Songlines & Peace

The Songlines zig-zagged through the Wardaman country uniting all the clan and totem groups and then travelled across tribal boundaries linking all tribal and languages groups together right across the continent. This by Law meant the clans shared ceremony and language, shared the land and water. This in turn meant the nieghbours shared ceremony and language, shared the land and water. According to Yidumduma this promoted respect and peace throughout the land.

Related Links:
Gujingga Songline
Reclaiming Our Rivers:
High School & College Lesson Plan by Global Oneness Project. Pulitzer prize-winning poet Robert Hass writes about the physical state of rivers around the globe.

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Now I’ll tell you all about…
all the clan group ourself I’m talking about first.
We always in the different boundary…
what they call the Dreaming track.
All our Dreaming only go stop,
right to, another bloke got a Dreaming,
we join together like this.
They on that side, we on this side.
That way we respect one another, in that boundary.
White man call it boundary, but that’s our boundary line as well.
And we go along to the outsider where the Songline finishes up
in the boundary, ‘cause that other mob they join us,
they respect one another again.
Paul: You’ve got the clan groups, together, and the different Dreaming,
and then Songline comes through…
Songline just goes zig-zag like this everywhere.
Paul: And it goes through those different…
It goes through every one of them (clan areas).
Paul: And it gets picked up by the neighbour.
Well…there’s the outsider neighbour, but the clan group neighbour
inside… the Songline…
Til he gets up to the other mob, the outsider, the neighbour.
Then the Songline stops on our side, and they take over their Songline,
from our side… We more or less connected together…
They do it their way now.
And all the way, that’s with the connection.
And…there’s no arguing, no row what totem they got,
what totem we got this side… They respect one another.
Paul: So it teaches respect.
Yeah, teaches the respect on both sides.
Wardaman this side, Ngaliwurru that side…
Wardaman this side, Ngarriman that side.
Paul: For example, if the river goes through?
River goes through, we take the river half and half.
Paul: And then you share the water.
Yeah, we share the water,
because the Songline cross over the river and come back through…
Main stream the river…may finish up..another man land,
that his totem, that his country, his Dreaming there.
Fine…everything their totem.
…different Fish People from the little water, but they in the big water,
they respect that their Dreaming too…just in the water.
That’s their Dreaming, that little fish or crocodile…
Not like a white man…they don’t respect one another with the boundary,
unless they put a fence up.
Paul: They often put a fence or a wall.
…but us, we can recognise, where’s our Dreaming go and stop.
Paul: And the neighbours…on the boundaries, you come together for ceremonies too.
We’ll send a message out and they come, have a ceremony with us.
And they send a message out and we go, and we have a ceremony with them…
Paul: Last year you were talking about doing joint initiations with the boys,
and you both came in and brought your boys in and you were sharing the ceremony.
Sharing the ceremony with initiation and everything.
Paul: And that teaches respect.
That teaches real respect…
Paul: And then you have your relationship system.
And the relationship system, skin…we’ll connect with them.
Paul: …so you’ve got cousins and brothers…
All that and half one and all this. But all our proper Dreaming, they here.
They got their proper Dreaming, they there.
Paul: And you respected…each others Dreaming.
If we got to go over there we got to ask,
“We all right to go over there?” They say, “Yes.”
All right, we go. We just don’t bolt in and take over.
Paul: So you have to get permission?
Permission…you ask, make sure…do the right thing…
That’s why we respect one another. That’s in Aboriginal way.
But white man way is different…
He can come along with a bull-dozer…
That’s real good, like everyone respect one another.
Paul: And that promotes…peace with all your neighbors all round…
because you had…7 neighbours…
Maybe more, and we can understand one another with the language.
Paul: So when there is a conflict, you also have Law…
what you do if there is a conflict between 2 groups,
say you and Ngaliwurru, you’re going to sit down and work it out…
Yeah, we can work it out, make everything all right.
No row, just talk about it.
Paul: So you don’t go out and start fighting.
No, no fighting and start a row and being aggressive…
We just sit down and talk about it, normal,
and we come together, even.
Proper respect…

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