Central Western Plains: Acknowledgment of Country: Macquarie River, Dubbo and Terramungamine Reserve [video]

Aunty Diane McNaboe shares stories of her Country
Cultural Narrative: 


I'd like to acknowledge that we're on Wiradjuri country.

We're all standing on the lands of the Tubbagah main Wiradjuri people on Wiradjuri special country. I think if you're on Country you should know a little bit about Country so we're in Dubbo at the moment.

Dubbo is a ceremonial headdress, so dhubbu. Dhubbu was a ceremonial headdress worn by the women. When non-Aboriginal people seen our people pointing at the red ochre, they thought it meant red earth, so they said Dubbo was ‘red earth’ but what they was doing, they mined our red ochre quarries to build Old Dubbo House and the old fellas were pointing to it and they were saying, ‘dhubbu, dhubbu, dhubbu’, because it hadn't put its ceremonial cap on yet, hadn't put the roof on.

What the women used to do, if you lost your husband, you would put a red clay cap in your hair and you would put it around and wrap it around in your head until you got this thick clay cap. And that was your dhubbu and that marked the law that no man was to come near you and torment you and try to set up a relationship with you until that mourning period had finished.

So Dubbo is named after the women's ceremonial mourning cap. We have grinding grooves, terramungamine. Terramungamine. ‘Terra’ is Latin for country of, or country belonging to. ‘Munga’ is ironbark. And ‘mine’ is the people, so country of the ironbark people.

You have a lot of places that are named after different animals. You'll hear '-dura’ on the end, ‘-duray’. Um, Gilgandra. That '-dra' on the end means having place. So Gilgandra is long water having place.

Um... Cootamundra - Goodamungdra. Goodamungdra is the long-necked turtle having place. Wagga Wagga, place of many crows. Narromine - Ngarrumine, which is honey people. So ‘ngarru’ is honey, ‘mine’ is the people.

You've got Talbragar, which is a little bit like little mother, 'cause up the other end of Talbragar River there's a little spot there and they've got all these little baby fossilised fish and the name for that means little mother. So there's a couple of names for that Talbragar River and you can go up there and you can have a dig at some of the fossils and you can understand why they'd call it place of the little babies.