In early June 2016, Taungurung Clans Aboriginal Corporation received a phone call from Rural Housing in Seymour about a smoking ceremony for a house they are managing. There is a local family living there; a couple with five children, the mother passed away in the house and they wanted to organize a smoking ceremony.
I decided to do the ceremony with the whole family present. So, in late June 2016 I commenced the smoking ceremony for the family and the house.
I used my Snow Gum Coolamon and collected some sticks and gum leaves from around the corner on the property. When I arrived I covered Coolamon with sand and started the fire. Once the fire was going I explained to the children what the ceremony was for – to cleanse the house and family and to release their mother’s spirit so she could return to her ancestors and RIP.
After I commenced the smoking ceremony with the whole family, I then went into the house. While I was smoking the house, I felt a certain feeling about halfway through the house. I felt heavy chested, however, it was a good warm feeling which I cannot explain. I suppose it felt like ‘when you are on Country doing something close to your heart’. When I finished the smoking ceremony of the house and property, I had a yarn with the family.
Kelly’s father really appreciated the ceremony. He said this has been great for the family to finally see Kelly’s spirit released back to her resting place and back with her loving family and her Ancestors. He also said there needs to be “more of this (smoking ceremonies) done” because this is a way to bring families closer and to cleanse the house for the next family to move in – a cleansed property to start their journey.
I would like to say I felt good to be able to be a part of this and to know I helped the family. This is a part of my job – I love being out there in the community and playing a part in showing people that TCAC is still strong in our culture.
I think doing this sort of spiritual smoking is a great way to show the community the connection we have with Country is still strong, vibrant and alive in us as Taungurung people.
Told by Shane Monk – Taungurung Traditional Owner