The Reconciliation or Acceptance Story

In the 1930s there was a decision made by my clan to accept a little girl, my Auntie Ruby, into their midst, even though she had a lighter coloured skin. We called this event the Reconciliation or Acceptance Story. 

First of all my Auntie Ruby, when she was old enough to understand, was asked to put her handprint in a cave to symbolise her acceptance into the clan. A hand stencil was made to give the hand's true shadow and to record that she was there. (Aunt Ruby's hand is the first on the left.) The stencil was made by blowing ochre through a hollowed bone to create the spray effect. Thagu, the left hand, was used as this is generally regarded as a person's signature, and because it is the peaceful hand; whereas nganhthirr, the right hand, is generally the first used in anger.

Then the artist and the story-teller sat down to document the event. They had to find a symbol they could paint to represent the story. So in a cave close to the handprint cave, they painted a big fish to symbolise the good decision made.

The reason they painted a fish is because when fish are swimming they sometimes turn and reflect the light. This is called gandal. Light has always been the symbol of spirituality, where good spirits are found. Darkness is where the bad spirits linger. So the reflection of the fish reminds us of how we should be accepting of all people, regardless of skin colour or culture.

You can see the big fish and the handprints, and hear more about the Reconciliation Story, on our Rainbow Serpent Tour.

1 comment:

uday said...

AMAZING post! I'm just starting with my blog partly about traveling. Advices in your posts are really helpful. I wanna have the full experience from every trip, not thinking about how to make good story, I guess you just taught me how to do it. Thank You

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