Kombumerri Traditional Custodian Contributor: Uncle Graham Dillon OAM

This resource is related to the following Learning Area –

And responds to the following Enquiry Questions –

Q10.Were weddings and birthdays important to the Kombumerri people and how did this happen? (Celebrations and Corroborees).
Q21.How did the clans manage their traditional boundaries?

Resource transcript –

I don’t think they’re any different to the weddings and joyful occasions they have in the mainstream. Even now, they’re creatures of habit. My people are creatures of habit. You might think it’s a bit droll. Same old, same old, same old. But that’s what keeps the nature of the Aboriginal strong and vibrant. He doesn’t depart from what he’s been taught from a young person, right? And, so, when it comes time for marriage, now this is important, they have to marriage outside the camp. You don’t marry someone within that camp. I do know, I do know that a couple fell in love in the camp and when the old people heard about it they were livid because that goes against everything that they’ve been taught. You don’t do that. And what was the result? Those young people who previously lived on the Gold Coast, they just left. They went up the north coast, married, had a family. No problems. And equally so, with the celebrations, the corroborees, very important. They’re like dances or… we went to a big… it was a change thing the other day up at the Sharks and you had all of the lovely people there and they put on a big show. It was a celebration and different races were there, different nationalities. And, so, it’s no different to the Aboriginal people. They’d invite neighbouring tribes or dialect groups along because they were a happy people. So, that was… When you have sorry business, you’ll have a gathering and if someone dies, it could be an aunty, an uncle someone like that, everything stops. And as I’ve noticed, particularly with the more tribal people out west in the hard country, that when a person goes to sleep all of the relatives… they’ll all gather. They’ll stop work, doesn’t matter where they are. They’ll just down tools in respect of that person who has gone to sleep. And on the Gold Coast with the Kombumerri Ngarang-wal, they do the same thing. They just show their respect by stopping, albeit a short time. I remember going to sorry business just over the border where a baby had died and the mob from North Stradbroke and their bloodline connected to the Kombumerri. They got all painted up, to go, pardon me, to go to the sorry business. And when I saw them… you couldn’t recognise the normal skin colour. They were red red… hair was red, fingernails were red, toenails were red. That’s how important it was for them to recognise the importance of paying their respect to that little baby who had gone to sleep. It was only a young baby too. So, they knew the importance of celebrations of happy times but indeed sad times, yeah.