Learning about, and interpreting the Ancient Lore and Legend of Aboriginal Australia is an aspect of my writing that I have studied for most of my life. One of these fascinating avenues of Australian Lore is that of the Mimi people. That mystic and secretive Lore of a people who lived once amongst us and who still, today, drift through the stories told and the experiences of Australian Lore.
We have left the Kimberley and slipped into the vast region south known as the Pilbara. The desert plains here are vast, the heat is arriving, climbing each day. The humidity is on the wind that sweeps across the plains and you can feel it heavy on your skin. We are headed south towards the cooler temperatures like thousands of other travellers and locals, this to escape the climbing heat and humidity in the air now blowing on our tails.
What is wonderful about the Kimberley is the things that are hidden. The landscape is amazing, from ancient scraggy rock karst in beautiful ombré red tones to the flat sandy grasslands, now golden and baked under the sun. I have written about the magnificent boab tree, which sits following flows of water, ancient and new but I haven’t yet mentioned the gorges, those cracks hidden in the vast planes which cut deep into the earth.
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
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.