Photograph Bindy Welsh, 2011
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Photographs ©Bindy Welsh, Indigo Images, 2011
This photograph features the leaves of the Black Wattle, an acacia. Tanning hides was women’s work and done down by the river bank. Black wattle bark was stripped and used to tan skins, in holes dug at the edge of the river or lagoon.
Freddie Dowling, the consultant on this story, is one of the elders of the Pangerang people. He is a storyteller and published author. His No More the Valley Rings with Koorie Laughter is a collection of stories, the majority of which were told to him by his father and his grandmother, Annie Lewis, the niece of Mary Jane Milawa.
These stories were written down in 1975 for his own family ‘so that their descendants could reflect on who they were and learn something of their culture and how it was before white settlement changed everything’.
The Pangerang/Bangerang people, a nation of sub-clans, occupied much of what is now North Eastern Victoria stretching along the Tongala (Murray) River to Echuca and into the areas of the southern Riverina in New South Wales.