The Mimi People – The Spirit Lands of Australian Lore

mimi paintingPeople of the rock, the Mimi are a spirit people of Australian Aboriginal Lore. They bought to Man the knowledge of painting as well as cooking and showed man how to harness fire. Fire is a purely physical need. It is the need for warmth and an instrument of physical comfort and survival. I first heard of the Mimi in childhood legends and was fascinated at the tales that could be found only in campfire Lore.

While trying to uncover the secrets of the Mimi People in my research there were things, which I had to understand that were intrinsic to their natures. Firstly they dwelt where many men can’t go and they were a mischievous people. It is said they live in the rocks, or between the rocks, as they are a tall and fragile people who are so fine in appearance that they ‘waver in the wind’.

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Ghosts, Shades and Creatures of the Underworld

Shadow creaturesAs an Author much of my life has been plumbing the depths in research. Having always had an interest in the paranormal and supernatural, seeing it as an 3rd and 4th dimension to our lives and our world, I have  always had a drive to discover more. It is a world and history that science largely ignores but which philosophy often dabbles in.

As an Aussie I was delighted to discover as a child, the realm of the Australian Spirit Creatures and that of the Underworld, often identified as the Dreaming… an area within the realm of the Dreamtime. That Australia has an Underworld comes as a shock to many despite the fact that it is the most ancient of lands. Our continent is riddled with the caverns of the Dreamtime, places etched by water, wind and volcanism such as Jenolan Caves, Undara and the vast caverns of the Oondiri Plains to name just a few.

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Touching the Dreamtime

Eagle dreamingLiving in the sub-tropic coastal fringe on the east coast of Aus… albeit a sketch an a bit inland, we are busily now welcoming the arrival of spring and it is glorious. The flush of spring colour in the gardens, the fruit flowers on the mango tree promising a great crop. Soooo…. hoping the bees are busy.

While the Northern hemisphere is sinking into their winter we are busily emerging from ours and if the weather patterns are anything to go by it is gunna be a hot, wet summer. For Aussies, summer brings the Wet up north, the time of floods and cyclones of which we get the end of as they bounce down the eastern seaboard. This also brings a new step, a corner on the horizon for an author. New thoughts, new projects and new ideas particularly as you have rounded up old ones over the winter months now passed as I have.

Screen Shot 2013-09-20 at 3.40.39 PMI love the storms, adore a good electrical storm with fires the air and is a magnificent display of mother nature’s power, as much as I love a new idea or a good plot. It is the storms, which cradle the legends of the Dreamtime and there is nothing quite like sitting on the Kakadu Plateau and looking out over the vastness of the wetlands while different storms travel across the land. Yes… your view is so very vast up there in the Outback that you can watch the storms individually, they are like actors on stage yet in different plays performing for the privileged.

I adore the legends and myths of the Dreamtime, those that touch the reality of our lives and help mould who we are.

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An Aussie 4×4 Wonderland

Screen Shot 2013-02-08 at 12.13.39 PM copyI enjoy a good adventure, I really do and this month I have just released another edition of The Around the Campfire Tales and travelogues. This is a popular little series of stories of travel available in e-book and print available at Amazon.com, and they are a very different approach from other travel books. We don’t explore the best prices, or the best motels etc. but it is about the adventure of the trip and it is a candid account. They are a collection of campfire stories and recounts and ‘Cape York’ has to be one of the most Adventurous tours in the series.

Trying to explain the adventure of Cape York in Far North Queensland is impossible. It is wilderness, it is vast and it is a place like no other. It is a wilderness that is undefined and which offers adventures in the bucket-load without even leaving the confines of the vehicle which is why the 4×4 driver loves it so much. Touring the Cape York wilderness is like visiting a theme park, you line up for hours on the best rides (equate this to travel over corrugated roads) and then you have the ride of your life!

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Australia : An Ancient Land – An Ancient History

As an Aussie I get frustrated when I hear the comment that Australia has no culture or history. Or at the most a history that is only 200+ years old. I love history and it is a love that was engendered after I left formal education because the education system in our country focuses only on the history of the Northern Hemisphere with a smattering of English colonial thrown in… Kings, Queens and Dynasties. Something which I find I can’t relate to at all as I don’t identify with a social strata or class. I am simply Australian along with 22 million other Aussies of many creeds, colours and beliefs. Me and mine have been Aussies for hundreds of years and many generations.

I have had the opportunity to travel broadly, both within Aus and overseas and one of the most frustrating things I found in the history of places I visited in the Northern Hemisphere was that their history was so recent, barely 1,500 yrs old. Beyond that there often was zitto, now that is truly what could be termed recent. I have come to realize that when history is spoken of, people tend only to refer to the last few thousand years, totally ignoring everything beyond that, which is amazing really when you consider it. There in my dilemma lay… I don’t relate at all to what people generally consider as history.

Looking out over Central Australia

Looking out over Central Australia

I find history in rocks, in ancient shoals, even in trees, which bear the weight of hundreds if not thousands of years. I look at a windswept rock formation and see a remarkable history that has looked-out over the land unchanged for tens of thousands of years and I take pride that our first Australians looked after the land so well, they understood it, and loved it well. I enjoy the isolation and remote places that have born witness to millennia of man treading across his country. I examine ancient rock art closely, which is the remnant of families settled around a campfire and the entertainment they took, or the ceremonies and stories they told as they comforted and amused each other and paced through their daily lives.

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Free-camping around Aussie Land – Where Tourists Never Go

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Cape York, Far North Queensland

I love to travel, particularly travelling about Australia. I truly love to get out into the bush or the Outback, set up camp somewhere where the skies are open and the sounds of the wilderness are all about me. Or where the sounds of the bush are a constant carol and the shade of great trees shelter you, and every other creepy crawly, hoppy or slidy creature around which you can hear move in the whisper off in the litter of the earth, deep in the forests of this land.

Burial site

Aboriginal Rock Art

Having not long come back from Mount Moffatt on the Carnarvon Plateau of central Queensland having revelled in the ancient Aboriginal art sites there which are some 25,000 yrs old, older than the last ice age, I am fresh with the want to head out again. I loved visiting these story sites created by ancient man, which are as breathtaking as the magnificent rock formations created by nature and which were simply amazing.

One of the best things about travelling around Australia is one of the things most tourists to our continent and country never see. I always thought that this was strange that tourist and holiday makers never generally understood where the essence, the spirit of our land really slumbered. Hidden as it is, silent and well away from where people gathered en-mass and where it is not so easy to go.

Most people head to the coastline or the cities, or better still a city on the coastline, including most Aussies but the best of the country won’t be found there. You will not find the true spirit of Aus. in the body of people roasting their skin under our harsh sun on the crowded beaches of golden sand. Nor will you find it commonly in the many tourist places where tour companies and groups will take you. They serve tucker there that is more often haute’ cuisine and fine dining representing many lands and cultures and as lovely as it is, this is not what I know as a Aussie experience.

These places frequented by tourist serve food that is not simply good and filling pub-grub or camp-cooking served from a well used camp-oven which is dangling over a roasting fire beneath a crystal dark sky. The places where tourists generally frequent are what commerce has made of Australia and many people do enjoy such delights quite happily, including me at times.

Natural Arch, Mount Moffatt Qld

Natural Arch, Mount Moffatt Qld

The real essence of Australia (not the industry) is where there are few people, where the horizons are vast and often bare or even rugged and endlessly mysterious. It is where the silence all around you is so deafening that you are left only with your own thoughts and the thoughts of what few companions you may have with you. It is where laughter fills the air along with song and poetry and the laugh of the kookaburra or the crack caw of the crow or cockatoo greets a crisp dawn and heralds a glorious sunset. This is the best part of Aus. and few visitors see it.

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Wild Colonial Sons of Australia

I have just returned from the Rooftop of Queensland, having spent time toasting my toes around the campfire at the delightful Mount Moffatt. We camped in what is part of the Carnarvon National Park, up high on the Consuela plateau where the Maranoa River is born and we explored the ancient lands of the Bidjara People.

The Roof of Queensland

The Roof of Queensland

I have visited the Carnarvon National Park many times over the years but this was the first time I could sit with the wild birds and animals, amongst the towering cyprus pines and gums on the high plateau for more than a short time. It was glorious!

Our days were filled with exploring the ancient campsites and art galleries of the Bidjara mob, photographing and documenting stencils left on sandstone cave walls in ochres of red, yellow and black along with rock etchings of the burial sites where the tribal people of the plateau buried their dead in a rich social and ritual life for near 20,000 years.

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