April 4, 2018

Totem Pole

This totem pole stands at the Mansfield Visitor Information Centre. It was created in 2008

Eel trap

Eel trap

 

Bundjil and Waang shield

Bundjil and Waang shield

 

9 clan shield

9 Clan Shield

The two moiety totems of the Taungurung people are Bundjil (Wedged Tailed Eagle) and Waang (Crow). Bundjil is the creator spirit of the people of the Kulin Nation: he carved figures from bark and breathed life into them: Waang was often seen as a trickster’

Aunty Judy Monk-Slattery

The story of the carvings by Taungurung traditional owner Michael Harding

The first shield as you look at it from the entrance represents the nine clans of the Taungurung; Budhera-bulok (Bundjil), Leuk-yilam (Waang), Mummum-yilam (Bundjil), Naterrak-bulok (Waang), Nira-bulok (Waang), Waring-yilam-bulok (Bundjil), Yaran-yilam (Bundjil), Yiran-yilam-bulok (Bundjil), Yawang-yilam-bulok (Waang). As you can see at the end of the name of each clan there is the name of the moiety or skin group (Bundjil–Wedge Tailed Eagle) and Waang (Crow) for the particular clans. There are nine symbols on that shield that you’re looking at, of which five are red (Bundjil) and four are black (Waang) these are the symbols I use to represent the clans. The reason I’m showing you the different moieties/skin groups is in traditional times before European people came here these were the way in which our old people organised marriages. It is a paternal society that works something like this. The Elders of any particular clan would get together and organise marriage and a Bundjil clan person could only marry a Waang clan person, and the women of either of these groups went to the man’s clan country to live (if she was from a Bundjil clan, she would marry a man from Waang clan and go to his clan country). The shield on the opposite side represents the wings of both of these birds with Bundjil having red wings and Waang having black wings. The Eel trap was made by the late Aunty Joyce Moate who was a basket maker for most of her life and this depiction of one of her pieces of work is a dedication to her as this is her clan area. Aunty Joyce has passed on her knowledge to many Taungurung women so that the tradition lives on with our women today. Lastly this is a story that we share with you as we are the First People of the Rivers and Mountains in this area. Taungurung traditional owners who carved the totem pole: Uncle Ernie Innes, Michael Harding, Glen Innes, Tandy Annuscheit, and Joshua Innes.