Bush­walk­ers asked to help with lost site

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Per­era

■ A Yin­hawangka her­itage project is call­ing for any in­for­ma­tion from Tom Price bush­walk­ers about a gorge they were the last known peo­ple to ac­cess — all the way back in the 1960s.

The Yin­hawangka peo­ple are work­ing with her­itage and en­vi­ron­men­tal con­sul­tancy Terra Rosa on an in­ten­sive re­search project over land in­clud­ing parts of the Hamer­s­ley range.

It is part of a com­mu­nity project funded by the Yin­hawangka Trust to record its peo­ple’s sa­cred land.

Now they are par­tic­u­larly in­ter­ested in a gorge in the Ny­im­ili range they be­lieve cur­rent or former Tom Price lo­cals might be able to help with.

Terra Rosa en­gage­ment man­ager Frida Blom said bush­walk­ers from Tom Price had a con­nec­tion with the area.

“In­side the range there is a gorge that hasn’t been vis­ited for a very long time,” she said.

“In the 1960s, the Tom Price Bush­walk­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion was there for some rea­son and found some ochre paint­ings there.

“They re­ported them to the Depart­ment of Abo­rig­i­nal Af­fairs, and they were reg­is­tered as Abo­rig­i­nal her­itage sites.” The Tom Price Bush­walk­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion no longer ex­ists, but the Yin­hawangka peo­ple and Terra Rosa are keen to speak to any former mem­bers who came across the gorge to help them find and iden­tify the paint­ings as parts of the group’s her­itage.

They also be­lieve the gorge could hold more her­itage sites and would wel­come any pho­to­graphs or hand-drawn maps giv­ing more in­for­ma­tion.

The Tom Price bush­walk­ers are the last peo­ple on record to have vis­ited the gorge, Ms Blom said, in­clud­ing even the Yin­hawangka peo­ple.

“For Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple it has a lot of dan­ger­ous as­so­ci­a­tions with bad spir­its,” she said.

“The Yin­hawangka peo­ple want to know more about any other ma­te­ri­als in it so they can pro­tect oth­ers.”

The area is very sig­nif­i­cant to the Yin­hawangka peo­ple, hold­ing a range of spir­i­tual and myth­i­cal as­so­ci­a­tions.

Yin­hawangka mem­ber Roy Tommy said the project “means a lot in terms of his­tory — the area has a huge his­tory” for his peo­ple that they want to pre­serve.

Con­tact Terra Rosa on 9336 4645 or info@trco.com.au with any in­for­ma­tion about the sites.

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