearly every day for two months. My hyper focus on the landscape,  the colour of the gum leaves and the smell of the trees and the warm earth began to dominate my subconscious.

I would come home in the dark from my new place, write and paint, and closely inspect the pictures and film I collected from the small world that was now my own.

At night, alone in my apartment, when the world was silent, my mind would go quiet with it, and I would dream of the gum trees. I would wander to the forest over the road from me,  following the ridge along Birruang like I was hypnotised. All I would see were the Manna Gum trees and heard the word ‘Wurundjeri’.

It was like this weeks on, I would dream the Manna Gums and hear Wurundjeri, and I wanted to know why?

 

We are the Land

As it seems, Wurundjeri are Manna Gums, the people of Wurundjeri land take their name from them.

The Manna Gum, or’ Eucalyptus Viminalis’ is a ceremonial symbol of the Wurundjeri Woiwurrung ‘Welcome to Country’. The Manna Gum is sacred to the people of this land, it represents their connection to their country and to the River of Mists.

Perhaps my dreaming was the beginning of my welcome to country, as there was no Wurundjeri Human available, it seems as though the trees had done it instead. From understanding one word, Wurundjeri I became much more connected to this place. From then on, the small patch over there which hugs the curves of Birruang (the brown river), became my place. And I love that land now as home.

To the Wirundjeri Woiwurrung thank you for keeping culture alive. With the deepest respect, I hope this body of work will help to educate the people of the world, about the wealth and beauty of this land and its traditional owners.

Disclaimer

We provide resources selected on their relevance and believed authenticity, but we do not hold responsibility for their accuracy.
We are not responsible for fraudulent or inauthentic claims made by external resources. 

The views and opinions of third party resources included in our posts are not necessarily the views and opinions held by us.

A huge effort goes into creating each article, blog, activity, artwork, and video. The desire is to make sure the information included in our content is useful, meaningful, and honest. If you happen across something on our platform that may have been disproven by a reputable resource, please let us know.

Copyright Horatio’s Jar, 2021, All Rights Reserved

The Night Sky – There is so Much to Discover

The Night Sky – There is so Much to Discover

The Night Sky – There is so Much to Discover

The night sky is our very own library in the stars. The stars and planets, galaxies, and cosmic dust are our ancestors, mythically and realistically. You see, we are truthfully made from the dust of stars.

We first learned how to live in harmony with the earth by reading from the stars. The stars and the constellations that stayed fixed in the sky from the dawn of time were and are the keeper of records, time, history, and memories.

our people, before the written word, or even language, lived a life governed by the forces of nature and the cosmic maps. By reading the planetary guide we learned how to farm, how to read time, to navigate the world, and learn our place in it. The cosmos and our starry guides are what initiated the greatest of all human endeavors, our journey back to them is still our most triumphant. 

 All we have learned since the beginning of human existence until now – started in the stars. 

Orions Belt – The warrior in the night sky.

Orions Belt – is a very easy constellation to be viewed almost anywhere in the world. For us Down Under the best place to look is 45 ° North West – best seen on a summer night.

Disclaimer

None of our content, including information provided by external resources is meant to replace professional medical advice or intervention.

The views and opinions of third party resources included in our posts are not necessarily the views and opinions upheld by Horatio's Jar.

If you happen across something on our platform that may have been disproven by a reputable resource, please let us know.

Copyright Horatio's Jar, 2021, All Rights Reserved

The Milky Way – Our Galaxy of Stars

The Milky Way – Our Galaxy of Stars

The Milky Way – Our Galaxy of Stars

Our very own city of stars, 170,000 light-years

“From once we came, we shall return”.
Emily Rack

Which one Are We?

There are two main types of galaxies, the elliptical and the spiral galaxy.

We are supposedly a spiral galaxy. We can’t take a picture from space to prove it; it would mean we would have to travel 129,000 light-years to capture it. Meaning we would need to travel 100,000 years to cross it.

“In March 2019, astronomers reported that the mass of the Milky Way galaxy is 1.5 trillion solar masses within a radius of about 129,000 light-years, over twice as much as was determined in earlier studies, and suggesting that about 90% of the mass of the galaxy is dark matter.” ( From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milky_Way)

Where exactly am I?

The Milky Way Galaxy is our home, our own metropolis of stars, all 200 billion of them.

The Milky Way is one of the billions in the universe, and not all are peaceful and life-supporting. Galaxies are places of cosmic drama and unimaginable forces that play out the birth-death of reality. Our reality only exists because of sheer luck. A unique combination of chemistry and energy, intelligence and forces outside our understanding coalesced and gave life to the universe.

My Place amongst the Planets

A sky exploded with glittered stars and scintillating planets, flickering and twinkling on a blanket of deep interstellar indigo carpet.

Dusted with the shimmer of billions of galaxies, seemingly a fingers width out of reach, a milky, dreamy cloud of sparkling wonder – The Milky Way, my galaxy of stars.

This is my home, this is where I am from.

Disclaimer

None of our content, including information provided by external resources is meant to replace professional medical advice or intervention.

The views and opinions of third party resources included in our posts are not necessarily the views and opinions upheld by Horatio's Jar.

If you happen across something on our platform that may have been disproven by a reputable resource, please let us know.

Copyright Horatio's Jar, 2021, All Rights Reserved