Lake Sambell hosts special ceremony
LAST Friday morning Lake Sambell became the stage for a traditionally Aboriginal ceremony.
Dallas Mugarra, a language assistant at Bright P12 College and also Wooragee Primary School, delivered the cultural experience.
More than 40 people, many descendants of local indigenous groups, travelled from Melbourne to attend the event.
Mr Mugarra began with the Smoking Ceremony a ritual that is performed by aboriginal people wherever they go, regardless of different languages and totems.
“It is our ‘Welcome to Country’ all over Australia,” he said.
Mr Mugarra explained how they do not burn the leaves but heat them up to produce smoke and why it is done.
“Often we pick up and carry bad energy in our bodies and in our minds, and the smoke cleanses our path for the rest of the day or for the time that we stay in that place,” he said.
“This is a very important part of our cultural heritage, our knowledge and our identity.
“All the trees and leaves have names and different purposes in our language.”
He said singing and dancing also forms an important part of these ceremonies.
“As I sing and play the rhythm sticks, the bad energy will disappear because it does not like smoke, or happy people with big hearts,” Mr Mugarra said.
“As we dance with the children you will learn that you have been dancing all your life, even in your mother’s belly, before you were born, now and forever.”
Following the ceremony a lunch was enjoyed by all those in attendance.
CULTURAL TRADITION: Dallas Mugurra plays the didgeridoo depicting the friendship that is extended to the people of the local area.