The legend of the Djaranin, or the Dark Dogs of Death within Aboriginal Lore is a legend not well known. It is however perhaps one of the scariest legends or stories told to children and adults sitting around a campfire at night. It is right up there with the hell fire of the religious purgatory and was no doubt used tin the same way as hell-fire preachers used a simialar tale to subjugate their rowdy congregations in order to extract a larger legacy, thus avoiding the hell-fire.
Wolgaru, master of the Djaranin is a Serpent, one of the Lore givers of Aboriginal Lore. He is however the judge and jury in bringing into balance the good and evil in man.
He is a dark and beautifully powerful serpent who moves through the night like a spirit of revenge and justice. He is also the serpent and Lore giver for those who keep the balance between good and evil in their society, he is the serpent of the Kadaitcha Men; but he is not a servant, he is the keeper.
One of the few institutions of the colonial era that did address a social problem prevalent of the day was Point Puer, at Port Arthur Penal Prison. Young boys and men were seen to be in an insidious position when they arrived into the colony as convicts. Some as young as 9yrs old were exposed to the worst of social constructs, abuse and ill-use as convicts, this particularly in the penal settlement of Hobart Town where the majority of convicts were first sent. This problem of unassigned boys and how to deal with them was considerable .
Unlike the young girls who were quickly assigned for reasons addressed previously, as well as being placed into service as domestic servants, the boys were unwelcome and viewed as a drain on the penal system and so Point Puer was developed. It was no holiday for the young boys and young men but it was a improved arrangement which often gave them skills and training they badly needed. Some of these skills were of course questionable as can be seen in the wake of the bushranging era of the mid-late colonial era… many of these bushrangers were early inmates of Point Puer.
The Gooyorn is often depicted as a bird, a creature of flight however the form of the Gooyorn is not what is important. What is important is that the Gooyorn are helpers. They are an assistant of the Wandjina and can take a form that best suits their needs.
The Lore of the Wandjina is the Lore in which the Gooyorn exist. It is a Lore as ancient as the land itself and quite possibly the oldest continually existing Lore or Religious following on Earth. It is the beginning in the story of the Dreamtime and as is told, the Wandjina is a creator and giver of fire or light and believed to be the most ancient Creator Spirit of the Dreamtime. The Wandjina are said to have come from the sky and therefore are often identified as the Sky people, however there are those legends which say they emerged from the sea but could this have been the means by which the Creator Spirit arrived into the country of the storyteller in the time of the Dreamtime.
The question of Australia as a race of people is an interesting one. Just what makes up Australia as a race? Many would say Aboriginal Australia is the only race in Aus that could qualify as an Australian race and I would disagree. It comes down to just what makes the term Aboriginal relevant. What is an Australian Aboriginal?
The pic I have used in this article here is of an Aboriginal child. I know for a fact that this child is Aboriginal, in fact her Grandmother is a Traditional Owner and her full siblings are more Aboriginal in features as well as fact.
We are not talking traditional Aboriginal tribal people, very, very few of these people exist if they exist at all in today’s world and if they do exist … why would they join us? Anthropologists will tell you that the traditional tribal Aboriginal race ceased to exist in its purest form in the 1930’s. Today there are near half a million people who see themselves as Aboriginal and many more who can claim aboriginal descent but also have what is largely a convict ancestry from the Colonial Australian era.
I often hear, as you do, about Women’s rights in todays world and despite the great distance we have come in the last century we still have a long way to go before women are truly considered as simply human, aside from skin colour and prejudice with all the privileges and rights equal to the other gender of our species, mind you this is only an opinion constrained to our species. But that is not entirely what I want to bring to you this week.
Instead I would like to bring to you an understanding of how far we have come. Women in history, within different cultures have enjoyed varying standards of equality if any at all but largely they were a possession of men, be that husbands, sons or fathers. They were once equal to a trade or social commodity, particularly in our more common patriarchal social structures which we are mostly exposed to. This is also an opinion constrained to our species. In other species it is the male who courts and competes for the female commonly and it is the male who protects the female and offspring… we went terribly wrong with some of the males in our society didn’t we? Perhaps we shouldn’t mate with those lesser males ladies, but that is another posting. Perhaps this is why there are so many single males around, we might want to play with them but we don’t want to necessarily marry them.