Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Whaling: Japan doesn't have an exclusive right to claim cultural connection in southern waters

The Government of Japan and Japanese whalers have repeatedly made extravagant claims that they have the right to kill whales for their meat based on what is called a cultural tradition of eating whale meat.

Here in Australia a vital part of our society, tribal groups and traditional land owners on the coast, arguably have older and probably stronger cultural ties to whales.

Whale Dreaming © Y. Bundle 2007 This work arose from a dream Yaraan received. It is about the Whale Dreaming songline connected to Keerray Woorroong Country along the coast near Warrnambool. In her dream the Old People told Yaraan the story of the Southern Right Whale and their journey to our waters to give birth to their young. They told her the secret of the whales and the knowledge they bring. This work tells their story.

On gurrawul, the whale, according to the Yuin people of south eastern Australia:

MAX DULUMUNMUN HARRISON: We have our three markings which are so important - spiritual, physical and mental. That they must have the markings to participate in this particular kind of whale dreaming ceremony. The whales were elders once that walked the land and the whales then got permission to go out into gadu, the ocean, to look after the food and the medicines that are all out there in the ocean, because they're the fellas then, that we must respect. And, of course, every time that a whales beaches itself, to come in, it's regurgitating the law. And that is so important. If the law is not regurgitated, then our mob will roam this country aimlessly without culture. And for the eastern seaboard people, that's something I am trying to keep alive so that they can stand up and talk about culture. So that they can participate in a simple ceremony of respecting the whale that's out there in gadu, the ocean.

1 comment:

Margi Prideaux said...

Just brilliant information to have. These are the message we need to spread across the blogsphere Waterdragon. Thanks for reminding us all of some soul again