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High on a hill and out of sight she waited for her mans return,
she waited there for Bennelong whose friendship white men had not spurned
and faintly in the distance she could hear some church bells pealing
as white sails billowed on tall ships, back from whale hunts and sealing.
The ironbark smoke from the Cammeraygal clan campfires scents the air,
as children's laughter echoed when two boys - a noisy naughty pair
of mischief makers raced through camp, yellow dogs barking at their heels
hoping to win some tasty leftovers from their just eaten meals.
The flesh of wal-lu-mai she'd caught that morning tasted fresh and sweet
enough were caught to feed her clan - for they were now quite out of meat.
Barangaroo was a provider, round the harbour quite well known
as in her simple wood canoe - she fished, and always all alone.
The shadow of the land was mimicked in her brown and dusky skin,
her nakedness worn proudly was the only dress that she was in;
and painted up with white clay with a roo bone piercing through her nose
she was a first nations woman - a woman strong, and yet composed.
She died in 1791 after bearing Bennelong's child,
His grief was inconsolable - his grieving unrestrained and wild.
Cremated with her fishing gear - Barangaroo's ashes were spread
beside the waters where she fished - Circular Quay is her deathbed.
Barangaroo reserve today, a lush green space with paths and views
sits alongside the water from where modern vessels start their cruise.
The shingle beach at Millers Cove was where Barangaroo would come
to unload her fish one by one into a purposed coolamon
Enjoy peaceful contemplation, reflect on the maturation
of this country we call home, blending all colours in one nation.
Recall those who came before. Sit upon the sandstone stairways
share the same views that they did - honour their culture, and their ways.
Barangaroo was an Aboriginal woman from the area around North Harbour and Manly. She was a member of the Cammeraygal clan, who were considered to be the largest and most influential group of the Eora, the Aboriginal people of the Sydney coastal region one of the Cammeraygal clan who lived in and around the north harbour and Manly.
Wal-lu-mai - snapper
A coolamon is a traditional carrying vessel with curved sides.
see some scribbles here - http://scribblybarkpoetry.blogspot.com.au/
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- He crouches, and buries his face on his knees,
And hides in the dark of his hair;
For he cannot look up to the storm-smitten trees,
Or think of the loneliness there -
Of the loss and the loneliness there.
to Little Jika Jika -
- Little Jika Jika! All the darkies like her , in her Sunday dress and pinny,
With her wattle blossom and her joey possum. She's a little piccaninny.
She lives outside Benalla with her father, Doutta-galla,
Who eats snakes for breakfast till he's pale.
He kills them with a waddy, and devours the head and body,
And little Jika Jika eats the tail.