Kombumerri Traditional Custodian Contributor: Uncle Graham Dillon OAM

This resource is related to the following Learning Area –

And responds to the following Enquiry Question –

Q25.How did the Kombumerri people trade with other clans and what was their main source of currency?

Resource transcript –

Trading, just like today, nationally… in those days it was local, mostly local. Because you had the resources… there was no shortage of resources. That’s important, you didn’t have to go thousands or hundreds of kilometres to get your resources. And, indeed, in times of season, locally, talking locally… now, Kombumerri Ngarang-wal, local, Gold Coast… pardon me. Resources, if you wanted something from the mountains whether it be stone implements, wood, anything to do with wood, feather, fur, fin. Fin, of course, that related to the fish down here, the jalum down here on the coast and so it was a time when, “Ooh, I wonder if we can get something or other off our neighbours coming down. We’ll wait and see.” And when they’d come down with their wares, they’d be welcomed, most important, they’d be welcomed with open arms down here on the coast and they’d bring their wares with them. It could have been furs from up the top because the people up the top, Wanggeriburra for example, they would have furs and things like that because up there furs were very important. The pelts were important for cold weather. So, if there was enough to spare they would take them down and we would exchange. We’d do the exchange with our resources. So, the trading or the bartering system, as it’s called today, the trading and the bartering system was quite successful. There weren’t any problems, no arguments, nothing at all. So, it’s no different today to what it was in those days. The only thing is what type of resources we used there with our first people, the first nations and what we do here today where we’re Australia’s great south spans a huge international bartering and trading system. Most important, believe it or not, that I would say, quite humbly, that that is the way, you’d have a public relations system. Public relations, to me, to this person is this: Make friends with your enemies and there’s an old adage, never let the sun go down without making friends or healing. If you’ve had a row with your friend or an aunty or an uncle or a cousin or a visitor and for whatever reason you fall out with them, it is absolutely imperative that you make friends before the nyanga-gayan , before the sun goes away. If you don’t that bad feeling that you had against that person or they had against you… that could stay in your system overnight. You could be dwelling on it and thinking about it and it’d be ’here in the morning when you wake up. But, if you resolve that argument or that dispute the same day you’ve had the row before the sun down, before the sun’s gone away, everything’s all clear and the next day you start life again and it’s all over.