Significant Taungurung Sites

Mt Buller

The late Taungurung Elder Aunty Judy Monk was interviewed as part of a project on Mt Buller in late 2008 on behalf of Taungurung people. Aunty Judy Monk has stated that the ‘low ground’ was for food and the ‘higher ground’ was for food as well as traditional ceremony purposes. What has been found in the high country Mt Buller and Mt Stirling are a lot of scarred trees known as shield trees. Aunty Judy also states that ‘there are a lot of artefact scatter, where Taungurung people sat down and worked the stone to make spear heads’. The following are quoted by Aunty Judy Monk.

The Taungurung clan called Yawang-yilam-bulok (Stone dwelling people) inhabited the area along the Goulburn River as far as Alexandra, through to the Howqua, Delatite and Jamieson rivers and the mountains like Mt Stirling and Mt Buller that shed their waters into those rivers. On the mountains there were small marsupials, alpine plants such as yam daisies and the plentiful Bogong moths were important food sources.

Ceremonies would take place when Bogong moths came in, there would be a lot of negotiations and corroboree and business taking place between the clans during those times of plentiful food.

As summer ended, fire was used in a calculated way, ‘to regenerate tucker’. It was also a tool used to ensure that when they came through in the next season, there was plentiful food.

In the early years of white settlement, the Delatite was called the Devil’s River, a name given by the early settlers, ‘because they’d hear the Yawang-yillam-baluk having a corroboree and they’d think it was the Devil down there.

Aunty Judy Monk-Slattery

Marnong (hand) which was the word given for Mt Buller

Darby, J. (2008) Mt Buller: The Story of a Mountain, tsm publishing, Victoria

Uncovering more Taungurung sites, particularly in the high country, the sites need to be recorded. Once identified, the sites are recorded on a state wide register held by Parks Victoria and Aboriginal Affairs Victoria and protected under state legislation.