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I find a definite correlation between megafauna sub fossils and the presence of Early Aboriginal cave man both in Port Alma and Mt Morgan. Their sub fossils and mega fauna and their artifacts exist in peat Bogs of Port Alma and both ancient human sub fossils of some similar megafauna species exist in the sediments of Dee river Mt Morgan. Most other sites I have explored besides Port Alma and Dee river all have evidence of Paleozoic fossils as part of decoration or the item in general. Most sites of recent disturbance exposure are much primitive artifacts like large axes and scrapers though Mt Morgan has some fine more intricate spears and marbles these areas are to me to be of late Pleistocene time of megafauna.
Scientist confirm Aboriginal people live in village type stuations.
Colonialist always have preached that the Aboriginal was a chiefly a nomadic people which I believe was some self justification to deny the land ownership for pursuit of mining and grazing .
This is far from the truth they lived in small communities with stones marking all areas which either gender were not allowed like ceremony places. First settlers only saw the rocks as a resource for building had no idea of their significance in the Life and Religious cerimonies of the first people's.
Most other excavations around Australia show that hafting technology was only introduced some some 5000 years ago, before then it was more of making stones into scrapers and graver's for the sharpening of spear points.
This type of quality shale and good red shale's is rare in the Dee river rocks of metamorphosed Devonian mud stone sediments this would have been remnants of an ancient Brachipodia fossil at one stage, it still has part of the notable flat side of cast fossil.
One can work out simple now the right angle cutting in the rocks as in rock far left it is definitely suited a large club of pick with handle . One can only assume maybe the game they were hunting was very large and needed a large tool to bring down.
Evidence of microliths or mouth tools however does suggest hafting or the attachment of stone or bone head to spear and one has found them in the Dee at a couple distinct areas and Bouldercombe quartz area. In Paleolithic material terms the Aboriginal was more impoverished than his northern European cousins, there was no horned or tusked material flint and similar grained rocks were rare. Quartz and quartzite type rocks were abundant but knapping them to produce any sort of ornamental artifact was rare. One can assume what was simple and worked suited the job good enough. Maybe the energies were spent carving other rock Ornaments like marker stones and round ceremonial stones. Some of the larger Marker stones would have had to have much more organisation as a people other than the tribes that were there when settlers first arrived. To get such scale of organised thinking the Race of People would have been much larger and more organised.
Evidence of this finest percussion cutting is found among shale and quartzite round the Dee river rocks like this usually has an edge where the last couple chip offs were made. large number of perfectly triangle rectangular and square rocks are never formed by random hitting in any erosion rounded surfaces from rolling only.
Northern territory aboriginals of some areas did do a good effort as shown in next photograph.
Collection of artifacts from the Northern Territory. items received with inheritance from family member one Adventurous Explorer my Uncle David.
The Mine cleaned up large areas of the Dee river here in the once Gold mining town of Mt Morgan two meters of polluted over burden down was removed past the coal and 1900 period glass sedimentation layers in the banks. Areas of parts of the old Township where Aboriginals lived near the railway was exposed after only a half a meters of soil removal evidence of glass made artifacts were exposed. Two floods bought more erosion exposing more mega fauna and Aboriginal artifacts from upstream with only hope of finding lighter items caught upon the slower part of flow of any river the outside after any rain event. Now it has been turned over too much to ever do a successful excavation but surface specking is still fine after heavy rains for some artifacts one has recently found the Diprotodon atlas vertebra and some nice ancient coral. The lighter smaller artifacts get ripped away with each flood as they are obvious the lighter of objects other than the sand moving further downstream some sub fossil bones are only found in the sand area's now but have found some caught behind a rocks and debris.
This collection of rocks are all been cut some straight edges so many angles nothing that normal river erosion would have done. Eroded rocks are rounded and smoothed edged most of these are pointed to sharp edged. This is not the original bottom of the river this is the 2 meters of rocks and gravels from up stream that has moved downstream seeing that's what gravity and water flow do when the subsequently original stream bottom is removed.
My first collection of artifacts and bones comes from under most of this overburden which now mixed with rubbish from the early and recent township. But after rain one can be lucky to find the fine made mouth tools or the odd bit of ancient bone. One is always now wishing some flood event for a decent find. Only problem with flood events one has to move his search further downstream as all the small and lighter objects are moving the direction faster.
One has always noticed many stones cut to some specific shape with the fossils being used in a feature of it's design and wondered if these were toys that were given to the children like dolls some do have some sort of facial recognition in the design or animal like the one left looks like a platypus shape.
Even has the possibility of being a club stone of someone of importance like the Rain Maker
These are also fossil evidence of ancient times right one a 450 million year old sponge similar to Port Alma and being used to enhance the appearance of the item.
Rocks were carved to represennt animals of the persons totem.
These seem to be from of an age of enlightment where perfection was part of the artifact making procedure, this I call much organised creative activity which seems to be irrevant in the tribes that inhabited the land when settlers arrived . Creativity as an individual was frowned upon as the Elders who controled the Laws set down, one had to operate as a collective unit for survival of the tribe in harsh conditions of the day, so say all recent antropology studies I have read about.These could be a mix of resin and clay but time even makes resin no longer waterproof as they do readily dissolve after time in water.
Hence my belief that this area of river now was not back in the past. I have kept a large collection of these for some future scientific analysis finding a Heritage interested Scientist is such a difficult thing in a day when all people can think about is Gold above knowledge. None of these type objects can ever be found now due to all the floods as they were the first things destroyed by just heavy rain, evcavation after the Government cleaning was the only way I got these.
Ion Idress documents a lot of information about children toys in the Living Stoneage dolls that were created out of cooked clay and painted with ochre maybe that is the answer to the structures though Aboriginal people didn't ever create pottery as any records show toys and decorations for ceremony. Children were all very inventive they made a wheel which they pushed around with a stick and a scooter type play item used to skid around on mud flats like skiers. Balls were common pay items Ion's observations were most Aboriginal children preferred to go around with a small spear practising their throwing skills.
Australian rules Football has it origins in the Aboriginal game of Marngrook played by the Gunditjamara people of Western Victoria. they played the game with a stitched up possum or kangaroo bag stuffed with charcoal and the highest leaper to grasp it got he highest marks.
Elders were always edging a dare as were the children as they grew up like who could climb the tree the fastest, duelling, ball games of throwing a skin coated rock at each other and practising to get out of the road fast was a Kalkadoon game. wrestling, swimming competitions, under water swimming contest, endurance of pain and memory test.
Sometime they would go above what their parents or elders would advise like who was game to slide down the huge crocodile slide. All skills needed to survive in the harsh environment and grow up strong fast warriors practise was important, during Ceremonial piercing and other Initiation ceremonies one had to be strong and not flinch or cry or else one would wear the weakness of character all of ones life.
The Children also learn for stories of heroic warriors and women with hero status that had sacrificed their lives to save their children from the bite of a snake or the jaws of a crocodile. the story of the tribe walking through the desert in time of bad drought and surviving to find fertile grounds. Such deeds were made into Corroborees to be sung and thus emulated and to be remembered for generations.
With the camp fires burning all of the day the children helped in some wood collecting chores carrying item's of the hunt for mother in the afternoons played games around with some tree's seeds making them float and twist in the thermals of the smoke.
Children copied the adults with body scarring and tattoo's of things of nature like leaves and flowers was done with a lot of sharpened hot sticks and a small fire patterns were burnt in by another child and cool ash was rubbed in, scarring each other with stone knives then rubbing with ash was common ones appearance to be strong and put up with pain without a flinch was the sign of a brave warrior.
Young girls of eight would be held down by their mother who would have a ranting ceremony comparing her breast to the fruits of a tree becoming ripe and would put two cuts from breast to breast with a stone or shell knife this was treated with ash of acacia and emu fat oil these magic cuts were to urge the inner life of her breast to quicken and swell happily. Other cuts were performed across the stomach of lot of the women of the western tribes it was best to look strong for her strong warrior.
Fear was never shown in the ceremony to the sight of the knife and the Ion Idress wonder in his studies if it was all lost in the haze and daze of rhythmic music and dance to self hypnosis.
Self and assisted ritual scarring was in a sort of meaning as civilised societies men go to acquire medals one carried a lots of ornamental scarring as proof they are strongest.
Only one type of fear could be shown without shame and that was the fear of the supernatural, this took on a few forms from that of the Anger
After the first removal of overburden from the Dee river by the State Government Department people DERM which was a bit over two meters down than the original in a few fine sediment areas I found uncovered had numerous bits of bones with the cooked clay like structures only a couple burnt pieces of bone were found and the others were all carved the shape they are in which does not really indicate a place of eating or even burial more like a residential area or camp site where people sat around and told stories about the ornaments they had. It seems to be a deep patch of sand near rocks could this have been sand near a river the fact that water destroys the burn clay items doesn't allow
It's sound feasible to me if the parent is busy trying to dig yams and the child needs some distraction to keep the child quiet, a stone or carved bone with a face design of fossil or carved representation would act a toy.
The Coastal Aboriginal race didn't spent too much time on food collection or even spear making perfection it was hot most of the day and time was spent socialising, children played and the Elders had their Ceremonies be it for rain or initiation or the sake of just having a party, even the children and women played their own ceremonies while the men were of at their sacred grounds. There was only a constant need to go collect food and water in the harshest of time's for the West of the Dividing range where less vegetation grew. Coastal peoples really had a larger more diverse variety of foods to the drier western areas so were able to store grains and smoked fish to vegetables. Coastal tribes used the water ways at trading zones where one was free to travel with good for trade. Usually some decorated warriors went ahead as people to announce the news in their decorated dressage they were not threatened by the other tribes and treated with respect of as important messengers of the Elders. Western Tribes still were very organised to hunt in the cool of the mornings and the rest of the day might be spent if not in ceremony then catching fish at the permanent water holes which were a meeting place for all the tribes in the area very much a sacred neutral ground.
There was not this we eat all of food at once attitude as most Early settlers thought there was not any real studies into their lifestyle habits because the land was more valuable than lives of some person that resembled a savage.
One has discovered lots of areas with Artifacts around Mt Morgan township, areas around the Range behind the mine, behind Range area at Boulder creek, down south to Bajool, Marmor, Gladstone Shale Oil area, and a Couple of Bowen spots and find same design in marker stones and tools used by the tribes of Aboriginal people in all locations.
Large stones like above would have to be some sort of grinding stones or ceremonial stones one could not imagine swinging something like this in a club.
The marker stones are large heavy items such as the rocks that would have been the head of a club though a lot have a large club shape. This let me to believe this was much more of a large Civilisation of a robust people up to 7ft some of these items would have required a lot of strength and mutual co-operation to create.
Mass mutual co-operation on a large scale should be looked at as a civilisation, but lack of studies by even present day Heritage Museum people is just snobby intellectual laziness.
A description of the Kalkadoons at first contact with Europeans
Ye Primal tribes, Lords of this old domain,
Swift footed hunters of the pathless plain,
Unshackled wanders, enthusiasts free,
Pure native sons of savage liberty,
W. C. Wentworth Australasia 1823.
Kalkadoon western Queensland tribe men were large people would not think that was just an isolated pocket of evolution even especially with the harsher conditions than the coastal tribes.
With sometime just enough food resources survival of the strongest and the fittest built a much larger man than the coast
One could think this as a rough Club stone or a core stone small sharp blades were chipped off.
Large areas of rocky ground now unerathed by mining and agricultural clearing shows large tool marking factory area's
This real co-operation must be a sign of Central Governance and Organisation more than what first settlers had ever realised.
Some of the areas in the mountain ranges have various granite Long rocks, my assumption is that these site's must have been occupied by Aboriginal tribes much longer before the first white settlers as these are barren dry places now with little places of permanent water and would only been a place of hunting not habitation. It doesn't always mean the hilly country was this way always though as Cattlemen and miner has changed the landscape, climate so much with extensive clearing and reshaping the land with their bulldozer's lots of small springs would have dried and disappeared altogether.
Most Aboriginal tribes because of their size relied on a reasonable supply of fresh water some tribes populations in a small group ranged from 50 people to 500 people.
These lands part of the inner dividing range Mt Morgan spur may look untouched but that is not so except for the odd grass tree and Cycad, the tree's are all regrowth one can walk among the now existing tree's and find introduced species everywhere and some remnant stumps of once larger tree's and the odd miners claim post in the middle of nowhere.
Further over in the range beyod the area I would find 1800 glass pieces up a hill among the lage gums and grasstree's on has found this structure.
My art impresion of the Gunyah
A solitary rocky out crop with many marker stones is nearby woul also be a sourse of tool making material for mainly axes and hammer stones.
In good times large sanils would have provided some protien sustenance for the women to collect.
Grasstree resin was not only for personal use in spear and tool, toy manufacture , but a trading item with the Tribes on the lower lands. Water woould have been a problem the Dee river is some five miles away.
A lot of Gums with sap that was medicinal for cuts and wounds or cerimonial healing.
Iron Wood wattle Acacia Liguata, seed a sourse of food among the gums with smaller wattles.
Acacia Littorallis a tree that provide kilos of edible seed for a protien cake to be cooked on hot flat rocks. It grows all around the river and mountians in large amounts .
The Thorny devil Lizard seems to be in plentiful supply around the rock hills so then were the goanna's which have died out due to intrduction of feral foxes and cats.
Down towards the Dee river is still thick Lemon scented, Peppermint, Iorn bark and blood wood gums a likely habitat of Koala's at one time as these are all the type of gums it ate,
Cycad Plants grow always some kilometre away from the grasstree's one has never seen them growing together anywhere yet and questions why? The flesh had to be scrapped of the seed before cracking to remove the kernal. It was pounded into a paste that was washed for 2 to 3 days in a flowing steam in dilly bags. Then pre cooked in the morning before noon as it fermented fast on hot rocks wrapped in bark under the dirt.
The cake was then kept for journeys to cerimonies and had to be pounded into paste again before bakiing as cakes on hot rocks. some warriors ate just the first cooked cake during iniation cerimonies which made the weak and hallucinate but never real sick.
The Prehistory of Australia ended in 1788 when British colonist moved themselves and gangs of convicts to the first Settlement New South Wales it just took till the late 1800's for full detribalisation when most tribes were forced to rely on some sort of assistance from the Settler as their lands had be scourged from most of their food to survive as a tribe.
In 1788 Australia was inhabited by at least 500 hundred tribes which by some estimates total population was some 300,000 people. In coastal or river valley their density was probably pretty high one to two individuals every square mile , elsewhere immense tracts supported no more than one person every 30 miles. Some coastal tribes measured from 500 to 2000 people and inland tribes like the Kalkadoons were some 1500 in number.
Over the entire country the Aboriginal hunted, fished and gathered food run some small trade between tribes in artifacts and food. There is no records of any agriculture but there obviously at most time's enough root crops and fruits growing naturally to supply their nutrition needs. The extent of Nomadism depended on the availability of food and was probably more a reality to tribes on poorer rainfall areas west of the mountain ranges.
The food processing implements and other weapons for hunting would have made some tribal communities moving however difficult and was only required necessary in bad conditions of drought would they walk away from their camp and on any long march to greener pastures. The ill and weak fell by the side could request to be clubbed to death or remain and suffer the elements. Early European studies of Aboriginal people were very limited and reports usually say small scattered tribes and these reports were done after they had been and decimated the tribes with their disease and small patches of genocidal killings.
European relations with Aboriginals before 1870 was a wild and wicked.
Quote -When the white man came to Australia the Aboriginal had very definite systems of morals and values.They found these systems treated with contempt by the newcomers. Obviously more powerful, these newcomers could destroy the existing structure, even when they had little interest in substituting their own for it. W. C Wentworth.
For Aborigines the land is a spiritual phenomenon a place from which Culture and Religion derive, Sun Water Animals and Earth had no fences it was for the collective use of all. There were tribal border usually separated by rivers and ranges but there was readily communication between most tribes. Tribes communicated to each other with Messengers with carved sticks before any Trading or Ceremonies were held. The painted messengers were allowed to freely travel tribal borders as their only purpose was delivery of good news. The most important of all Ceremonies was the bora they celebrated the great Father spirit known as Baiame who with with his son Dhurramulan
( Names given in Victoria were central to all Aboriginal Mythology just names varied for the spirit ancestors some other tribal area's .
According to Mytholoy Baiame created the first bora , he is given credit to shaping the world and giving laws to his people. He is the sky spirit who was on earth during creation but returned to the sky. His son Dhurramulan spirit enter the tree's and the voice of the Sky Spirit could only be heard in the sound of the noise of the Bullroarer carved out of the tree. It was only bought out in initiation ceremonies for the younger men. the bora stone ring circles were sanctuary from evil spirits during such ceremonies.
Important men warriors of elder had their graves beside tree's and usually inscription of their lives engraved into the tree's.
The land was the Mother to them special significance extended far beyond the mere supply of food and water, Myth, Religion, Dance and Song were associated with features of the landscape to which they belonged, this meant the past and future were all linked to give meaning to their present.
The tree was the ancestor spirit people so there was sacred the Tribe's survival.
Land is a Spiritual thing that could not be bought or sold, land is not private property and it is endowed with magic of sun and the water with animals to provide life for the collective use of all.
The notion that fence were built to separate portions of land was defacing to them.
There were two groups of settlers one that determined the justice served out to the Aboriginal and usually the boundaries were recognised although not fenced, a trespasser could be in danger of attack.
The Aboriginal hunting economy and the Squatter pastoral economy could not coexist and groups of Aborigines resisted the intruder with violence when the settlers stock were destroying their food resources.
One group of settlers held the opinion that Aborigines were not entitled to be looked on as fellow creatures and consequently adopted the cruelest and harshest treatment to them. The second group viewing with horror, the inroads made into the possessions of the natives, spoke of the colonist humanitarian duties to their ignorant but innocent brothers. there is ample evidence to substantiate Bartlett's observation of the conflicting colonial attitudes towards the Aborigines. #Kalkadoons.
Missionaries were encouraged by the Colonial Government and many tried to do the right thing as in their mind treating Aboriginal people with some humanity some success were achieved but there were also faults.
Roman Catholic missions were set up on Stradbroke Island at Dunwich to teach trade crafts as well as religion but this attempt ended in failure not long after in 1847.
In 1838 eleven Evangelical Lutheran missionaries arrived at Humpty Bong but Aboriginal people were difficult to control so they moved to what is now Nundah to a 640 acre Government allotted block where genuine attempts were made to instruct the aborigines in their camps among the bush in Agriculture and other civilised ways of the missionaries and even taught the Aboriginal child the 3 r's in school room situation with the white children and found them to be quick of at learning as the latter. The Missionaries thought the children would be better separated from the parents as the Parents were considered to have evil ways with their still primitive ideal's and uncomfortable with any sudden change. This bought animosity and there were constant attacks from warrior hordes, so the mission closed in 1845.
The first account of Native Police occurs in correspondence form Sir George Gipps to Lord Stanley dated Sydney 21 March 1844.
The first attempt to set up a Native police Corps was in 1836 to 1837 but it was a failure and abandoned.
The Committee of the 1861 Enquiry reported all attempts to Christianise the Aboriginals had failed. A couple Lutheran Missionaries in Queensland gave evidence that the mission had been a failure and not one Aborigine was converted during the seven years between 1838 to 1846.
The Queensland's Governments role in finding a solution to the frontier problem was negative and any positive attempts came only from private individuals but sometimes the trust was just not enough and exploited by the odd rogue element. But whole tribes suffered for the mistake or rebellion of a few.
Spenser Wills of a pastoral holding near the Nogoa river Central Queensland grew to trust the aboriginal people and left his arms in his tent and none were given to any of the workers but some attack by a unknown tribe left 19 of them dead, reprisals were quickly carried out and 30 were killed in their camp by Police and the Native corps. Some more were killed latter and other driven up a hill where it was reported they had jumped off.
The vigorous reprisals made by the Native troopers force against the Nogoa Tribes made the Squatter more confident of their status.
The Aborigine could not fine refuge in the British System of Law where all land was considered Crown land. The settler who paid his fee for the use of the land to the Lands Department considered the Aborigine as an intruder. The law also treated the Aborigine as a British subject, this meant resistance had to be within the boundaries of the law but in the terms of Settlers Law and morality the Aborigine appeared to most people as the feckless savage and could never be civilised to European standards.
The Methods applied by the Native Troopers in the reprisals could come into question the Chief officer had very little control over the troopers in any dispersal and the native troopers were known to remove the shirts of their uniforms and enter the bush with only carbines and bullets. Thus when stripped there was very little difference between the native troopers and the fleeing aboriginal people and after the main camps were attacked the
Sub-Inspector lost sight of his troopers till they returned out of the bush later after hunting down remaining peoples of the tribes.
The New South Wales government revived the Native troopers in 1842 and young Aboriginal men attracted to the uniform and the chance to ride a horse.
The Government used them under supervision to hunt and apprehend suspect Aboriginal criminals and were also to give security to the squatters as they overtook the lands from other tribes. It was customary to use the Aboriginal police corps men from one tribe to be sent and made to work in a enemy or rival tribes territory, this guaranteed much harsher treatment to be handed out.
It was the duty of the Native troopers at all time to disband large groups of Aboriginals such as meetings there fore meaning Ceremonies also. The Officers would therefore see the necessity of teaching the Aboriginal people that no outrage or serious crime would be committed without impunity retributive Justice shall speedily follow any commission of a crime most time's leading to killing their fellow tribal members .
Also one of the reasons troopers were consigned to areas away from their home tribal grounds.
This led to a lot of indiscretion and self appointing by the Sub-Inspector in the interpretation of the terms Aboriginal crime, retributive justice and dispersal. When the dispersal lead to mass slaughter or just a murderous raid no one knew except the Sub Inspector.
The Officer usually a Sub Inspector was Law to himself as he patrolled the Queensland frontier, he had control of a contingent of native troopers who were handpicked and strictly controlled. Evidence from the Aborigines who were being repressed was inadmissible even with a lot of mistaken identities as they were considered the ones doing the depredations and assaults and any report from the troopers also was not treated as evidence due to the fact they were Aboriginal and could be sympathetic to their own.
This is a document one downloaded from the net one didn't realise the extent of the atrocities just way to many to research and write about really.
The Native troopers were shrouded in secrecy, Sub Inspectors were trained to be discrete in handling of messages between his troopers and not letting any outsiders or person not connected to the native Police ever interfere with the works of the troopers , accompany them or give orders of any kind. The Sub Inspectors would hardly forward reports to the Commissioner that would incriminate themselves with any wrong doings among his detachment. Some 'white' opinion was critical of the Native Police The Queenslander commented in 1880 that how many in the colony knew the meaning of the word dispersal. If as a Colony we should indulge in the wholesale murder at rate lets us have courage in our opinions and murder openingly not deliberately and call it murder.
A dispersal was in fact a cover word for indiscriminate killing rap and child braining. Most times the dispersal was on grounds that were highly doubtful. I don't think they can understand anything but shooting them Says a Lieutenant Wheeler and he further asserted he would waste no time seeing if a bullock had been speared or not.
Because the native Police had experience with firearms they were given jobs as guards on expeditions by prominent people and escort duties to a lot of miners in the North Queensland and gold exports out of the north. They helped facilitate the over land telegraph in the north west and cape York as Aboriginal people were stealing the wire to make spears points for fishing and the insulators for spear heads for hunting large game.
They were to guard the cane farmers of the North against attack and the Stockman from loosing his herds, the Native Police in some ways did contribute to the well being and development of the colony of Queensland. By the 1890's most southern European settlers had their Stations well established and Aboriginals were kept on some in slave conditions as they were force out of the bush by starvation to more abuse and harsh treatment by a lot of the station owners who kept them on rations like some sort of slave.
The first Colonial Government of Queensland decided to legalise and retain the existence of the native Police in 1863 as the Squatters resisted the disbanding of the Corps. There were other alternative given one was the British forces could be deployed in the frontier, another was a European troopers assisted only with trackers. The Squatters opposed the abolition of the native police because they had limited the attacks on some of the runs in areas patrolled in New South Wales.
The Pastoralists of Queensland were worried as the Aboriginals were not respondent to civilised ways and European charity and were know to return to their tribal ways .
The non acceptance of Aboriginal evidence in a Court of Law was supported on the grounds that the Aborigines as a race were given to the worst forms of lying and treachery many trumped up charges were dealt with in the courts of black men raping the squatters women. some squatters such as Ewen MacKenzie of Kilcoy station was know to be handy with strychnine in the flour.
Not all squatters were harsh on the Aboriginal people there were many that sympathised with their plight of starvation on their lands and demanded the Government provide rations and work for these people, like Haley of Kingaroy and O'Connell of the Burnett district in 1860's, however the squatters voice was only a minority and went tragically not listened too.
Native troopers were enlisted for a certain period and were not expected to leave before the end of their term. There were many deserters and most were hunted down and killed though it was customary to just have them listed as missing in any reports given to the Government. After a period of five years they were usually sent back to their tribal area's but if they were considered good they could be signed up for an extra 5 years some 10 with a special bonus. Northern tribe men were cohered with grog and tobacco to leave their tribes and join the corps. They enlisted as cadets and with training weaned out who was good and not, those not were expelled from the force back to their tribe to be rejected by other tribal members. Many reach the ranks of Officer and Lieutenant but they were responsible for their own discipline and many were attracted to drinking in excess some ended up in other confrontations with members of rival tribes while others suffered severe alcoholic illness's.
Tragically out of ignorance Aboriginal people were killed as a sport, Dame Mary Gilmour recalls how as a young girl she was staying on her Grandmother's property when she saw a hunter from an unsuccessful rabbiting expedition come upon an Aboriginal man and his wife bathing he raised his gun and shot the woman then when the Aboriginal man went to his wife aid he was also shot. How many Aboriginal people were shot this way no one would ever have known. Most clashes between Settlers and Aborigines seen the Aboriginal pushed to the other boundaries of his survival frontier.
In early Aboriginal and European history it was not the Christian missionary that first came in contact with the Aborigines it was his dis-possessors, the squatters and their men. These men on the spot and doing most the killing and dispossessing of the Aborigines, were the most ready to deny any humanity.
The Squatters and the Aborigine were striking at each others economic nerve centre in a situation that could be described as economic warfare. The Aborigine of Queensland fought as their social and economic conditions allowed and was noted for some success's. Jacob Lowe stated that the killing of fourteen whites in the Goondiwindi district 1843/44 had given good reason to abandon the runs. Where the European settlement was scattered and the ridges and valley's provided enough sustenance for their hunter gatherer life style they were able to wage a war for at least ten years.
While frontier violence occupied the tabloids in the various colonial newspapers of the day, attacks upon settlers properties was serious and widespread.
The extent of the Aboriginal attacks was not fully appreciated by early historians. Aboriginal resistance would have been more effectual if they had some sort of main central organisation other than just inter tribal organisation which the Kalkadoon probably had the best of all with their armed fortresses.
The number of Europeans the Aboriginal killed was hard to ascertain, two North Queensland Historians H Reynolds and Dr N Loos did a thorough search of newspapers, other records and correspondence and come up with a figure of around 400 in Central and Southern Queensland during the thirty years from 1841 to early 1870's. Some 420 to 440 in Northern Queensland between the first settlement of Bowen and the passage of the Aboriginal Protection act in 1897 .
The attacks on the Settlers herd's were numerous and organised most times completely wiped out whole herds of cattle or runs of sheep . Sheep were more vulnerable than cattle they were scattered and killed in their thousands. McIntyre Aboriginals near the Maranoa speared 75 of Lowe's cattle in one night and eighty of the neighbours cattle the next. Two thousand head were taken after an attack on May downs Station in Central Queensland in 1866 , four thousand were driven from Lanmark Downs in 1867 while another two thousand was being driven of Fort Cooper North a month later.
Five thousand were run of Camboon Station over two days in 1858, while Corfield lost eight thousand in three attacks on his Wide Bay Station in 1850. Over a period of two months in 1870 one hundred cattle were speared on Hinchinbrook station. Those squatters that were lucky to escape such massive onslaughts were likely to suffer cumulative losses of stock from smaller forays on a regular basis. The cost of restocking was overheads that was expensive to the wealthy overseas investors of some of the larger stations and runs. In economic terms the Aboriginal was successful in creating some of the settler graziers to completely leave their runs from debts.
If only for more proper organisation and communication between groups of Aboriginal tribe's there would have been likely they could have succeeded in keeping the Squatters from the lands but the Native Trooper enlistment and dire communicable disease's intolerance had the cards stacked against that probability.
Queensland in 1860 was an isolated territory of 600,000 square miles, roads were only bush tracks where in some places bullock drays were only transport. During wet weather bullock drays didn't even get through the coast dirt tracks of the first highways. Bowen was established in 1861 under Dalrymple's leadership as it was an easy accessible deep water port for ships for squatters to ship of their sheep and cattle.
Selectors on the Don river in the first Township and Port Bowen petitioned the Queensland Parliament in 1872 complaining they had lost hundreds of bushels of maize in a single week and often the whole seasons stock was stolen. Farmers further north suffered raids out of hungry Aboriginal people out of the rain forest stealing whole crops of bananas maize and even sweet potatoes. Stealing as a crime to the Settler but according to ancient ritual of the Aboriginal that the food on the land belonged to all. There was a few attacks on settlers that were probably motivated by fear of the unknown. Usually most attacks were against the settler's food supplies or stock that was spreading feces in their water supplies. Townships were full of people that carried firearms as were Pastoralist, Shepherds, Miners and Prospectors. Squatters had just started their runs and very little fences were built and stock man had to rely on shepherds for their stock. Fear of Aboriginal attack made the job well paid and it was difficult to find applicants.
The lands Act of 1860 passed by the colonial Government gave Pastoralist secure tenure of 14 year lease's. But to stop speculator buying and selling as a profit the runs of a square mile had to be leased for a price of ten shillings and stocked for a year before the sale and as a result there was a large movement of stock on to runs.
The Port of Townsville was established as an enterprise in 1864 this lead to Settler movement west to the mineral rich areas of Cloncurry which was as far as to the Kalkadoon the land of their spirit as far as the eye could see.
In the Aboriginal beliefs and customs there was no migration from other lands the Aboriginal spirit had always been part of the land from when time began.
The Aboriginal people made numerous types of Boomerangs a fluted one a plain one and a hooked Boomerang. Boomerangs for hunting or fighting were made from the Gidyea tree Acacia cambagei, or Stinking wattle, found growing as dense shrubs long water courses and bordering gibber plains west of the great divide.
Shields were made out of corkwood decoration patterns were sometimes carved, burnt or painted on with red, yellow ochre and charcoal. Many other woods were used in different areas as the large shield I own are made of river red gum that had it origins in South Australia.
The design and manufacture of weapons was important more with Western tribes for portability and be multi-use items if one was nomadic it was good to be less burdened with items to carry that were necessary for day to day normal food collecting activities.
Like the Boomerang for example it was used hunting , fighting and also used for making the fire and keeping the coals in order for cooking the meal later used in recreational games. It had to be made out strong durable wood of the wattle the could afford some bashing around with very little damage. The design of the leaf shaped spear thrower or woomera (womerah) was such it could be used as a chisel, knife or an engraver and a receptacle for mixing ochre and bow for fire making beside it normal spear launching use. Clubs or Nula nula's were used not only as weapons but to throw at an animal for food one is more likely to hit the prey with a heavy ended stick than just to throw a stone, some clubs used the notch at the branching part of a tree to give a rounded bulbous look the hand end was sharp so if the heavy end did not connect the sharp end might spear the animal. The Lil Lil club was one shaped club with the shape of a wooden Axe it was used to hook around the shield and strike the opponent. some rounded head clubs were able to have a sharpened stick shoved in the rounded end to become some sort of sword.
A two handed sword was especially made in the Rockhampton district and was used to strike with the concave or convex edge. Swords were around ten to twelve centimetres in length made from a split slab of wood from a green tree and adzed down sharpened convex side with rounded ornamental handle with string to tie around wrist.
Swords were found to used in Northern Queensland around Tully river and Cardwell as some were collected by early settlers.
The Diaries of early settler usually comment on the activities of the childlike Aboriginal tribes living nearby on the edge of towns or those maintaining their camps on nearby properties. Some men who considered themselves intellectuals were interested in collecting the ornamental wooden artifacts as curiosities, a lot from early Victoria and New South Wales colonies were shipped back to Europe for Museum displays and there still remains till these days.
My nula nula and didgeridoo well no Boomerang it just didn't return.
The shield and Axe were Ceremonial items and not used in real battle's for that they always used inferior versions.or fighting poles made from the Gidyea wattle , Nula nula's or throwing sticks, clubs with rocks studded in end were used in battle and food collecting was good for throwing short distances and hitting at close quarters.
My Ceremonial Sword from somewhere in northern Queensland as I was told when receiving but exactly is really unknown and one thought it at first to be South Sea Islander in origin.
The tribe made numerous utensils, koolamons, wooden trays, (cher-to) , dilly bags ( ton-a ta), fish nets (wun-to) and emu nets (yu-pi) . They also made domestic implements and tools for primitive society they were pretty averse with their skills Native chisels, cementing substances waterbags, grindstones, narrdoo stones, baking ovens fire sticks and yam sticks, tribe's in Victoria used to have a eel farming and smoking business. Small cooperative fish trapping and selling was part of daily commercial trade along the Eastern Australian coast lines. As was the collection of shells and oysters which would be traded with the more inland tribes for items they had no real access on the coast Pituri the addictive chewing drug was one of these items. The trading routes were usually along the river systems with painted messengers always sent ahead to announce any arrivals. As in Morrill's reports of his stay with aboriginals in the Bowen area tribes were known to have large numbers of individuals up to 500 per group . This amount of people to live together self sufficient with the environment must have very organised structure and small economies from food to tool trading.
Many tool factories areas existed as not all areas especially coastal didn't had reasonable chert, quartz or granite to provide for all tribes some coastal tribes had to rely on more western tribe's for harder stone implements.
Mt Morgan Dee river was a principal place an earlier tribe as it has only been uncovered by recent mining activity. Bowen Pilot point or North heads Port Alma, have been exposed by rising sea level erosion and some of the areas down on farm areas have been cleared for stock exposing artifacts. I am sure that these recent exposures by farmers miners their erosion by digging up land have very little to do with recent tribal activity but that of some time lost from the late Pleistocene. The Pleistocene tribes can only be understood by their large marker stone production making them probably more organised than existing tribe's at time of settlement.
The stones were always important to all the ceremonies and the coming of the European with his ignorance destroyed many a sacred site collecting the rocks most with flat cut surfaces made ideal rocks for walls and foundations of their ever expanding buildings. One could say they were being offered another more comfortable lifestyle if only it was true as most seen their whole families die slowly from disease and the tribe's fragmented if not shot by the ever land hungry settler.
The influence of the Settlers in the cities and townships were given more powers in 1874 when the Legislative Assembly was enlarged with more minster's from regional areas some were considered more Liberal than previous ones giving the Aboriginal people the rights to settle on the outskirts of townships. This should not be seen as really a humanitarian type action even though a drought gripped the land , but one of the Farmer's greed sourcing cheap labour for the Sugar cane plantation harvesting.residents of Mackay were forward with a petition for the employment of Aboriginal people on cane farms.
The Governor in Council appointed in 1874 consisted of four Commissioners to examine how Aboriginal people could be employed more and make their labour available to the settlers and profitable to themselves. The Commissioners reported there was a decrease in the population of Aboriginal people due to the addition of alcohol despite Prohibition of sale to them.
They also reported some aboriginal people were gainfully employed successful but there was a majority that showed a complete aversion to any sort of persistent labour. There was an almost complete admission throughout the Colony not matter what hey did to do help the people they were doomed to early extinction.This was a very fatalistic view and the approach was to think that the only thing they could do to save the race was education of the children, one can guess that this is the idea that generated the stolen generations, this was a forced removal of the children from parents who were not deemed to be fit and proper parents under the European system of behaviour.
Aboriginal people believed that their Lives had Dreaming tracks which were interconnected with animals that each group in the tribe had animal totem. In dance rituals they would try to imitate their individual animal that had be set in time from creation by Tribal law of the ancestors. Then by totally taking the form by elaborate decoration of feathers ochre and flowers so all human form was lost.
The dance movements were to demonstrate the life of their spiritual animal totem. The decoration was such it took many hours to produce where flowers and feather down was stuck to an ochre painted body usually stuck with human blood and some sap of succulents. W.E Roths Ethnological studies among the North West Central Queensland Aborigines in 1897 recorded his observations of the Kalkadoon culture, tribal organisation, ritual recreation, travel trade and barter , the maintenance of law and order,disease , accidents and death, rainmaking, personal ornamentation, decoration domestic implements and utensils.
The Kalkadoons occupied a large tract of land in the Cloncurry Precambrian belt. the homeland was the Cloncurry ranges the waterholes along the rugged creeks and rivers that had their beginnings. To the east at the Selwyn range they met the Goa tribe, to the south Suliman Creek the Pita the north the O'Shanseey river and Seymour river border them from the Workobonga tribe and northeast Mitakoodi tribe.
The Selwny and Argylia ranges offer the Kalkadoons a refuge to retreat to long after the Pitta pitta and the Maitakoodi tribes had surrendered to the settler invasion. The ranges with their rugged nature had many narrow gorges that could easily be defended. The Kalkadoons had lots of arsenals of weapons stored in rocky Craig's and creeks if retreating to the area was essential for survival. This in itself was strategic military thinking making them truly much more aggressive than their coastal cousins.
The ecological life span of the Kalkadoon tribe was broken into two sections of land the estate the dreaming place the camp the ceremonial grounds and the range the hunting and foraging area, usually the range merged with neighbouring tribes in the hunting for food and each tribe respected the other hunters and food gatherers.
The Kalkadoons were a warrior tribe independent, aggressive and people usually commented on their physique as being larger than any coastal Aboriginals.
White Hill's owner Mrs Burke noted they were over 6 foot high and broad shouldered strong looking very fearsome looking men. Only four permanent water holes existed on their estate land and this was important to them mainly health reasons.
Settlers cattle were seen a treat to the health of the tribe adding feces to the water making it undrinkable this could have been the main reason for much hostilities.
The tribes depended on them for camp water and many of the killing that were in the early settling of the land were around these water holes. The Kalkadoon seen the settlers cattle as a threat to their existence as a tribal unit and had some organisation between the Warriors and Elders in the monitoring of the Settlers entering their lands. There were only limited water and their various forms of edible grass seeds, fruits berries and peas were all under threat from settlers stock, the Settlers guns were frightening the Birds and Kangaroos having a detriment result on the source of protein
It then can be said threat the Kalkadoon society was on the verge of European invasion as the tribes had arsenals well stocked with weapons. The rocky outcrops were the tool factories and acted as barricades. Their society lacked strong centralised leadership to coordinate it's manpower and resources to confront the invader but it's warrior qualities enabled it to resist the invader much longer than other tribes. The conflict can be seen not only as a conflict between Aboriginal and settler but one between two societies with conflicting values and cultural standards.
In December 1878 a man named Molvo with Stockman , a Campman and a Bullock driver moved up from the small township of Boulia to a waterhole on the Sulieman creek with intention of occupying two block of it with an awesome water hole .
Little did he know this was Kalkadoon sacred land the story is that the men went for a swim in the creek to cool of and the undergrowth of the creek hid a Kalkadoon war party armed with spears and Nulla Nullas. All of the Settlers were killed and were later found by a native boy from Stanbrook station and when the alarm was given the Kalkadoon warriors were excited and raided cattle on other station spearing some mortally others injured running madly round the bush with spears sticking out them.
Sub Inspector Eglington and his troopers of the Queensland Native Police arrived from Boulia and went with parties of settlers into the spurs of the Selwyn range to disperse the Kalkadoons a fight took place scores were killed but the tribe survived to fight another day. The Kalkadoon had not expected the power of the carbines against their spears the warrior was indignant to defeat and though the Paper the Pastoral Frontier in 1901 said three hundred had been killed for the next five years they proved not to be a spent force they harassed the Settlers supply lines, drove away and killed their cattle and speared any bushman that was caught of guard. Herds of cattle became that wild and nervous from so many attacks at night the Stockman had to have great skill handling them. The Kalkadoons were bold and calculating with their raids while stock men were repelling on lot of raiders another horde would be attacking on the flank and another lot raiding the homesteads.
The Kalkadoon proved that much a threat to the White Settler that the Government of Queensland Police Commissioner D. T Seymour gave the Police Officer Alexandra Kennedy a blank cheque to wage war against them.
Cloncurry in the 1800's was an isolated outpost in a wild frontier and in an effort to quell the threat of the Kalkadoon hordes of warriors the Queensland Government stationed a Marcus de la Poer Beresford to the town with his Native troopers to respond any disturbance instead of having to notify Boulia a considerable distance away anytime an incident happened.
On the night of 24 January 1883 Sub Inspector Beresford and four of his troopers were camped on a spur of the Mackinlay ranges , they had been up hunting another person wanted for some crime when they had come across a Kalkadoon party who gave up themselves as prisoners without any fight which was unusual, Beresford corralled them into a gorge with an inefficient guard for the night and through his interpreter he told them what he was going decide what to do with them them next day. But Beresford made an error not realising the Kalkadoons had cache of weapons hidden in all their gorges and during the night they attacked and killed all but one native trooper that managed to get a shot off wounding an warrior and scaring the rest away he was speared in the malady but still struggled 20 miles of rough country with a spear in him to raise the alarm.
Because of low morale of the people of Cloncurry the then Governor of Queensland the then Sir Thomas McIlwraith appointed a Fredrick Charles Urquhart and son of a military man with service in the navy to the Position of Sub Inspector first class.
Urquhart took up Service in 1883 and being highly military trained he was strict in his training of his Native Troopers and drilled his men with his Prussian venom. he rounded up all horse from every where he could and had his detachment ready for operations to hunt down the Kalkadoon. The warrior's had heard of Urquhart and were challenging him to come out to their rocky fortress's among the hills. They had contacted one of the troopers to give a message to Urquhart to come out in the bush so they would finish him like Beresford.
In 1884 a Stockman James White Powell had been mustering cattle near Carlton hills when he had taken his cattle up a wrong creek with three creeks running in one direction it was easy to make a mistake, the creek is now called Mistake creek. He had with him his Jacky Boy and that night decided to camp near the creek and nearby a group of Kalkadoon decided to camp. There was wild Kalkadoon and some native boys from the Station's among the horde as they had horses. Then during the night Powell got angry at the Aboriginal and told them to move their horse as he wanted to water his cattle which they did angrily. Jacky Boy told him about them talking about him being bossy and who does he think he is telling us the Kalkadoon to move of our land but Powell just told him to ignore it, and settled for the night and after reading at night with his carbibe light he was killed as he slept. Jacky Boy was speared but manage to crawl back many miles to Carlton Station. The word was quickly conveyed to Urquhart who had himself and the Troopers quickly at the murder scene. Powell was buried and the party went off in pursuit of the Kalkadoons who were found feasting in a gorge on Powell's cattle after a outburst of fire from carbines a lot of men, some women and children were killed, some Warriors escaped other tracked down and dispersed off by native troopers, the numbers were not recorded.
Urquhart seem satisfied with his punitive action by one of the verses he scribes
Grimly the troopers stood around
That new made Forrest grave
And to their eyes that fresh heap mound
For vengeance seems to crave
And one spoke out in deep stern tones
And raised his hand up high
For everyone of these poor bones
A Kalkadoon shall die
Urquhart spent nine weeks with Native troopers and posse's of Settlers going around shooting any of tribes they could find.
At the foothills of the Argylla range was Granada station with Sheep. Hopkins the owner of the station had a Chinese man like many of the Stations caring for the sheep while he was in town .
On returning with supplies on September 1884 he found the Aboriginal hordes had raided his place, dingoes had attacked the sheep the Chinese Shepherd was missing. His remains were later found at an Aboriginal camp some distance away.
For the owner Hopkins this was the last straw and urged speedy retribution against the perpetrators in the form of a punitive expedition. He not only wanted them to be taught a lesson but some sort of ethnic cleansing action to rid them of being left at large to cause any more trouble.
Urquhart was called to the killing with Native troopers, Hopkins gathered all the men he could, the word got out to other stations that a reprisal was being held against the Kalkadoons to wipe them out for good. Pastoralist, Stockmen and other station hands came from all over the district to take part in the punitive action.
The body of men Urquhart had at his disposal was the strength of a small company in military terms. As usual the Kalkadoon warriors had moved on rapidly but were tracked by Troopers but the Kalkadoons were observant to their tracking from the hills this they knew what was more than just punitive action and had to be dealt with so retreated to the head of Prospectors creek with they had a large stash of weapons made ready at their disposal. Pearson claims the Kalkadoons had a horde of a thousand warriors but true numbers were never recorded. The Warriors assembled themselves in the rocky outcrop at the place to become know as Battle Mountain to their cache of Boomerangs Nula Nula and Spears was substantial and the warriors organised into groups ready for the approaching battle.
The Kalkadoons had a tactical advantage over the attacker being up high to see any approaching Troopers.
Urquhart carried out the regulations to the letter yelling out Stand in the Queens Name. The Kalkadoons replied with a large volley of rocks. Urquhart and his men approached the lower slopes with a gallop hoping to scare the Kalkadoons from their defencive position but this was just met with a volley of spears and rocks.
As the slope was much to steep for the horses, the men had to dismount and scramble up the hill when more rocks were thrown at them Urquhart was hit with a chunk of ant bed knocking him out one of the troopers shot the perpetrator. Because he was so temporarily immobilised the attack had to come to a halt a temporary truce. Dead Aborigines and injured Whites lay around the hillside as the injured white were collected the Kalkadoons were yelling their tribal slang. When Urquhart had recovered he decide to change tactics and try a flanking movement with an attack up the opposite side of the mountain.The move was effective for the warriors could not organise themselves to fight of the attackers in both directions.Then unexpectedly the Kalkadoons formed ranks like well disciplined soldiers and with heavy spears carried out in front as lances advanced in battle formation down the mountain into the fire of the carbines. Under heavy fire many fell and the others retreated to the rock formation only to reform in ranks and attack again.Valorous and courageous was their actions that eventually led to their defeat and destruction, they were the strongest and bravest of all the Aboriginal tribes. The Kalkadoon was successful in his guerrilla warfare but to adopt conventional battle tactics as had the Maoris in New Zealand had was their downfall as their nulla nulla and spears were no match for the carbine.Their attack in formation was just like a charge of the light brigade and the mountain was soon just covered with dead Kalkadoons in their hundreds, this was the first time the troopers could shoot at advancing warriors and make every bullet count. Though this was a brave act by the Warriors they really did not understand the power of the Carbine but the Kalkadoons had gone down in Australian history as the only tribe to have the courage to stand the ground against the white settler in battle.
The slaughter did not stop there with the mountain Urquhart and his Troopers carried on with cleaning up operations that lasted for several days. Killing all warriors in camps they could find.and driving the few others to the outskirts of their range where they suffered severe hardship some after time had to go back to the stations because of starvation. The Battle of the Mountain was when the best Kalkadoon warriors were slain. Professor Geoffrey Blainey says the Kalkadoons in that battle were slaughtered in such great numbers the hills were littered with bleached bone of gins picaninnies and warriors for decades to come. The dis-possessors in driving the Kalkadoons from their permanent water holes and hunting ground did not realise how they were aiding the effect of detribalization.The cattle had virtually killed of all their native foods and the remaining Aborigines were forced into the stations to beg for rations for work.
With the settlers diet of flour and sugar the normal vitamins and minerals they received from their native foods was missing and resistance to ill was lost and any later killed of by diseases and illnesses of the Settlers.
The bush was becoming devoid of Native food the kangaroo was now wary and nervous from the sound of Settlers rifles. Starvation forced them came to the Stations and were given a set of clothes to wear but due to constant wearing they became filthy and were not discarded and worn when wet helping with the transmission to influenza.
Some stations had them in squalid conditions and depression grew among the people that they became apathetic to their removal of excreta and cleanliness then diseases such as typhoid and dysentery.
The frowning dwindling Councils of Old men and the savage Witch doctor did not and could not understand what was going on with the young men and women being attracted to the White Settlers and in some case encourage the Women to leave and permissions were given under Aboriginal law and the young buck who had being waiting now had to wait years longer so he was led away by the lure of money, good clothes sometimes the grog and the cigarette. A lot of the young men would return to the tribe with their new possessions of metal tools and the diseases from smallpox to measles of the Settler to decimate their tribe.
The Process of detribalisation also bought on demoralisation of the tribe, within the tribe structure an Aboriginal woman was promised to her birthright chosen warrior. Each girl knew her future partner would be and once the restraints were of the rigid tribal system were removed and lack of guidance from their totem mother's there was confusion. Now exposed to the European society where there was more men than women and the women were subordinated to the pastoral system a situation had arisen where the women could be exploited by the odd white station hands for favour of a sexual nature.
In a Queensland Government report by Meston, he stated that once the Aboriginals along the Coast of the Carpentaria had acquired a taste for tobacco and flour they would make the women available to the trader for sexual favours to acquire such items. This in some cases can be seen as more a trade for what now had become survival items from starvation which was prevalent among tribes with no range to collect food or hunt. Many cases were known of starving Kalkadoon women that were taken advantage by the Station owner's, starvation had forced many a woman into prostitution so it was inevitable for venereal disease to spread.
Venereal diseases were very prevalent among-st the Kalkadoons during detribalisation. Dr W.E Roth Medical officer at Cloncurry hospital noted it was that rife that the Aborigines had resorted to the use of the gum of the Bloodwood tree as some sort of cure, both internal boiled with water and external application dusted on as powder on the venereal sores.
The dire straits for the Kalkadoons losing their moral values and exposure to the disease not only the suffering and pain it caused to the victim but that over time fewer children were being born. The flow on effect was less children then surviving infancy. Infectious diseases such as respiratory and gastroenteritis were known to have taken the biggest toll on the infants.
The Adults were more susceptible to disease also with the European diet forced on them.
Then the psychological state of confusion mixed with alcohol and tobacco in this new foreign socio-economic system made the general populace of the Aboriginal as a whole less able to resist all western diseases.
It was noted by Dr Harvey Sutton at Cloncurry hospital in the 1890's that many a Kalkadoon came in with wounds that were obtained in general work on stations by cuts from barb wire etc from lack of experience in handling such things were becoming infected with septicaemia. All infections were on the rise generally as the true resistance and tribal spirit of the Kalkadoon was broken by the 1900's there was very little trouble from the Kalkadoons they were a broken tribe declining in numbers.
One of their arch dis possessors Alexandra Kelly had a group Kalkadoon warriors confined to their camp issuing them with station rations just to keep them surviving probably one of the more humane of the time In those days there was many a station that used of chains and shackles and worked as a chain gang only the young were allowed to roam and help with menial station chores.
The Aboriginal, Jacky boy to the European was at home on the horse maybe the fact that both were wild things of of the natural world more than European man which made them more connected to the animal spirit.
The Queensland Native Trooper gained quite a reputation for being ruthless and the best as trackers of their quarry. Their services extended borders to hunt for Bush-ranger's like Ned Kelly and others who would often live among the coastal tribes.
Tribal marker Stone , Location uncovered Dee River Near Railway station exposed by erosion from way below the coal and old waggon wheel sediments levels. Some time large stones were used to mark graves of important Elders as was the carving of trees. Burial was much similar to modern day rituals the body was often placed in a bark type coffin and buried tree carved or stone set but was avoided and not maintained for fear of spirits. Other stones marked ceremonial grounds some that most women had been taught to avoid by their totem aunt for fear of Death.
High mountain area marker stone above South southeast of Mt Morgan township in walking distance to the Dee river.
Marker stones were the markers of Elders Ceremonial meeting grounds and put in specific designs of circles depending on the rain making or Initiation ceremony.
Aboriginal tribes had no chiefs or ruler and only the loosest form of Political Organisation.Their Religious and Social values were enforced relentlessly by the older men, who also sought to settle serious quarrels and punish offences against the group. These Elders,being masters of all Tribal, Totemic law, magic and medicine, were best informed on practical matters like food and water supplies. Their law was reinforced and monitored by fully initiated Warriors who were ambitious to become one day one of the group of elders. On their hunting journeys through outlying camps during the day they would socialise and hear the gossip of the others.
With Australian Aboriginals the tribal thesis was not just old age gave you a right to to rule but the process of surviving the initiation and being a proved hunter, fighter and at same time to demonstrate the wisdom of maturity.
Because the Aboriginal people had no writing to record history it had to be remembered and the old men were the store houses of such knowledge.
The system of rule by old men worked out fine their tribal government gave very little chance for the rise of an autocratic oppressive ruler, any over zealous Elder with ideas of gaining their way was limited by others in the group.
Picture of Aboriginal tribe Mt Morgan 1903
The Mining operations were extensive by 1903 there was very little land the Aboriginal people had left to hunt or even live on near their Dee river.
Every tree was cut to provide timber for the mine
Again the marker stone and a flat maybe seed grinding plate diet did consist of a lot of acacia seed flour that was cooked on hot rocks like biscuits
Marker stone and Ceremonial stone from Mt Morgan area's mainly Dee river .
In front some axes and a large ochre stone for ceremonial paint.
Axes, spear head and Ochre stone from Old West Mt Morgan township area now Mining exploration lease.This mountain range behind mine area has many caves and littered with artifacts, one has had only twice to have chance to be able to walk there and explore. One can see how the coastal people were separated from the Western people with the rough and arid the ranges are in dry time so any meeting would have only been orchestrated in good rainfall times . Most areas of not mined land has scattered artifacts of one Tribe at one time or another and no doubt the tailing heaps from the mines have heaps.
A lot of Ferrous oxide rock Pleiosaur fossil broken into club stones and axes have been found in over burden near caves obviously dug up tossed aside in the search for gold.
Tooth hole in bone matrix Plesiosaur Familae Leptocleidae, species Leptocleidis sub species Andrews, Lower Cretaceous period.
I have people that doubt my belief that every rock on Australia's surface has been disturbed in pattern other than erosion by Aboriginal people at one time or another in the History of Australia. We have had people walking over the ground for
1 million years to 40,000 years and all they had to use as tools is rocks wood and bones so my theory sounds very feasible even the gemstones and gold nuggets were used to adorn clubs and first settlers and many people today say these Aboriginal had no use of gold,minerals and gems so we can go ahead take them all.
When miners first came to Mt Morgan they used to give a bag of flour to Aboriginal people for a bucket of gold nuggets and the books say the Aboriginal people had better eyes for spotting such items which in some sense is true they did have better vision but I am more to believe that the Native people knew every rock on their piece of land and why would they not they walked it everyday and rocks were the source of spear heads and axes.
As a Amateur Geologist I walk over lots of land and eventually I get to recognise every type of stone with notable patterns and colours and the native peoples intelligent levels were probably as high or even higher than myself.
Top-Comparisons between Mt Morgan Shale's and Bajool/Marmor Old Coach road Quartz, below Dee river and Gentle Annie Road Marmor limestone. This shape cutting is also a popular design at most other places I go, I am sure they are meant to fit in forks of ironwood wattle or similar and used as a club. If this is right the Aboriginal person that built these as clubs to swing would have to be large framed robust healthy and strong.
Long rocks as they are also known in the Dee before last flood now unknown.
A lot of these rocks have been finished of to a ultra smooth shape most have a groove in them on one or two faces maybe they were part of large club would have to be something ceremonial one would find such large item hard to swing in bush hunting animals bit hard unless you were maybe large and hunting large animals.
Another straight Marker stone made of Slag , One wonder were these just another hammer stones first made with smaller ones to chip away the bigger ones.
This one has the pick end good use as a hand tool or maybe there was the intention of being put in a club fork not realising the mine was going to take all the timber away for mine and house construction.
This one like most the items cut has character it looks to me cut to put in the fork of a solid wattle branch ,
Along either side of the river bank near the old Mt Morgan railway members of the remaining Tribes tried to survive of the merger handouts for work or what gold nuggets they could find.
After the first erosion from the mine clean up lots of glass old porcelain artifacts were littering the sand and scrapped soil areas just down from the railway bridge and station but now erosion has taken the bridge and most of the soil.
Downstream at the Old mine bridge across to now Newman oval where I had dug many small holes in the sand base just up stream from the bridge to find all the clay and first sub-fossils the good sand was washed down stream providing some bones unearthed with the erosion.Over the other side I have been told China men used to wash gold some large Chinese fan palms stands much testament to that and where the Chinese lived so did the Aboriginal as both were considered outcast by original settlers.
2015 we have a major move of a lot of rocks from the railway bridge area and beyond down more than a mile to here over the original cleaned ground, dam the erosion .
The Mine was no benefit to the natives more or less leaving them much worse of than ever before in the history of their ancestors.
The site of the Mines first power station in the 1920's the Aboriginal people lived along the banks of the Dee river here taking some advantage to of the Weir that was built to store water for the Station. Some of the largest trunk-ed gums can be found over close to the Old Assay material that was dumped in the river below could be close to being maybe original tree's.
Old Settlers houses were often built on a hill not really for the protection of Flooding but more to the worry of Aboriginal people coming directly in contact with them out of low nearby bush. With a cleared hill it was easy to spot what the settlers regarded in an ironic way as Aboriginal intruders.
The first Settlers and Miners came and used all the marker stones as terrace stones as the hilly areas first settled was sloping in most cases, terracing levelled the building blocks of and holes of old Toilet dump holes ended up their bottle and other rubbish dumps.
The land was cleared of the large Iron barks that supported a whole community of life forms food of the Aboriginal people to replaced with cattle of the rich grazer.
The Kalkadoon people of Western Queensland was one tribe that carried out a guerrilla war against the white invader, which at one time them attacking the carbine rifles of the troops with spears in garrison formation. Their unsuccessful attempt to evict the white invader was hampered but the supply of food and water and some lack of communication between large area of spread out tribes. They had a common action of slaughtering the farmers beast and having a barbecue with large bonfires just out of rifle shot range of the homesteads. In coastal areas like Bowen and Rockhampton food crops like corn and other vegetables were raided during the night and usually stamped into the ground in the process
Sustained guerrilla war was difficulties with logistics and communications between tribes and food supply for the warriors.
Acacia liguata the timber was the best with strength used by the Aboriginal People. The area used to have numerous tree's once I guess, now only the odd garden planted one remains .
Acacia liguata or Iron woods scientific name was the best timber Aboriginal people used for axes and Clubs as it is extremely hard to cut and very hard to break.
I used a four inch diameter branch of one down in Bouldercombe to winch a motor out one ton utility some 10 times never even marked the bark.
Accurate estimates of the aboriginal population of certain tribal areas is not available , Various anthropologist have made calculations of tribal size. Elkin. One scientist calculated the
membership of tribe from ranging 500 to 600, Tindale speaks of 600 but adds it might be less, Abbie estimates the Tribes ranged from about 500 to 2000. The tribes were broken into smaller groups called by Anthropologist as the horde, these hordes roamed hunting and gathering food on area's on tribal land most tribal boundaries were large rivers of mountain ranges the rivers being the most sought after trading place. The tribe was a Political and economic organisation that shared the same dialect, beliefs and customs.
The Elders form a Tribal council that controlled the food distribution according to tribal stature. Not all members of any tribe were allowed to eat all foods this was probably enforced to make sure food supplies were adequate at all time of the seasons and other totemic beliefs that come from their Spirit world .
The Eastern Tribe's were usually warring with their Western neighbours but all was forgotten for a few times a year if the seasons were good this was when they came together for corroboree these ceremonies last continuous for a few days of feasting singing and dancing.
These ceremonies were for initiation of the younger members of the tribe. These Ceremonies were important for the elders to assert their laws and traditions on the younger warriors to be. Women were not immune from such initiation ceremonies as the cutting of a finger joint with women was promoted in all tribes and was sometimes conducted in large ceremonies of neighbouring tribes together usually in the time after the wet seasons had been letting there be enough water in holes around the bush allowing large numbers of tribes to travel long distances.
Women would collect large amounts of yams and other foods for days in preparation for such events though most times a lot were excluded from attending such event but were able to view from their camps where they held their own little dance time.
Girls sometimes as babies would have the tip of the finger removed by the mother by biting it of and caressing the baby to their breast to quell the crying spiderweb and kaolin clay was bound around to heal the wound. The finger piece was kept by the mother as an omen and memento. In the ceremony it was usually tied with plated hair string removed with a stone knife when circulation was blocked. The removal of the finger joint or all the little finger was supposed to be an aid in the digging of yams it was believed a smaller deeper hole was able to be dug.
Around the age of five the young girls were brought to a Ceremony with some Elders sitting in the middle of a ring of stones and while other women played the drum one was brought to the elder who in a process put a hole through the inside part of the youngsters nose with a small bone awl the mother has a piece wood lined with lots gonna fat to put through, the fat stopped the bleeding though most time the child fainted the mother would cuddle her and stay close every few hours even in the night turning the piece of wood and lining it with fat a couple of days later the child would be showing her friends the hole and stretching to make it bigger. It was now part of her scarring to become recognised as one of the strongest in the tribe.
Children were taught a spartan lifestyle to make them grow strong to resist disease infection hunger and hardship.and were known to willing inflict wounds in each other and themselves stone knives and then treat them so the scar would heal large this was part of a strength and hardness as a Warrior test which usually started in their teens. Children or rather babies were weaned of the breast when 3 years of age it was when the wife was falling pregnant again, their food was pre-chewed by the mother for a period of time and depending on how good that chewing was done was key to the child's survival. It was noted that survival rate was not good which meant only the strongest survived which was a trait much need for life in the bush as a woman climbing the tree or a warrior hunting the kangaroo.
The Ceremonies were very much controlled by the Council of Elders and the severeness of some Initiation practises were enough to make a many young buck leave the tribe and go work for the white settler the third right of initiation was one of the most painful. The women and children were chased from camp by the elders the young men were rounded up and put standing in a round circle of rocks with the elders in another circle. A couple elders would go grab one youngster at a time and hold him down in their circle sometimes knock him out with a rock most just put a piece of wood between his teeth as two held his legs apart and another performed an operation of putting an porcupine, Echidna spike or some sharpened bone similar piercing through his penis skin and flesh. then he was quickly thrown to the arms of his totem uncles who would collect some of the blood to be put on the fire. Fine clay and herbs was used to fill the hole and he was gently looked after till the piercing had healed. The final initiation ceremony had never been witnessed by Ion Idress on his journey's but it was the piecing of the tongue to allow the Warrior to whistler. The Elders and the now young Warriors had spent Ceremony time in the bush learning the taboos and when returned to camp after the Mika ceremony were allowed to partake in meetings of elders and offer opinions for the good of the tribe not that the elders would have taken much notice being the most stubborn of beings. They could now claim nearly all the game they speared except for a portion for the lesser degree . They were also have more freedom with the women strictly according to Law of course. All the Lubras Women Folk, of course had been promised by their fathers at babyhood to the husbands according to Tribal law and personal and Totemic relationship, law born in the Dream time of the tribe to be abide to as long as the tribe exist . They already had this explained to them at time of second initiation and any breaking this law by man or woman meant death.
Should the Law ever be abandoned this would be shame to the spirit ancestors and the tribe would breakup and no longer exist. some warriors have to wait for their totemic wives grew up and had been through the degrees of initiation of womanhood. Meanwhile as the girl grew up into womanhood the warrior would give part of his kill to the father until it came time for him to claim her. If he felt in the meantime he need a woman now he could come in agreement with and old warrior who had a few wives to spare for a price. Otherwise he must live for the tribe while waiting his woman or there was the option he could steal a women from a neighbouring tribe. This was the most risky of all proposition's not only had he to enter the other tribal grounds usually at night he had to raid the women's Gunyas and steal a young woman without being killed by the totemic mothers of the girls and make it out of the camp alive. stolen women were accepted by the tribe but were given a lesser status.
The Settler Stockman was considered a clean skin as was the preferable worker from the Aboriginal by the Stockman this referred to any Aboriginal that had not undergone any of the initiation ceremonies the tooth knocking ceremony was the first and made it easy to distinguish between those that had. Those with scarring from ceremonies were given little activities and just minimal rations in squalid holding camps on a lot of Cattle and sheep stations.
This sort of relates to modern day tattoo's in a way as some of them are not only painful but to a display of prowess and individuality. The cutting and scarring was started in their teens with sharp stone knives they would cut each other and rub in wood ash to open the wound to make it a bigger scar.
At the age of 12 13 the girls would be all decorated with living butterflies beetles and small lizards glued to their hair, circles were drawn over their bodies with glued feathers and ochre. This was usually a spring time moment a time of plenty.
The young girls would be lead out the bush to dance and sing around a bunch of old Greybeard Elders squatting around a maypole thing lots of smoke was made by feeding the fire's with special smoke wood. One girl was selected from the group at a time to be held by one of the elders while the other rubbed chew ochre and spit it on the body of the girl and rubbed it in circles over her body in some ritualistic belief it was to calm and relieve the pain of what was to come also poking here with a special stick But Elder had hidden in his hair another stick was drawn out He would force the girls legs apart to wound the young girl in the pubic area after while immense amounts of smoke was created. The Young girl was then handed usually in fainted condition to her totem aunties and mother who took her off in the bush to the sacred place where they would care her wound with herbs and kaolin clay. Other women sitting around the outside the circle played the drums and the Kylie's, Nula Nula, music sticks and chanted in time as all the young girls were put through.
This ceremony reason comes from their sacred and totemic beliefs. This belief is that the by this operation the Elders of the Tribe had consummated the girl's marriage to an ancestral spirit husband. He had been her Husband or other in a previous life on earth and now at anytime while she is still at child bearing age he could be reborn again to another earth life should he wish it. All spirit Husbands are very jealous and would haunt the tribe if they did not get what was granted to them as it had be grant to the correct Spirit people from time immemorial. Should he wish to return to Earth all he had to do was wait for the girl to be married , then he would transform himself into a baby spirit, and chose one of the baby spirit groves, some quiet glen, secluded lagoon, beautiful clump of trees, rock formation where spirits congregate and play spying out on the land and waiting for an unwary woman to pass by, some innocent woman dreaming of her warrior husband. He of course must recognise the girl and having right of entry would do and the innocent girl would walk on not even dream as yet the baby spirit had entered her. By the time she had done so it had it would have become a human baby.
Thus from the Spirit World her baby would come and back to the Spirit world it would return.
Their was the presence of debil debil spirits among the spirit world and the Elders believed in the circle would protect them and the initiate as during the ceremonies
The circle was to the tribe people as a sacred place free of evil spirits and was destroyed after the Ceremony in case the evil spirits learnt of it's secret and would penetrate the circle at the next ceremony and could cause great harm to the Witch doctor and the initiate.
The womanhood initiation was to prepare the girl on her journey into womanhood to be accepted by her man
Much the same belief was held all the world over by ancient civilisations such as the Assyrians, Indians, Chinese Egyptians and the Sumerians of ancient Mesopotamia.
Women were seldom allowed to join most Corroborre's that involved the older initiation ceremonies of the young males and were not permitted to even venture on the sacred ground, if it was even done by accident and noticed clubbing to death was the punishment. The body would be burnt on site and buried, the Elders would have to move the Ceremony ground that was believed to be contaminated and this piece of ground was never used again for any such purpose. This was mainly in the case of men only corroborree's that were in action singing and dancing sometimes for many days on end .
Women had some time free to themselves but still had chores of collecting food for whole tribe especially when the singing and dancing men of the corroboree carried on for over a week at time's. The Warriors of the tribe often went hunting large game in parties at regular intervals while the elders sat round in shade when there were no ceremonies.
In the south east of Australia we have only White mans records of ceremonies James Dawson 1881 writes a broad account of Aboriginal corroboree ceremonial dressage and activities of the dance. The men had faces painted with strips of red ochre possum skin head dress necklaces of beads or Kangaroo teeth. The torso of the body was painted with white ochre, sometimes feather bracelets leaves were tied around the ankles to give a rustling noise. The Wives of the chiefs also wore red stripes of ochre across the cheeks and some flower or feather decorations in the hair and necklace. Some of the men stood near the fire clicking music sticks in times sometimes a didgeridoo player hummed a deep tune in the background. One of painted men would jump out in front of the music player's then would stretch arms and legs wide with a quivering movement making the leaves on his ankles stir up the dust around him and then disappear back in the group to replaced by another dancer after dancer all doing the same movements getting faster as the music players sped up the beat of the music sticks. This created illusion and a mystifying presence with the appearance and disappearance of different dancers connecting them with the great invisible creation spirit.
Sometimes the ochre was different colours but the dance was very much similar Australia all over. Tasmanian Aboriginals used black ochre and sometimes used tar to paint their bodies as it was so cold at times down there it probably acted as an insulating purpose at the same time. Most aboriginals wore Kangaroo skin coats and possum or koala skin hats in the cold seasons of the lowland and highland parts of Australia and Tasmania
Ion Idriess who was mining on the side of a Carpentaria river one day the aboriginal children played es practising throwing spears around , the women were collecting yams and firewood nearby some were just chattering as hunters were coming and going from the camp. Half a dozen heavily painted men emerged in a group and stood there for 1/2 an hour until a dignified elder walked forward and demanded their business. They presented documents of vividly painted sticks with lines and bars deeply burnt in both sides.
Later there was much activity in the camp of collecting feathers and paints. Several days later a group of men coming running out the bush chanting with spears in the air then with one stamp stood still with a roar of voice thrusting the spears upwards, then they stood still and quiet till one of the elders inspected them. This went on for days, while men in camp were being painted and massaged with oils. At night they sang and danced around fires to the sound of music sticks in the daytime Hunters were bringing in lots of game the women collected tubers, roots, fish, berries, honey, snakes, porcupines, lizards, possums, wild geese duck, pelican and waterhen, a large amount of food for a regular feasting. A group of young initiates men all between the age of 12 and 13 were led out of camp to a separate Corroboree ground where fires were burning in some circles and elders sat in others each having his turn of instilling his knowledge of the Aboriginal law and Dream time into the young new up and coming warriors and hunters for the tribe.
They had to learn that breaking the law was not an option and growing up to be a good hunter meant everything for the security of the tribe. This took a week then one morning the young men were herded back to camp where the women were playing the drums, music sticks and chanting with their heads down. The young dazed men stood in a group the elders sat in a stone circle and one by one they were grabbed and took inside the circle to have the elders hold them down and with a small stone chisel and another for a hammer a tooth was knocked out and with a scream from the Elder it was tossed into the fire. When all were done they tried to move back to the women but the women, mothers and sisters had to raise a branches of fire in front of them all chanting together.
The young men then knew it was the last goodbye and had to go stand in a group away from the people there they stayed under a tree given merger food for some three weeks to be known as the Sun boys. The sound of whine of the Bullroarer's disturbed the morning air and women and children ran of helter skelter into the bush with their baskets to collect food.
The Boys still in the group had been oiled by some of the elders and were now to experience the 3 degree of the Initiation with great hesitation this ceremony no women were allowed to be present only Warriors and Elders. Stone circles were constructed for the Elders and the fires and one by one the young men were grabbed and taken by the Elders into the circle where one was given the job of knocking the lad out with a rock which most times was only partly so and another grabbed his penis and with a small stone knife hacked of the foreskin and with loud blood curdling screams threw it in the fire. He was then taken out of the circle to where the witch doctors applied kaolin clay and spider webs to stop the bleeding. The young men now could not sit but squat for a couple of weeks, it was not known if any ever bled to death but the Old wise men were wise enough to know to do the operation right and not to lose a valuable warrior for the tribe. Many got septic and when the lad had trouble walking he was giving a steam cure where a fire was lit heating rocks in a small hole then put out with water and Eucalyptus leaves, paper bark sheets were laid on top with a small hole for his penis where he was thrust on top and held there for a short period of time the steam off the rocks cleaned the infections and the boys recovered. Grass trees resin and Bloodwood Ironbark sap were was all crushed and used as powder to stem infections when available oil of gonna or porcupine fat.
After the main ceremony the lads were taken a side and given two spears one from his father and other from an uncle, his first knife with paper bark pouch and was allocated a gunya hut in the camp area away from the women. They were a few day later advised they were now fully fledged Warriors with all warrior rights and responsibilities. They were now allowed to sit on in the council of Elders and were able to give an opinion , not that the opinion would be listened to as the elders were a stubborn lot. They could also add more markings to their bodes signifying they had completed the Mika last Ceremony . They could now claim more of their game they killed in hunting though they always had to donate a portion to a lesser and of course a totem relative.
They could have more freedom with women now but within the law and of course according to their totem chosen.
Ion Idress tells of a Warrior Brignor who had just received his talking with some other 14 that had been initiated. Brignor had been noisy and savage during his painful initiation but even so was brave to stand up and explain to the Elders that his choice of mate was Lilbanja. The Elders sat and stroked his beard just like one would expect of a Ruler of the people. He explained there were only two lubras Widgee for Gogodja, Warrine for Kippera, as for Brignor who desired Lilbana that was impossible, as he should know the she had long been promised to and paid for by Mangarippy, her correct group husband, who would claim her from her totemic father and Uncle shortly. Times were hard with the Settler invasion less babies were born and the Death Spirit had come and stole a lot of the women in the tribe.
Gnarled old Mangarippy was just a lazy loafing grey beard of sixty three who should have been feeding the crows a long time ago.
Lilbanja would just be another handy lump cleaning and working his camp with his other two wives till she was to become child bearing age.
Mangarippy listened to the conversation as he picked the odd louse of his chest he wasn't at all worried about what Brignor had to say it was Lilbanja who he was interested being an Elder gave him the rights over the Warrior. he had spent many hours watching her grow up and inspecting her growth through childhood he noticed she was great at yam digging and finding of the water holding frogs a cold treat in these harsh hot times he could dream of her hunting and cooking gonna on the fire for him in the future.Those sharp fingernails on the thin long fingers would find him the best water holding frogs in the dry times and the best fresh onion bulbs. He was lost in his dreams to take to much notice of Brignor's antics being and Elder he knew his wishes were protected by the other Elders who would help him guard what was his.
Brignor stormed of to his gunya where he sulked for three days he got in contact with Lilbanja through messages sent with his other Warriors companions. There was some romance with Lilbanja who also wanted to run away with him to safety of white man's country she did not want to be a servant wife to the old man with just food on his mind and already a couple of wives. Mangarippy was the most observant and when he slept there were always two other elder sitting guard watching all activities. Brignor had the other warriors over his camp in trying to get them to go on a wife raiding party into the other rival tribal grounds they were worried as their numbers nowadays were so few they knew it would not be successful. Brignor still had his determination to go get another woman and come back then live farther out on the tribes boundary. with them thinking that he was married all he thought would be forgotten by the Elder's seeing him as a happy married man then Brignor would one night do what he originally planned which was to take Lilbanja and with stolen wife go find fresher pastures closer to white man territory where thought he would be much safer.
Brignor set of in his journey in to neighbouring tribes lands after he crossed the Tribal boundary he crawled on his stomach and hid behind every wattle shrub a very nervous Brignor went to ground at every small sound after skulling along the ground for a couple of kilometers he then heard the voice of Women and children in the distance chattering as they were digging yams. When he got close he heard some of them scream and he hit the ground to hide think they might have seen him. Most were gathering their coolimons and children with bags of yams and cursing things about men. Brignor looked up and seen puffs of smoke rising from a distant hill a white puff followed by a black puff and white again and being a reader of smoke signals he knew this was the one that was warning to the women that an enemy Warrior from the neighbouring tribe was on their land. This made him a bit more nervous but no determination was lost on the plan, Brignor seeing it was along distance away wasn't going to let this distract him from his hunt for a bride e planned to be as swift as possible as soon as he had got his prise.
He seen a young woman walk past his hiding place with a baby on her hip and thought he would follow her and grab when the time was right but a cooie cooie uia uia came from out of the river nearby and he once more hit the ground. He could still hear the thud thud of the digging stick and realised it was a woman still digging yams, now this was a real woman one that would suit him well. She was just below him singing as she dug away she should have packed up and gone with her comrades but must have got lost in the moment of finding good yams. Now Brignor with a stomach full of butterflies and the eyes now of a tiger going to pounce new he had to approach with caution and ferocity. for a while he sat and admired her. Those were long legs not yet as skinny as an emu he admired their strength he knew she would be swift as her endurance was lasting as she swung the digging tool singing along. He notice her buttocks were a bit plump as were her up side but the strength in the arms in working that digging stick was what he needed to provide him with good food. He admired the mud daubed hair and the deep set eyes like a real cave girl. He was just about drooling now his face turned into a tigerest lust.
He jumped down and dropped his weapons making to much noise and the girl was quick with turning and kneeing him in the stomach loosing balance she fell to the ground with him on top of her in his agony, if she had caught him with that mischievous heel of hers he would have been withering in agony in the river. He was just temporary winded and was quick to kick her back in the stomach only to just to wind her so he could throw her over his shoulder and run but as he grabbed her ankle she was a scratching his eye's out with her sharpest nails he hung on now battering her with his head too wind her once more. She screamed with frenzied hate quickly he put his hand over her mouth to silence her but she bit it he rolled over and cursed with pain as she once more hit him with an upper thrust of the knee and another tear down the face with her talons but wary he could bite the fingers of if he wished. He had bite her on the shoulder to stop her from escaping then with some super human effort he got to lurch his knee up hit her in the stomach winding her again. She was moaning now and knew she had been beaten. Brignor took sometime to gather his breath, he was paining his bitten hand but wonder had the noise been heard though it was all gone now he knew he must recover before they came looking for him he was only a few miles from the Tribal border. He knelt over his prize admiring the firmness of the breast and realising all the blood that covered her was his own, she hissed and spat in his face and he spat right back. He tried to pick her up but she grabbed him around the knee's and bite him hard, so he quickly kneed her again winding her hard he then got her to her feet and ordered her to move in the direction of the tribe he didn't want to have to club her and carry her the three miles back. He found a light log and made her carry it to keep those hands with such nasty talons busy as he prodded her with his spear she whimpered and cursed and went along being prodded in the backside with curses in return every time she slowed down he knew haste was important . Just as they were close to the border boundary out of the dark bush's jumped a Warrior spearing him at close range enough for Brignor to be able to grab him around the throat then sink his teeth into the Warriors neck in forever tightening grip as he died. There they both died in a battle their bodies were buried at the site by other warriors. The Elders of both tribes discussed it around the morning campfire trees were marked of a Warrior's battle and the place would never be ventured ever again by either members of both tribes.The Lubra now happy with her freedom had quickly ran back to her tribe, the Kalkadoons would now keep the adventure of Brignor the man of dreams and passion alive in the stories of a Warrior as it was not crime against the tribal law to go steal a woman from another tribe it was a sign of a brave warrior.
The new Settlers offered an opportunity for many of young Aboriginal man to escape this torture and go work on the white-man's cattle property as the Aboriginal person seemed to suit the life of riding horse than some other settler stock-man they were good with the treatment of the horse.
Some ventured close to the Cities also to get odd jobs and a lot returned to their tribes as it was not their type of life and with their homecoming they bought back white man diseases that would wipe the tribe out.
Ion Idreiss writes about one Aboriginal stock man that returned could not enter his camp till someone nodded to him then when he did he had to sit alone under a tree among the dogs there were only five of the elders left sitting in their little circle only glancing once in a while at the returnee. Then when night come they all sprang on him biting and bashing with stone's, he was seriously injured with a broken leg but now had to manage survival crawling crippled the rest of his life around the tribe and begging scraps that were thrown to the dogs.
The Witch Doctor held enormous power in the tribe more sometime than the elders he controlled the spirits of the of the past and used them with bones and Portent's to cast Spells to rid evil or Debil Debil spirits for successful initiation ceremonies. The Witch Doctor was used for the dreaded bone pointing was to doom victims of crimes to death by convince them they were going to die more like some sort of controlling their minds to deep depression.
The witch doctor was responsible for the health of the people of the tribe but attendance with any severe ailment could lead to having the bone pointed and ones impending doom. One as a Doctor if he was good with his curative and spell casting he could earn some extra entitlements with food items as payments . Pituri or even sexual favours were used to settle debts. But most of the time the Witch Doctor roamed the bush doing his own hunting and sometimes he might run across a Totem relative who was obliged to share his hunt by tribal law.
Most of time he had to scrounge food if he wasn't good at his job of healing people so it was imperative that he was, he also spent time collecting spiderwebs, kaolin clay or poisons from snakes and the galls from different frogs and lizards and other items like paperbark and mushrooms. the large woody mushroom that grows on trunks of trees when soft and spongy were used as wound coverings while others were used to make poisons or induce visions.
Ion Idress tells of an Aboriginal woman bought her Husband to the witch doctor with some form of consumption. The Witch doctor painted only in orange ochre came to treat him did a dance around him spitting chewed pituri juice on his stomach then with a blood curdling scream went down and sucked a dingo's paw cover with blood out of his stomach so it was made to be seen . the man after a while got up picked up his Woman's stuff and of they wandered perfectly alright.
The Witch doctor 's biggest trick was sucking some frog, birds leg or dingo's paw from the stomach and a lot were obviously cured by some mind trick but there were those that didn't and were kept on paper bark matting and fed all different sorts of herbs and mixture's with modern day diseases that were introduced most would have died but with the typical Aboriginal life back before the settler if it wasn't a snake bite or battle injury it was simple digestive complaints from eating the wrong foods.
The Witch doctor was usually a job with not a great future as the new trainee was many a time the death of his teacher. Once he learnt the evil ways of his teacher he would sometimes use some snake venom on a spike at night and then would cut the kidneys from the dead doctor and eat the fat this was some way of inheriting the powers of his teacher. Murder was a crime which had the Penalty of clubbing to death if caught by any disgruntled Elder. The Witch doctor and Rain Maker's all had apprentices and jealousy and ambition were always an incentive to get to a high status in the tribe.
The Rainmaker was also one of the elders that had an important position in the tribe he was not always expected to attend meetings of the Elders unless it was to consult them on the weather forecast for upcoming Ceremonies or there was concern of the food supply.
He was not as feared as the Witch Doctor and in good weather times would have half a dozen assistants running around. But there was time's when those of the tribe doubted his magic as the rains had not eventuated as he has foretold . Time like these he would use some excuse like the Witch doctor was upsetting the Rain God,or the constant grumbling of the tribe itself was upsetting the rain God so the God had withdrawn the rain.
A lot was at stake with the rain makers decisions if he predicts drought and the tribe moves camp to their best water lands near the river and a flood comes and washes them away, or he predicts flood and they leave their well grassed area to move into the mountains where they could starve waiting for the flood that never comes. This was a very political job and the rain maker had to know his job so he studied the movements of the ants , birds and the plants flowering besides just the study of the sky and heat rising of distant plains. The livelihood of the whole tribe relied on the rain for the grass to grow to bring animals , bulbous root vegetables a other fruits and flowers to bare and shed seeds for the next season.
It was important to the Rain maker to convince the tribal Elders he had some power over creating the Weather so it was important he learnt from his previous Teacher the signs of reading the interactions of nature.
The Storm bird or Bush cuckoo was a noisy bird much so around time of rain say some old people.
Ceremonies were held to bring rain circles of ochre rocks were used and ancient totems were bought out of hiding places to be shown to the Rain God in hope to appease. Nature and the Aboriginal way of life ran smoothly for I say over a million years maybe some of the customs seem pagan to some of us now with our modernism rule's but balance and Harmony with Nature can be more meaningful especially when little harm is done to the environment.
Mount Morgan original township in the 1800 where most of the main hotels were was terraced into the hills behind the slag dump.
The Aboriginal people would have seen this as a valuable resource area for tool making they were quick to adapt to the lack of access to original areas of rocks as all was being mined one way or another.
Such a large resource of rocks that could be sharpened better than the rocks in the river which was taken over by the mining company or smaller claim holders of which there were many.
From Old 1800's Mine slag metal it was poured over ridge near the original Mt Morgan township near Mundic Gully it is obvious that would have been a large an organised tribe of Aboriginal people to have once broke all the poured metal and made Marker stones, Hammers picks axes and grinding plates.
They show utilisation of the available resources and a fast adaptation to the evolving situation as the river was taken over by miners from all different places the World even Chinese miners were here in large numbers some run market gardens and made terrace walls from the Aboriginal hammer stones out near Walter hall on the entrance to town. But like most Aboriginal tribes they would have been susceptible to communicable diseases. In the book Kalkadoons, lots of children and elderly died of pneumonia from being dipped in cold water by others of the Tribe when they were experienced high temperatures from such infections as measles. Due to living close to settlers they adopted the habit of wearing clothes and tended to keep wearing them even when wet a large numbers succumbed to respiratory infections.
When kept as Stockmen or general helpers on Stations they lived in cramped conditions and hygiene was poor due to Depressive conditions and outbreaks of gastroenteritis and other illness was ripe and spread among the people.
Behind the slag heap in the bush area are stonewalled terraces of the Hotels and other Businesses that existed in the 1880's 1920's some old bottle dump areas are behind what were obvious Hotel's having that era green and purple glass and in some spots I have found worked glass into knives made by Aboriginal people . The white people had come and taken over all their land close to water so there was no place to reside but on or near the dumps of the Settlers and scrounge what ever scraps they could for work or Gold nuggets they had found the change in diet to eating flour and sugar had detriment effects on their health and immune systems they were missing the vitamins they had got from natural vegetables of yams, native grass seed high protein Wattle Seed flour.
Most of their normal food had been removed by Farmers and Miners and what water remained in areas had been polluted by cattle or mining activities.
A dispossession by stealth of greed for gold being the driving force. The Government also added fire to the situation by paying miners to dig holes to find old and other minerals.
Records of first contact between Settlers, Explorers and Aboriginal groups, not frequently state that the Aborigines appeared in good health and free of disease.
Pictures from The Living Stoneage by Ion Idress show very healthy and sometimes happy people. There is certainly no indication in these early records that Aboriginal populations were disease ridden or were handicapped by widespread ill health prior to contact.
As White settlement proceed, however the reports changed and the opposite was presented- that of an aboriginal Population riddled with disease and were being decimated by it. It was noted that the diseases were mostly communicable infections and had being introduced by the settlers and flourished among the Aboriginals because of racial susceptibility (ie an inherited lack of resistance).
Others recognised that the changes in the Aboriginal conditions and behaviour consequent to settlement and partial adoption of white custom, were also likely explanations for what was happening. Dr P. M. Moodie Kalkadoons.
A piece of slag clearly showing a sharpened side this is achieved by chipping of the piece edge with another rock.
A couple of spear heads and one unfinished or had been used and end broken of the slag did not fall out of the melting pot in this fashion and I am sure the miner people didn't bother to create such things.
A slag needle along the old railway line back from Mundic gully is an important site, this cut slag has been transported there to use as fill but it all has been cut and shaped by Aboriginal people there along the track as there is abundant evidence of percussion small flaked chips among the fill that could not be produced by mine machinery means. The original area and time this slag originated and the other slag fill used down behind the dam wall will may ever be known but does produce some amazing artifacts.
Small fled of glass slag knife found near the Area on railway line with slag as fill one has deduced that this must have been made into artifacts insitu to have so many tiny flake offs present and many needle type splinters.
Last two photo's have comparisons of stone to Slag metal , Slag metal versions have been found at two sites outside the mine area and and exploration lease . The sites that are on the lease are at Mundic gully slag Mountain and outside the gate at back of mine near an area called Spring creek which is miles away from any township area . Sites not on lease are along the track at railway crossing near old tunnel , behind Broken old Weir near Newman oval and behind new wall on Town dam. Slag was used as fill at one time. and recently more slag and old tailing's re dumped in the river in reconstruction and among it there were numerous artifact items .
Slag artifacts from behind mine near Spring creek as I know it one did have a seed collecting permit for the Cycads , I used to venture that way over once Mr Civie Curtis's land many of time to find the blue leaved Cycad kennedyanna species which grew high among the ranges and in the journeys come across many of sandstone cave among the ranges. many suitable for a small Aboriginal family sleeping area.
Once Australia was covered in forest except maybe a few deserts and wind swept hillsides the vegetation may not have been large but it was forest even if it was just stunted in some areas than others. Many times in my working life I was travelling out western area's around Blackall there was a lot of small Mulga bush very rocky country with black soils but it was being pulled down to herd goats on later would have been eroded and dust heading to the ocean.
The Aboriginal belief was the ancestors live in the spirit of the tree's and cutting down of tree was against Aboriginal law unless it was in the pursuit of honey then the tree and hive was never decimated it was left to regenerate for food for tomorrow. Aboriginal law gave out the penalty of death for chopping down the tree's something the early Settlers had found it hard to understand and many a farmer was killed in the process of clearing the land.
Though in real process the Aboriginal with his use of fire as a clearing and hunting tool shaped the types of trees that grew the areas that were regularly burnt more seed bearing wattles grew .
Some of the more ancient sites would not have been found if not for white man disturbing the areas so they could and so there could possibly be abandoned sites from the Miocene when the Aboriginal race was more prolific and with more finer rock cutting skills with some of their artifact's. Not that there is any justification for the over clearing and total destruction of species habitat.
Two artifacts very primitive hand axes from an exposed limestone area by land clearing for cattle west of Marmor Central Queensland. the exposure was limited to any study as long grass hid most of the Marker stones and erosion had just started to expose the tools'.
Large Limestone Pick type tool "Tula" for digging yams or even as a weapon if the need had to be.
Roadside view along Gentle Annie road, the limestone artifacts are only found numerous on one hill approximate 5 Kilometres from the massive reef one has to wonder did tribes lived on the other hills and not enough erosion has yet to uncover any artifact rocks or they just camped and lived this main site and hunting lands was between them and the quarry
A view from the Marker stone site on my first journey here with another geologist dude Karl Bush we climbed the other mountain over yonder looking for the limestone fossils but very disappointing only quartz and granite on that hill one limestone rock I found in paddock coming back to this hill where we struck good with the fossils. Karl was not one to really recognise the rocks as Artifacts as a few other old rock and mineral collectors one went bush with sometimes they would bring me a sample rocks, gems or fossil objects from their journeys and devoid of any personal realisation that the rocks were actual artifacts.
Artifacts from the above limestone area only small quartz is in this area but even it was used as small picks or probably studs on end of clubs. Clubs with rock on end were not only a defence tool but easy to throw at small animals for food.
Gladstone area along the Upper lower Carboniferous Yarrol fault area Bajool/Raglan.
These above are all artifacts from the above area of broken quartz of mainly shocked quartz from the Old Coach road Marmor site. This and a couple other more shocked quartz sites further down the road are just all large tool factories probably traded to the to more coast tribes who had sandy soils and not many rocky outcrops or gibber plains,
Marker stone from Port Alma area possibility Miocene if Corresponding mega fauna from nearby bogs are used as a time line marker. These large Limestone and Gneiss triangle cut blocks from faults were only unearthed with construction of Power lines to the Port being once a linesman and builder of such line's knew to examine these areas first. Most Poles of 35 feet had to be set at a depth of 2 meters in the ground according to regulations and the Satellite that scans the ground for background radiation and magnetism can only penetrate so far maybe a bit more damp mud situations. Lower sea levels of the Miocene would have meant possible areas of land with lagoons much similar to land the now has the sea level encroaching on to it rising the salt levels killing what were grass paddocks, some remnants of old cattle yards remain on now mud pans .
This was once land with paddocks of cattle back in the early 1920's one can see a Brigalow cattle camps in the distance towards Gladstone Yarrwol area. In land clearing practises by cattlemen since whenever I can remember is they leave only a bunch of large original trees for the cattle to camp out of the sun in the middle of the day. now this land is usually just dry sand pans most of the time one only sees bird life if it rains.
Lots of recent sediment down there are run off from European
style Agricultural practises have buried the limestone areas under the mud. It was probably much like a set of small island or lagoons type delta system as there is evidence of fresh water relying animals species of Miocene mega fauna so fresh might have met the salt here in one area .
Above Luke Godwin a Queensland Museum Archaeologist on his visit my place about Aboriginal artifacts I had discovered in the Dee checked out numerous artifacts I had especially got from the bogs I originally collected them because of the presence of ancient plant fossil on them. Not realising they were once knifes and tulas until later recognising the similarity of design as the artifacts among the Mt Morgan tonalities and shale's that had been recently exposed by DERM the Government department. With removing 2 meters of dirt out of Dee river cleaning up old mine pollution they exposed a wealth of knowledge which is now just fortuitous finds once more.
The triangle pyramid pieces are a common object guess Clubs or studded nula nula's must have been a popular and easy weapon to build. One can always throw a stick with a weighty end ore accurate than a just stone itself one has a definite increase in striking effectiveness.
Mouth Tool knifes would have been used on hunting trips and times of moving camp and mostly seem to have been made according to records in the early Paleocene
Spear tips were simple items and were meant only to injure by wound then hunting down a wound animal was much easier than outright trying to kill it as it would eventually wear out and have to rest if not die.
Above is a collection of club stones spear heads and other sharps from out of Dee river sediments. the last is a mouth tool knife originally found in a sandy area after the removal of the first over burden from Dee river cleaning. The more floods that go over the ground now and wash all these small items away and leave just boulder and large artifacts much of a sort area that was a factory for tools.
The shell would have been used as tools or eating utensils I am pretty sure these were not the size even when the Settlers first came as the river was not very large from records kept and could not supply water to the residents of the newly forming township they had to build dams and weirs to secure water supply as droughts were very common and water was easily depleted. The oyster shells have evidence of an extended period of burial much longer than the 100 years that European people have been in the region.
I had found numerous examples of sub fossil's some directly implicated with parts of Ancient cave man, but due to the experience or lack of some a lot of important Heritage was deposited in Local Police bin but luck for some I had rephotographed and been had kept from being destroyed in computer meltdowns.
These seem to be thoracic vertebra found sediments in a dig behind Newman oval and the part of the vertebra bone that joins the skull to the neck found deep in freshly eroded clay below old coal and rubbish level at old bridge Railway Station.
These images are from a lost pelvis probably a baby it took me a long time to find out what it was when I did I handed it to authorities and explained my Daughter had done nursing training and identified this for me, but it was unrecognisable to some health people up here in Mt Morgan so ended up in some tip probably Rockhampton as I was advised by the person I handed it to.
Very hard to give anything to anyone but a Anthropologist who is interested even Queensland Museum (who obvious is not ever interested in anything I find) had been know for disposing of fossil items and photo's I have sent them they apologise saying sorry lost.
I have been once contacted by some legal people for Aboriginal people to discuss the items I have but the meetings never eventuate and communication is forgotten or lost from memories.
The Coastal side of the Mt Morgan range shows it was hard uninhabitable land in the driest times and a formidable task to climb when times were good. Lot of small streams do flow in good rainfall times just probably not so much nowadays even when I was a child they had not cleared much of the Queensland bush and there was always permanent water hole to go swimming or fishing.
I have much belief that Aboriginal tribe was a big user of bones as tools and some as totems as in reading of the book a Living stone age they talk about the Tribe's totem and link to the past if it was lost the people in the Tribe would all fall apart and wander of to join other Tribes. Some of these bone's I have found in digging in sand at end of Newman oval look as though they have been carved are they of human origin is the question was it some part of their Spiritual life style keeping a part of Grand Dad for stories to be told round the fire at night.
Majority of these bones were I would assume been carved that way before burial one can tell there has been no shattering of splintering at the ends most come from sediments exposed by government cleaning and removing the 2 meters of overburden behind the Newman oval, Mt Morgan. One had done a small excavation of around a foot to couple feet over a area of 10 square meters in an area that was just fine sandy gravel surrounded by an rocky boulder area to the river it could have extended under Newman oval but recently dumped mine boulder stopped that direction approach, one did find these and a couple of stone spindle parts which I hadn't given to people to throw away.
Two artifacts with probably the same uses as digging tools the stone might have had other uses as a hammer to chip other rocks and though we all think it was stone chipping stone for finer chip of sometimes wood or bone was used , the well preserved bone was a large mammal. Having an item made from a bone from another possible enemy tribe might have been sought to have some Spiritual Totem to think they had power over the people of that tribe.
Bone artifacts leg bone and part pelvis bottom ones thoracic vertebra probable ancient man, there are people that also have commented to me that they were part of cannibalism maybe not really in the full sense so. It was sometimes practised to eat part of an enemy person from another tribe killed in battle but only by men in special ceremonies. I am a person to more to believe these were parts of deceased and probably from Pleistocene times and kept by elders in the tribe as totems of power or maybe as a memory ornament of the story time around the fire about the Dream tracks and animal totem of Uncle Jundemurra .
In all recent prehistory it has been noted that the Aboriginal had special ceremonies for their dead according to ones caste position in the tribe and tree carving or rock carvings were set to mark their grave site's. Most times the body was put in specially made bark coffins and in some western tribes the body wasn't buried but raised above the ground on a wooden bed.
This I say is an ancient jaw it is that old it is hard to say whether it was shaped this way or was this way from damage before burial most people would think this is just rubbish in the river but to me the bone has an oily feeling other than ordinary animal bones and the contours sorta match my own jaw it is fragile now it has been.
Maybe local Governments should have access to Museum Services for Local residents to find answers on matter that could be of Economic and Heritage value.
Under Common law all Australians no matter the ethnic belief or origin being all equal as Australians must be responsible for the saving of the Crowns Heritage. This was something I thought I learnt as a part of the Subject Land Law when I studied my Clerk of the Court in Mackay Courthouse the Time of Magistrate G.D Joice and Clerk of the Court John Winmill back in the 1980's.
But Miners seem to have a right to abuse the law some what as any land that was previously miners lease and has artifacts can never be claimed by Aboriginal people.
Comparisons of mini horse from Port Alma
Megafauna sub fossils coexist in peat bogs at Port Alma and the sediments of the Dee river.
Diprotondon was a hippo size wombat and the Protodon a smaller but yet bigger than today's wombat. Both animals would have been easy prey for Aboriginal people to hunt as long as they were willing to venture the swamps modern day wombat learnt to burrow underground and only venture out at night, the latter being night creatures also but too large to burrow. This could be a case of man influencing evolution as usual over time.
Some large rib bones of an extremely large mammal either large Kangaroo or possible Diprotodon like animal
I would like to think these could be possible calalensus foot bones of the giant kangaroo one has found two of these in the gravels that definitely means more than one beast possibility a lot of animals if one considered the amount of flood waters that has gone over the area and washing others away they have similarities with the leg bones in the upper diagram.
Other ribs found that do not conform with any domestic or now native species.
Teeth < there were many different types in the sediments and hopefully more to find in future floods.
These I can identify with Cainozoic Fossils of Queensland by D Hill G Playford and J.T Woods as Euryzygoma dunense range Pleistocene Diprotodon. Some of these hippo size marsupial but bear size species existed some similar to today's wombat . These teeth are likely to have come from the smaller of the now extinct species.
Diprotodon and a smaller Clondydarth similar to a small horse like the Thrylacine also marsupials were night animals and stayed under cover all of the day and ventured to graze in the swamps at night the noise to the Aboriginal people was that of the Bunyip . The Bunyip made people disappear in the swamps as fables will tell as with the Min min lights of fluorescence gas but the animal's were herbivores and the lights just swamp gas more likely the people got lost frightened and run on to other tribal grounds. It was wise to not stray at night as an Aboriginal as the Totem aunts the Women in their caring for the girls of the initiations of tomorrow could bash one to death as there was no sex before marriage.
\Similar Diprotodon animal.
Phascolomis gigas a large wombat of the Pleistocene like the larger Diprotodon it said to have gone extinct some 45,000 years ago.
Other assorted teeth mostly one would think as being some version of Diprotodon , if one would show these to the Queensland Museum or others one would just likely receive domestic animal as a reply so there is never any need to share anything anymore.
The Atlas vertebra,large wombat or Diprotodon not Small deer as people on paleontology Facebook have told me. The Atlas vertebra is the vertebra the articulates with the occipital condyles at rear of skull . It has a definite sign it has been buried for a long time not just the some 100 years of white man colonisation. An unknown species at the time of the mega fauna of the Tertiary period.
But after recent flood rains one had to find another and it looks enough old to be ancient sub- fossil not of any recent size of the marsupial species.
Comparisons in size of of Phascolomis gigas to modern day wombat
Picture Prehistoric Australia Hans Mincham
The Largest marsupial that ever lived was Diprotodon optatum first fossil's found in 1830 west of Sydney . These and other mega-fauna evolved at the beginning of the Tertiary late Cretaceous by the end of the Tertiary the continent had dried up considerably and the lush tropical vegetation that they relied on had gone to replaced with Deserts and some high areas of ice then also the impact of the Aboriginal people at that time put enough pressure to push the species nearly to extinction.
Probable tail bones rather than toe bones
Upper right foot bone large mammal Upper right one has thought large bird toe bone , Lower left tail bone large marsupial? lower right mammal finger or large toe bone all are stained some the same age as the other old marsupial bone's possibility the same age one would think.
The smaller species Nototherium fossils were found in 1845 it was believed to be more of a hole digger like the modern day wombat but spent most of it days in the cool of tropical swamps.
These feet bones have nothing to do with bovine and some have evidence of aboriginal carving they do match the Diprotodon foot bones on the Picture
One can see much similarities with the bones in the Book Prehistoric Australia with the latter pictures of bones that my doctor said could be ankle or foot bones of a large mammal. The big flat foot was likely suited for plodding around in muddy situations. The huge hippo size marsupial flourished throughout New Guinea, Australia and Tasmania. At this time billions of tonnes of water was tide up in Glacial areas that the sea level had dropped 270 feet.the drop was not that great to allow Asia to be joined to Australia but it would have made island hopping much more easier. The Diprotodon would have been to large of an animal for the Aboriginal people to spear such size would have made also for toughness of hide though smaller ones were likely ganged up on by a large amount of warriors if driven into an inescapable trap or unable to escape a boggy situation in a hurry. One does have bone's with evidence of cuts on them so they were eaten often in this part of the country. The preceding drought and the amount of yam digging by the Women of the tribes in large numbers could have effected their food supply and reduced numbers . During the Pleistocene there has been two fairly major ice ages this would of led droughts in certain parts of any of the continents with moisture being held up in ice and changes with the sea-levels one would assume the Aboriginal people only could inhabited the lower areas where there was some forest and available fresh water and more likely the coastal areas for food and probably never ventured into the colder mountain areas.eventually with rising sea-levels did not mean more vegetation so starvation of the Diprotodon population could have been the biggest factor in the extinction . It was like the Camel species before it a tree browsing animal and the progress of forest growth to species migration would have been thousands of years apart with a sudden rise in sea-levels.
Jaws of probably bovine probably part of a bullock used with drays in the beginning of the mine one can't find any mine use of bullocks only horses? one wonders how it got so well buried and preserved in nearly the same condition as the Diprotodon bones and has some similarities in design?
Jaws at the top could be possible Diprotodon or even a large Koala the bottom is a small goat.
Other side view of the Large upper leg maybe a possible Diprotodon an extremely large species it has much advanced looking preservation stain than the Bullock head and Atlas vertebra. As this land around was covered with mine sulphur waste round the time of the mine one would have thought it would have different preservation outcome. The Diprotodon was as large as a small hippo and weighed up to two tonnes a marsupial that had originated back in the late Cretaceous when Australia was part of South America and Antarctica as some of these have evidence of Aboriginal cutting so the evolution of man could go even further back then we want to realise.
The comparison of a modern day horse hip and one found with other bones in river one can see it has big possibilities of being more like a marsupial.
One does get some unknown Bone's these are hips of a Mammal that have been carved obvious for some purpose probably ceremonial, certainly aren't bovine as the normal comment is on a lot of items
An ancient bit of cooked bone made into some type of artifact I have my doubts of any aboriginal people making artifacts out of the stock of the mine.
More carved bone artifacts bit hard to be doing this to bones on land that being mined one has to say unusual . the large one being end of Diprotodon leg and couple carved foot piece of such animal in middle
Diprotodon humus bones all have evidence of man being the predator. The Bones could have been broken to access the marrow one of the most nutritious parts good enough for the young children to digest. Some of the straight cut ones could be a factor of becoming mono clinic fractured with the hardness of burial and age.
Toe or tail bone's Diprotodon
Largest is big enough for to be the Hip bone of the animal in question with the smaller just being an ordinary size marsupial similar a wallaby or kangaroo
Comparison with modern day horse hip to a large marsupial with much the same design as some in the preceding picture.
Assorted Marsupial hip bones top left is modern day version from Port Alma the rest from similar age Mt Morgan possible Tertiary , one could say the smaller marsupial was the preferred diet of the Aboriginal tribe . One million years ago the land was dominated by grassy landscapes with large trees marsupials roamed the plains some range from huge tree browsing animals to the smaller insect feeding Thylacine .
Ribs of small marsupial to modern day kangaroo size animal.
Assorted small marsupial leg bones Mt Morgan sediments.
Hind limb of dormis Stirtoni Reference Wildlife of Gondwanaland page 172 diagram 245 this Bird was at least 12 to 15 ft high and had a head at least a foot long and weighed well over quarter of a tonne . Genyormis the smaller of the two and probably the more recent it seems as time has gone by these mega-fauna evolve to smaller type's this just an adapting to the amount of food available for the species one would assume seeing it has happened to more than one type of animal.
Again there is two different size bird leg bones with the larger to be the Dromornis distal leg bone.
Bird wing bone as they seem to appear to be to me but one has eaten many of a chicken and have yet to find this design bone so it leaves me to believe they are wing parts of the extra large Dromornis
Lower limb bones, last the distal end of Dromornis stirtoni of the late Miocene reference page 172/173 Wildlife of Gondwanaland by Patricia Rich
One has only an assumption on this atlas vertebra now we have the largest bird this would suit as the neck bone of an animal with a long large neck .
Picture : Australian Natural History Magazine
Image of a Bunyip or Clondydarth skull found by in Victoria in 1846 but was lost some year later being transferred from one Museum to another. maybe this was a skull of an smaller type Diprotodon species a harmless grass eater that was them mythical creature blamed for the many missing Aboriginal person that had gone walking the swamps at night. no doubt one could be trampled to death from frightening any of the larger species.
This head of a Buffalo is probably the only buffalo that was ever bought up the mountain range or was it around when the Diprotodon was here. It looks to well preserved and stained much so for only being in sandy soil for the last 90 to 100 years if it had belonged to the first settlers it was shear luck to have the same extent of preservation as much the other bones have.
Is this the toe of the Giant Bird of the Mega fauna period?
Bird Wing bone on top is from Port Alma peat and below is from the sediments of the Dee river they could be from a large bird like an emu as the large bird only had small wings.
The Thylacine was a night creature that preyed on small creatures such as Marsupial mice and insects it is believed to have gone extinct on the mainland of Australia after introduction of dingo from Asia. The dingo is only to have arrived here only 5000 years ago, interesting paintings of man and dingo exist in caves near Laura North Queensland which have been carbon dated to that period and with paintings left in caves in the Northern territory there is paintings of man with Thylacine following behind dragging a bag which is enough evidence to say the Thylacine was domesticated by some of the tribe to be later replaced by the dingo later from Asia.
This one has similarities to a Thylacine jaw above reference.
One can find a exact matching picture reference in Wildlife of Gondwanaland diagram 281 page 186.
The oldest known dog as in Dingo was unearthed at Fromm's landing rock shelter dating from 1000 bc but is believed to be here from 5000 bc when marsupials like the Thylacine and Tasmanian devil went extinct. Tasmanian devil fossils were found at the 5000 year level in excavations at Fromm's landing.
Reference < Prehistoric Australia by Hans Mincham have the Diprotodon going extinct some 5000 years ago.
Immortalised on the 1959 - 1962 Fauna stamp
These look much like large pieces of pelvis's probably been carved by the looks of it seeing I have no idea what any mega-fauna pelvis look like they could be but my suspect is ancient Hominid.
One could possibly have Ancient Aboriginal bone's but one has told the Aboriginal people and the fact is known by one of their Legal people who has once contacted me but has yet to contact me again and to come and collect such relic's.
I would say an ancient Human tooth the root structure is a bit different to our to day's back teeth
In one small excavation are I found all these cooked clay pieces among the sand none had ever been wet as when they are they crumble got no idea what they relate to could be artifacts or toys for the children or just parts of ancient fires?.
Three types of ball games were played catch ball, Stick and stone and spin ball, some studies attribute the last two to recent settler influence but both were played by the Northern tribes of Queensland during the late 1800s. Catch ball was played by both sex's the Ball made out of kangaroo hide had to be thrown and caught by other players before it hit the ground sometimes referred to as Kangaroo play .
Stick and stone was a game between five opponents on each side with heavy sticks and stone as a ball the stone , one team had to throw the stones at the other team and they had to intercept it with their sticks.
Spin ball was a ochre painted cooked clay ball that resembled a top and the person was awarded points for keeping it spinning the longest .
Skipping ropes made from vines and long roots were used by many tribes but it wasn't swung in a circle but from side to side.
The whirler or whirring stick was a flattened piece of Gidyea 4 inches long with a hole in the end for a long cord and the spinning through the air creating the whirring noise. Sometimes it was carved out of bone and engraved and used at ceremonies and also kept as Love charm and in this case was kept out of sight of women.
Top Picture :Comparisons from Mt Morgan sub fossil I say ancient mans Pelvis lobes Mt Morgan left Port Alma right and Lower picture probable ancient mans ribs from peat Bogs Port Alma.Some of the artifacts are more finer made than recent flake offs such items as perfect pyramids and spindle spear heads were found beyond the burial ground area Newman oval, the area seem to be just one massive tool making factory.
One can wonder that some would be studs for clubs or graving stones also for sharpening the ends of sticks for simple spears.
The stone studs for Clubs came in all sizes, too manufacture an item this small would require better vision than most of us normal people have today. From books I have read I have discovered their vision was as good as 50:1 where normal Caucasian vision is 20:1. Aboriginal People can not only see the Kangaroo nearly a mile away they could tell you if it had a joey or not.
One seed grinding stone lower left the others some I am a bit confused in what some of the square ones were used for, unless also seed grinding there is no way that stones fall into these patterns under normal erosion situations.
Could the spindles been a spear traded to the coastal people close by in the mid Paleocene or been an item for the production of fire?, Commonly used were wooden spindles into soft flammable wood maybe the sprinkle of Grasstree resin which has a high ignition point a stone spindle would have been more efficient. Being a place of very little flint rock that some communities had to strike together as a spark produce they would have been reliant on the spindle system.
An Rockhampton Aboriginal elder told me these items were spear heads that is the same use as in northern Europe, then we have the stone balls were they a toy or object to produce other things?.
This type of stone working was showed to me by a friend down the road in an 40,0000 yr old artifact he found in Europe.
One can see the exactness of the side chipping of the rock in the pattern one could only expect this to be done by a person with extremely good eyesight.
Glass would have been chipped of using a much softer type hammer like wood or bone.
Magnified views of ancient chipping on rock the first picture above to chipping of glass artifacts
Glass artifacts mainly all from area behind Mt Morgan Railway station exposed when river restoration was done. It is not one is a lazy archaeologist but opportunities as erosion and man made exposure does help in the process of finding information and artifacts
small glass cutting tool
Glass with the multiple cut edge does not happen this way with straight ordinary breaking it must be chipped down from a flat edge like the stones artifacts were sharpened but usually a piece of wood or bone was used as the striker again good eyesight was the factor in such neat strikes to keep splitting the edges.
Glass spear tip
Fossil Crinoids and Brachipodia very similar ones from Port Alma shale's. These fossils are all in no eroded condition which one can assume straight away there had not been a river run over this land when Ancient Man was here using the rocks as artifacts unlike the situation today . These rocks now exposed only rarely last a year under today's conditions of weathering by wind and water and now the corrosive acids left by mining and leaking town septic runoff .
More fossil crinoids most rocks in Dee river metamorphic mud stones and a lot just Brachipods of different periods and different size to that of bowling ball. Fossils on these rocks are sometimes in pristine condition meaning no erosion, this was not previous river ground as it is now. The fossils were meant to give some sort of character and personal brand to the tool. I could imagine women and men chipping the stones to make the next days spear heads and the child was playing around being annoying so the person chips of a piece of rock with fossil or strata design and give it to the child as a doll or other toy to keep them amused or the same items would be used to tell stories during rest and recreation times.
Large Brachipodia Dee River would have made the perfect grinding stone.
Fossil Brachiopoda Enchinsolia a good condition exactly same species in granite and as found in Port Alma Brine's.
Finger print fossil of brachipodia enchinsiolia seeing it is in pristine condition as it is obvious of lack of river erosion till now back in the time of the tool making the land much higher than today river system.
To me this one looks like half a small crab, lot of small crabs dominate Port Alma fossils.
As trace fossils like bryozoans and perfect enchinsolia fingerprint fossils exist on some of the softer shale's once higher land than today.
I believe population of the Aboriginal people was at it's peak before the coming interglacial a large highly advanced civilisation and its decline came with lesser food from cold conditions wiping out vulnerable species then cam a change in some of the design of the tools and artifacts as food was to be dug and sort of a Permaculture like existence was sought after by each tribe as they had separate diets compare to position in tribe and breeding was much controlled as not to over stock the tribe with excess people the land could not provide. They had many beliefs of those similar to early European peoples with religion and Ceremony.
Back some one million to 40,000 years ago the time of the mega fauna most continents round the world were still joined at low tides by small islands and the area of land mass was much bigger obvious the mega beast was partly put on the edge of extinction by the Aboriginal People as were other mega beast in other parts of the world, The ancients were a much larger people and had more sophisticated tool making skill as the spindle-type spears found in the Dee river. I believe the entire human race was inter connected with large civilisation much similar to Mayan culture in some aspects. The rise and decline of Oceans caused by waxing and waning interglacials caused floods then dried out oceans creating droughts all species declined and many ancient skills were lost as was the huge animals for food.
The presence of grinding plates and stone's are evidence that grass seed was harvested for flour there is always denial that Aboriginal people carried out any agricultural practises. On early settlement there had been large numbers of people observing the natives harvesting in large amount of Yams and Onion grass. Peter Latz a Central Australian Botanist who grew on on Hermannsberg Mission observed the process of harvesting of onion grass where he describes the parallel trenching and turning over of the soil in the process as being important to the culture of the future crop of plants. When Thomas Mitchell explored along the Darling river in 1835 the scene reminded him of a hay field the grass's had been harvest into hay stacks for miles . The seed were shaken of winnowed and ground into flour and baked as bread in the ashes.
King on the doomed Burke and Wills expedition describes a grain store that would have held 4 tons of Nardoo Seed. John Davis on one of the search parties for Burke and Wills describes huge amounts of nardoo grass waiting for harvested on the dry lake floor Coogiecoogina in the Strzelecki Desert where the white settler has not been able to carry on any agricultural practises.
Howitt on another search party for Burke and Wills also describes large granaries of nardoo seed. Early settlers on the Mulligan river in North Queensland witness huge amounts of nardoo being harvested and an Explorer and Drover not keen to credit Aboriginal people had found two granaries one with a ton of rice seed stored in 17 large dish's commenting such delicious grain and taking only a small amount he wished he had taken more.
The main part of my Museum collection of Aboriginal rocks from a few areas around Central Queensland mainly the Mount Morgan area and Bajool area's.( Ceremonial stones ) my belief is they were not so nomadic as some books say. I believe more small village type people among the rich forest that gave them all food and tools. They kept in touch with most nearby tribes which they inter-married to stop stagnation of the blood lines and had a regular trade in food and tools. They maintained the plants that gave them food and medicine some still today have the rocks around which probably not only provided shade for tool making in the heat of the day but a mulch to keep the roots of the tree's drying out .
This rock maybe a marker stone but it also looks like a tool to hold other rocks or wood for carving maybe some sort of primitive vice.
My Theory is that during the Miocene and food was plenty with such large animals even the Aboriginal man himself was big maybe up to 7 footin height. The lived in large communities with maybe some stone building structures where the resources was readily available. Marker Stones marked the different Trading points in tools artifact and probably food along mainly the coast and water courses. There is plenty evidence in Victoria of aboriginal people farming eels and smoking them in large amounts probably some for trade.
In my walking over the land and a lot of cleared land for cattle nowadays I find all different rocks in geological for but the sharps are identical now the hardness and monoclinc natural cleaving by weathering would be different for each types of rock structure , as a Geologist would think but seeing they are all the same and lots of axes among them then there is not many rocks on this land of Australia that hasn't been walked over or used as Artifact factories by earlier Aboriginals.
Upper Jurassic wood artifacts club stones from ranges NW of Mt Morgan township
All these rocks have come from what I regard as Miocene habitation strata level Mt Morgan , but there is evidence of different sea levels in the Holocene a lot of land was flooded that was previously in inhabited and large populations would have died from starvation if not the flooding. With the majority of the population gone so would have most of the skills for cutting rocks so perfect. it would have been just find rock shear enough of to produce a sharp for axe or spear and go hunt. this would have been a situation for many generations till communities got back together in tribes and learnt communicate and trade again between each tribe.
These Oysters came from deep sediments with the fossil deer other middens occur high in mountains NE of the town now an oyster has only a shelf life of a day so unless it was just shell traded from a coastal tribe then it it would indicate the ocean was not very far away at such period of time probably just at the base of Upper Ulam the edge of the Range. Larger middens of shells are know to exist in the hilly areas close to the man made Cave area.The only time the Ocean has been close to this area within human possible habitation times was the late Pleistocene the time of megafauna.
I have had people say they could be from the early township well my argument is there why are they all in the Dee and none in any other dumps I have excavated round the town was there an oyster processing works on the river well I have never heard of such a thing. Some people in this world are not convinced you can find something old because they have never.
Maybe it it just me but I see so much creativity in the items the made that there must have been an inner harmony some of us will never get to experience. The Brachipodia middle in the last Artifact just seem to well placed to be there without meaning.
Ochre stones which used for marking other stones and paints another part of their creativity pastimes .
There was at time lots of time for Play and Entertainment Interaction among the Families of the Tribes it makes some of us in today's Western societies all look like a bunch of introverts.
One has to wonder about these items found under the Dee river sediments were they just parts of homemade bricks made sometime back in the 1900's or parts of Cor-quine, ancient sediment that has gone to rock and been cut this way as artifacts there is evidence of uneven percussion chipping on the one right . Did the aboriginal people have more advanced brick and clay cooking skills than we really know?
Aboriginal communities were maybe only small after white man really inhabited Australia . there is no real research into the extent of in habitation prior or on arrival really white man was to busy exploiting the resource he had found for free all he bought was his stock of cattle that filled the aboriginal peoples waterholes with manure and stamped all their fruit trees into the ground. with them they had their Carbine which in those day was used readily on Aboriginal people because then they weren't recognise as a Human but rather Savages.
I have had people say to me the Aboriginals didn't use stone tools after white man arrived , which is a silly statement like the ships only bought need tools for themselves and convicts not Mitre ten shops with knives forks and spoons.
This may look mature trees but really is just regrowth once the top of this mountain Leyden's hill was cleared for timber and some small gold mining leases.
My studies from old Books has me to believe the Aboriginal society was a very complex they had not only religious beliefs but marriage was a lot of time arrange at birth and one had certain ceremonies to go though on the way of growing up before one could ever get to be with the girl one was promised to and their position was the an had to go steal away the wife from the Women sleeping huts and could get injured by the other women in the process sometimes ending in death.
One position and what one ate was all determined under a strict Hereditary set of rules not all of the tribe was allowed to eat all food maybe this was to assure the species of animals survived in big enough populations to keep producing.
As for was the marriage idea, a Child out of marriage was usually killed as to curb the carrying capacity of the tribe of people on the land that was available. Some men stole wives from other tribes if they weren't allotted to one or the elder men had stolen the women for an extra wife.
The child of an inter-tribal marriage was considered a lower person and given a special name they were restricted to food of that group of people. The Women in the tribe spent all the day roaming collecting food and socialising in groups with children frequently at waterholes, men went on hunts but it was never always successful the bringing home of meat for the Tribe. It is obvious that the tools of a lot of the coastal tribes were for grinding up seed for flour, vegetables and bush fruits consisted the majority of their diet. Protein was limited sometimes to Fish, Lizards or Wild birds they could trap with nets that were baited with fruits like figs .
The training and playing as a child made the me very efficient with a spear. My Father when I was a child took me spear fishing in the mangroves of creeks spearing the black bream and mangrove jack among the roots one had to nearly touch the fish with one hand and spear it with the other while waist deep in the low tide waters. Sometimes we out around rocky bays and found pools under rocks with the odd good size fish mainly small sharks and we always had abundant food to take home to the family.
Aborigines were skilled in producing yarn for lines and fish hooks out of certain fish's bones or carved shells. Harvesting the sea was was an effective source of food to feed large tribes as the tribe's in Bowen were around 500 to 1500 per tribe and there was numerous tribal areas most soils round coastal areas are eroded granite's low in nutrients to have a huge yam growing supply.
Turtle eggs and the odd turtle were obvious well sort after food items there would have been large populations of Turtles and Dugongs to attack on the low tide grassy sea shallows. But seeing the treat was only minimal because of the primate weapons against the hard shell and hide of the effect on populations would have been small and the amounts of turtle eggs collected would not of affected the populations either.
Food was always sorted by the elders on returning to the tribe. Some was obvious eaten by the collector while on their collection hunt but Older women always kept a sharp eye on the younger. Research Book / Living Stone Age.
Various plates and rollers for Grinding the wattle and other seed to flour. These originate from the Dee river around the Newman oval township area. This land is all previous Mining lease and under State and probably Federal Government law Aboriginal People cannot claim land that has been leased for mining purposes. Not sure if it is because it could be once again used for mining purposes or the fact these Government people actually believe mineral rich ground was of no purpose to the Aboriginal people as they did in the beginning of colonial times .
The Oldest known flour grinding stone found in Australia are some 30,000 years old found at Cuddie Springs New South Wales. reference Australian Nature 2005 edition.
Lilly Pilly a tree native to most parts of eastern Australian and a valuable source of vitamin c to Aboriginal people.
Kennedania a native pea has a few varieties the seed was very edible when young and later when dried and was collected easily by the Women and Children on the food collecting trips. the seed was ground into flour with other grass seeds native hibiscus seed and provide high protein baked cakes. Large amounts of seeds were collected of any species at one time it was always good to have a constant supply food and this was regulated well by the Elders who probably had lived through many of a hard time.
Native currant was a hardy shrub of dry sandalwood areas lots of varieties it had a edible purple currant that was highly nutritious in Vitamin C , these sandalwood was the main environment for the native bee in the dry stony wooded areas of the Western parts of Australia.
Native Hibiscus has an edible flower and seeds , Flower would also be part of the Witch doctors medical kit as a medicine to settle upset stomach's and would have had excellent properties as covering for superficial wounds.
Sygium coolaminium a large purple much tarter tasting fruit but when ripe sweetness is found. They are highly rich in vitamin C and the tree's attracted the fruit bats and possums that were often hunted as a good source of protein.
Burdekin Plum this fruit comes ripe during the winter months providing the Aboriginal people with an even more strong source of Vitamin C .
These could be removed of their flesh and dried for a later food storage.
The bulb of the wild crocus was an onion like vegetable to the Aboriginal people that had to be cooked to be eaten to kill the light toxicity of the bulb.
Wild Mushrooms were always a wet season favourite and was likely to be consumed raw.
Wood fungi was a food in some cases could be pound to a powder and cooked but a plant that was used by the medicine man as a part of his treatment or pads for wounds.
The native Pitcher Plant had some uses for the medicine man as healing materials but it also had a root system that grew tubers which were of an edible nature.
Bottle Brush Melaleuca Family, tree flowers were always full of nectar and usually just popped in the mouth and sucked like a Popsicle.
The flower bush's were a place for the women to hang out and watch for native bees one they would catch and with tree gum stick a tiny piece of white grass and let it go so they could run after and track it to the hive. Native bees were abundant when I was a child my father was a good tracker of the bees and knew all the areas where there were hives. Native bees usually preferred the rocky ridge Casuarina and Sandalwood mixed treed areas .
When the Black Cockatoo came to the bush they knew it was time to go collect the Casuarina Seed which was ground to flour or just eaten raw they have an agreeable nutty taste. Seed pods collected and left to open on sheet of paper bark in the sun from the Casuarina trees would open in a few hours while they rested in the heat of the day in the shade.
The Noisy Curragong could be heard for miles telling the people that there were figs for picking.
Numerous types of native figs along the water course mainly would have fruited nearly all year around providing a source of sustenance and fibre to the diet, most were much more edible when a dark orange colour. Fig tree's would have been a place to trap birds also most Aboriginal people had the skill to plate hair into thread which was then manufactured into nets for tangling tree and water birds alike.
The female Bowerbird was a one to be caught in a well placed net.
Birds were a large part of the Aboriginal life in letting them know what foods were available where this flower was a source of nectar for Bird and Human. Silky Oak flowers were a luxury full of honey type nectar the timber was a straight hard wood would have made excellent spear wood.
When the Mountain Rosella's came down to the low lands to feed the Rainmaker would have had to advise the elders of the dry situations in the highlands.
When the parrots would come in flocks to feed on the large gum flower's good seasons were coming
Not long after the Mortian bay ash seeds were dispersed it was guaranteed to rain and if there were large amounts of seeds and Birds the Rainmaker would have been advisable to notify the elders of severe flooding rains coming. If the Mortian Bay ash did not seed or other gums were dropping their seed pods without producing seeds after flowering then there would be no doubt dry time to drought.
The Topknot pigeon would have been a source of protein much more than some of the other birds as it does venture to the ground to feed. This bird would have been an easy one to trap with nets and some well set seed as bait.
Now an emu egg would have been a challenge to get but would have been a good source of protein seeing the diet was regulated by ones status in the tribe not all would have been privileged to such food items.
Emu's were brought close to the hunter with a decoy noisy horn made out of piece of hollow Coolibah tree (Eucalyptus microtheca) rubbed down on stone till it was thick as cardboard one end was stoppered with a piece of Beefwood gum with a circular hole. The hole was blown across creating a noise that attracted Emu's from miles they were driven into a triangular mesh made corral type situation where they were clubbed. On the plains out west the practise of laying on the ground waving legs worked to attack single curious birds.
Freshwater lobster were numerous in water holes and easily caught with string and bit of net as a scoop.
At a small railway siding out west towards Emerald one had studied some holes in rocky ground that had probably started out as small waterholes to wandering Aboriginal people and in dry times got dug out each time a little deeper to eventually be able to permanent most of the time with a sizable population of Lobsters ( corchies)
Freshwater fish that are very few today like the Murray cod grew to a large as even I know as a child roaming the swamps round town with a fishing line and a box of matches one could easily catch a decent meal or more with a couple of fish. These small ones get washed over the Town dam's spillway and have to wait till the next flood to get them hopefully past the poison are of river if their hole doesn't dry up in the mean time.
The Bearded Dragon would have been much fast .
The water hens were a easily trapped in net type of bird as they sent more time climbing over reds and bush than the average duck. Water fowls and ducks were driven by the throwing of returning boomerangs into a net covered narrow passageway near water holes at dusk.
The Swans would have wished to always be safe in deep water.
Candle Nuts ( Aluerites moluccana ) as I know them were not an edible nut but a nut that when dry provided a fire source for light at night and a way of transporting fire from one location to another some smouldering nuts were laid on some sand on a paper bark container and carried to the next campsite. The bark of the base of tree was ring barked by Aboriginals to encourage their large favourite edible white grubs.
When the Melaleuca paperbark was in flour it was a haven for the small native bee a time to mark one and follow it back to the hive which would only be around a kilometre away.
Paper bark trees Melaleuca were one of the most useful trees even though it did not produce food it did supply and emergency drink of fresh water by vertically splitting the bark. The bark had numerous uses from cooking to lighting fires and man made knife sheaths and belts.
Women were said to have plated the bark into carrying bags or used a kind of girdle made
out of the plated bark to carry a baby on the mothers hip and large sheets of bark made useful blankets and ground mats in cold weather along with cured skins of Kangaroos.
In cases of a fractured limb the affected area was lined and kept in place with twine and packed with antiseptic leaves of the Tea tree.
There was some type of basic medical care given by the Witch doctor he did have a reputation to keep, patients were usually care by totem relations or wife next to the Witch Doctors camp.
Gunya huts were lined with sheets giving a waterproof place for stormy nights. Gunyas were more of a lean to situation the Mia mia huts were more intricate made circular huts with flexible bent over branches a foot apart and tied together with twine then intertwined with bark with a hole that could be covered in the centre for the outlet of the smoke from the fire lit in the hole in the centre floor. Sheets of paper bark could be used as portable throw away raincoats. Nowadays most of the large paper bark trees have gone from the bush though in the 1950's and 60's in NSW a company harvested 400 tons of bark annually exported and used as stuffing in pillows and mattresses.
For cooking and boiling water a bark lined hole was made the sand full of water and a hot rock from the fire was added. One is sure there was sufficient Mussel shells of large size that were used as cups or spoon type utensils.
I am sure before White man's destruction there would have seen much larger pieces of trees to harvest I have seen some with trunks nearly a meter in diameter up behind the now Mt Morgan dam area so it must have been some permanent reservoir there.
Tea tree oil type Melaleuca come in a lots of different types the Leaves were used a hand wash or tea in time of illness, the flowers a good source of nectar and place to watch for bee's to follow back to their hives. The tree's back in subtropical times might have grown in brackish water and also made the water stained but the bark if split length ways would provide a small amount of water for of drinkable quality for at least two people and the leaves were good fire lighters very high in flammable oils. T-tree leaves would have been part of the witch doctors source of item used to heal ailments crushed and lined inside paper bark to heal wounds.
Gumb Gumbi or Pittsphorum phyliodes was a medicine tree and it has been written in some books that the women used the tea as birth control in dry and arid times it did not really prevent birth but bought on an abortion. The chemicals in the leaves are a strong blood thinner so it has me a bit confused what the men used it for . The bark was useful bashed with producing a soap like substance which could have suffocated small fish .
No doubt early Temperate Australia had many a permanent water holes a source of mud Mussel, Tortoise and Fish if one was lucky to catch and even the humble Lilly had edible stems and roots.
Even when I was a child there was many a permanent flowing creek and lots of swamps but over grazing and farming now mining has stripped all the goodness from the earth. Our Children inherit but the Ashes of our greed and yet we deem ourselves more civilised than past civilisations.
Acacia Longifolia one of the many edible wattle's used to make flour, only two of all the wattles in Australia have poison in the seed and they are found in New South Wales some of the wattles made excellent spears and some springy steel hardwood for axes and picks.
Hickory wattle or Spearwood was the most sort after wattle it can grow long straight hard timber the seed also very edible and in great quantities when the season is right. We could not compare seasons today with yesterday and say they were one least bit similar even in my lifetime I have seen many a permanent water source disappear due to overuse and over clearing of vegetation.
Acacia littorallis is a prolific seed bearer one of most edible of wattle seeds a very peanut like taste seed would have been collected on animal hides and crushed on the rocks and cooked as cake's very high in protein food for one season of the year though they have been know to continual seed in continual wet times.Bottle tree or Brachychiton species, the seed was a useful source of flour and the young trees had very edible roots and dry times the tree was sometimes tapped for water.
Large bottle tree's referred to as Kurrajong named after the Aboriginal word were useful fibre plants for them the fibrous bark was used in the process of making nets. Fibres were made from everything from hair that was collected on a regular basis .the women were very patient and good vision used to weave large nets and ropes.
Corkwood or bat wing coral tree ( Erythrina vespertilio) was a medicinal tree its bark could be crushed and used to suffocate small fish or the leaves as a tea was used to bring on sleep and sometimes visions by the men in the tribe. Women were not usually allowed to drink this as would promote abortions. Large Corkwood trees in all book references was the preferred wood used to make shields it was strong but easy to carve. The orange bean seeds were collected by the children and adults and drilled with holes and worn as colourful ceremony necklace.
The Corkwood flower was a sleeping medicine of the Witch Doctor and also for personal decoration for corroborees.
Another tree regarded as Pituri Corkwood (Dubosisia hopwoodii )
was an important tree to to the Aboriginal people it's foliage was used to poison waterholes and stupefy emu's thus rendering them easy to kill. They prised it as a drug the leaves and twigs were ground and either chewed or smoked . Being one of the Solanacae plant family this plant had certain poisons and nicotine was one of them.
Long leaf emu bush and pituri corkwood grew together the emu's were fond of the sweet berries as would have been the children.
Alpistonia excelsor usually only a small shrub exhibits soap like effects with it leaves crushed in water. Large amounts could suffocate fish or it could be used as a wound cleanser by the Witch doctor. The seed was a Witch Doctor medicine once crushed into a powder and given to settle stomach conditions these had very little toxicity they were later used by the settlers with the leaves as emergency stock food.
Quinine berries were also one of the witch doctor's medicine tree's the powder of the seed and pods has a fever reducing properties also could be end up being poison in large doses.
It was later used by the Settler's as a cure for malaria which came with the Chinese and other Oriental miners which there were many of around Mt Morgan.
Many of the knife leaf wattles like Acacia aulacarpa , Spear wood was utilised for Nula nula and spear making it's springy steel like wood could have been easily sharpened on the end with a graving stone to a spear point without the need to attach a stone. The lumpy notch where it branched was rounded and would have been a iron hard end for a fighting club even without decoration by stone studding.
Eucalyptus Eserta of peppermint gum is one of the oiliest gums around the area, the steam of the leaves made a disinfectant for time's of septic initiation ceremony mishaps.
The Grass tree was a useful firelighter the leaves are extremely flammable and the were set alight to promote the production of red lumps of resin at base which was used as tool making cement, incense at ceremonies and medicine. As a medicine the sap has antiseptic qualities and if crushed to powder would be used to help heal small wounds.The production of resin was easy to manipulated by scaring the base and setting alight of the upper flammable dead leaves. The gum was used as a glue from hold the stones in the clubs to spearheads hafted in the long strong wattle branches.
One could see this Resin because of its colour and perfume given of when alight being as a big part of their ceremonial life would have been an important element of the Witch doctors medicine chest. The crushed resin would have been used by the witch doctor to throw in the fire to get an explosive effect and strong intoxicating perfumed smoke and was very much an ceremony accessory.
Cycads have the same toxic properties of cyanide in the seeds and most parts of the plant and were also relied on as washed form of starch staple food to much of the plant in a person's diet would have detrimental effects especially in the time of settlement when the water supply relied to soak the seed of their toxins was already toxic from mining pollutants and township stock excrement not suitable for consumption but what choice did the people have.
Areas of green grass was promoted by burning of small areas at a time to encourage the feeding of Kangaroos and Wallabies. The warriors were thinking organised groups that knew the right time mainly winter or the wetter months to burn areas they needed for ceremony or bringing the kangaroos out of the tree's for fresh grass.
It was much like having the farm close to home
My theory is that bush was much more dense in the days past and branches grew much straighter and any joint in the tree would have been closer together making it perfect spears in the latter stone holding apparatus in the joints and the nearly 90 degrees pattern in some of the rock items is for backing against the timber of the joint or groove cut in wood for spear.
This place was built in the late 1800's as a power station and it seems and Gold, assay location Aboriginal people were still living along this part of the river taking advantage of the weir that was built for water extraction by the power station and in their spare time sorted what then would have been twice as toxic if not 10 times as today the Assay works dump. This would have some really adverse health effects bring on surly early death of some individuals.
I had found lots of evidence of Aboriginal people in this old dump even after nearly 100 years the ground is very toxic today and one can't spend no longer than an hour at a time near it what was the health effects of this toxic mess back in the days of dumping on the people then that would have sorted it for anything useful and those that carved the furnace glass into ornaments for top of clubs.
This use of ornament then sort of disproves the fact that early Aboriginal people showed no interest in Gold and Gems therefore they would not miss them from their lands. The Aboriginal People knew where all the gold nuggets were in Mt Morgan that they traded for meagre food supplies it was not the fact their eyesight was better at spotting such items it was the knowledge that they were located at such a place.
Large amount of artifacts were made from glass waste of invading white man, who had quickly came and cleared the land to find gold and feed stock taking away the Aboriginals people's rich vitamin diet of bush foods and supply of clean water holes.
I have noticed a large areas of artifacts at the edges of first settlement areas in Mt Morgan large amounts of glass artifacts with few of old rock version were uncovered by cleaning of Dee river behind the old Railway station long river bank and downstream Newman oval these areas which also mined by China man during the early gold days of Mt Morgan Chinese were ostracised with the Aboriginal people being not European.
Two areas of slag iron and some slag glass artifacts exists but there must be more main one is down near Mundic Gully back in the 1800's Mt Morgan actual town was on mountain behind. Mundic gully old rock foundations of the terraces the houses were built on still remain today as do the dumps of the Hotel bottles and most these dumps have presence of worked glass artifact items. My view of the amount of work they did with iron at the Mundic gully site is that they were still numerous in numbers to do such an amount of work and they were still very much large people as some of the long rocks carved are heavy to lift.
Living along the river while the mine was operating they would have been exposed to a more toxic environment that that it is today lead sulfates and cyanide ash would have been still more active and reactive probably leading to many health concerns weakening their immunity defences more to be prone to white man diseases.
Interesting 250 million yr brachiopoda fossil shell artifact Dee river behind Newman Oval, Mt Morgan.
Most the rock there is siltstone or metamorphic mudstone it is hard to work into fancy spears but because of the rocks monoclinc structure it was good for working down to flat surfaces.
One had found some of these items first like the Oyster, one does not think it is odd to find oysters but the quantity is the thing Bivalve, gastropod and the stemmed coral one still thought just town refuse but after find this Bryozoan coral 2015 I am now convinced that these items are no longer town rubbish but sub fossils from the past Paleocene period when the Mega fauna were in existence and some parts of the ocean were not too far away. There has been hundreds of oyster's shells and an oyster would only last fresh for one day or a bit more depending on how cool it was kept. That could give some indication that the beach was only a day's walk away in my fittest times I have know to walk some 30 ks in a day and I had water to carry. That sort of distance could make the ocean just at the bottom of Ulam range.
Bryozoan stemmed coral could be least 65 million years old
Type of Fenstilena Bryozoan coral these items were most like trade items with a close coastal tribe.
250 million year fossils lot of Brachipodia and a Belimite in metamorphic mudstone.
Otozamites a Clubmoss from Upper Carboniferious area in range near caves
Lignite from the Dee Sediments one can sort of claim it is before previous settlement as it more stone than wood and has an hand axe shape. The river sediments being Devonian tonalite mudstones mainly sediment-ed shellfish lots of Cast fossil brachipods that undergone different stages of metamorphism when filled with different sediments of the time one is surprised to find lignite thought it was further under in the period of time strata and it has the basic 1/2 Brachipod cast fossil shellfish shape.
Another possibility it was brought there from another tribe up in the hills one does find a a lot of petrified wood in river sediments from the hills.
Fossil wood marker stones and hammer rocks Mt Morgan Range near man made caves for clay where Dinosaur footprints were found from the Upper Carboniferous.
Dendrites on club rock a moss like structure crystal formations of minerals that grew through ancient rock when it formed .
Brachipodia Spirifer and Pectin shell on club stones. one would think these rocks with fossils on them were only ceremonial items as there is never much damage to the rocks or fossils but the majority are on some sort of artifact.
Trilobites on rocks from Mt Isa area . http://www.smh.com.au/technology/sci-tech/aboriginal-stories-of-sea-level-rise-preserved-for-thousands-of-years-20150213-13d3rz.html
Pictures from Book Our Living Stone Age Ion L Idriess Angus and Robertson published 1963
Tribe was usually ruled by the Elders to Tribal law and the Dreamtime Spiritual traditions and policed as we could say by the fully initiated Warriors.
Life of the Aboriginal women was one of servitude to the tribe as much was the warrior, days were spent collecting food that they only got a share of some were multiple wives of the Elders who were known to have sometimes up to three wives. They spent their younger lives with their parents till initiation times where their Totem aunts and Uncles would look after them and teach them the law of the tribe.They were kept separate from the men at night their was no sex life till marriage to their already determined Warrior. The Warrior spent most of his day hunting game part to pay the price of looking after his future bride who was sometimes only a child.
Children were given birth at a birthing place near some permanent water hole, totem aunts and other women took them to this place at the first sign of birth.
As with ceremony places there was laws of restriction and only women were allowed this place men were taboo considered bad luck if ever to venture during any ceremony.
Women were highly skilled at climbing tree's a skill they learnt from a very young age sometimes a small axe was used to cut a foot hold place but very often need as their ability to run up and down tree's was an inborn trait from many millennium of Stone-age life.
Women with their agile tree climbing chasing Possum, tree kangaroo, koala, goanna, tree snake, tree frogs, flying fox supplied children carrying bags or trays on the ground. Some women carried shoulder dilly bags with little paper bark bags carried combs of honey while children carried paperbark receptacles tied together at each end with eggs of wild ducks and swan.
Ornamental dressage was a common, their imagination with available resources was an important part of their life to celebrate the natural world around them and to be part of it too play out stories to each other from elements of their spiritual past.
Ceremony and the meeting of the tribes was a common custom usually held in the good seasons of spring when rains had replenished the streams allowing the people to travel long distances.
Warriors were known for their Ceremonial scaring to make themselves the strongest looking of men for their promised wives who in turn had themselves look strong for the brave Warrior.
Women mostly subjected themselves to ceremonial scaring to look the strongest in the western tribes where the practise of initiation was more prevalent than coastal tribes it was part of their indoctrination as growing up that the tribe had to work as an efficient unit to ensure the survival of all. It was part of some need to be much more stronger because of the much harsher conditions than that of the coastal tribes and also the fact the coastal tribes were more flexible with their territories and there was more movement among the tribes so there was time's when the tribe was not always together as an organisation to have set ceremonies.
Women and men with always adorned with ceremonial scars which made them proud and the strongest looking.
One can argue that if Humans were so diverse up to 63,000 years ago the Aboriginal tribes were already living on the low now under water parts of the Australian coastlines and not just getting here at the 40,000 time period as most Historians only say
First contact was reflected in the artwork and detrimental to art resources.
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