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Gariwerd Rock Art

Gariwerd Rock Art

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Published by draculavanhelsing
fact sheet
fact sheet

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categoriesTypes, Research
Published by: draculavanhelsing on Jul 22, 2013
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$$
Mura MuraGunigalg
(Mt Difficult)
GULGURN MANJANGAMADJIDJ
$
 Lake Werdug 
Lah-Arum
(Wartook)
Zumstein
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(Roses Gap)
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DadswellBridge
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BUDJA BUDJA
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g
(Mt Zero)(Mt Stapylton)
Gar
Werdug
(Lake Wartook)
(Halls Gap)
Barigar
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50 Kilometres
HighwaySealed RoadUnsealed RoadNational Park
A
boriginal
R
ock
A
rt
S
ites
Northern Gariwerd
In the Gariwerd-Grampians National Park, thepublic can visit rockshelters where Aboriginalpeople camped and painted images of their lifeand law on the sandstone walls. Gulgurn Manja(Flat Rock) and Ngamadjidj (Cave of Ghosts) atthe northern end of Gariwerd make an interestingvisit, and there is easy access by road andwalking trails.
A
CCESS AND
F
ACILITIES
These sites are at the northern tip of Gariwerd, aboutan hour’s drive from Budja Budja (Halls Gap).
G
ulgurn
M
anja
(Flat Rock) is located 5 kms south of the Western Highway near the Hollow Mountaincamping ground. There is a 15-minute gentle walk tothe site from Flat Rock Road. Access to
 
N
gamadjidj
(Cave of Ghosts) is viaPlantation Road. There is a 100-metre easy walk tothis small rockshelter from the carpark.
P
LACE
N
AMES
In the last 150 years, European names have beengiven to Aboriginal places, but many of these areinappropriate. The ‘Cave of Ghosts’, for example, isnot a ‘cave’, and there is no evidence to suggest thatthe white figures were meant to resemble ‘ghosts’.Local Aboriginal words, which relate to features of thesite or nearby places, have been chosen and are nowpreferred.
T
HE
S
ITES
The Jardwadjali (pronounced Yard-wa-jali) peoplelived in the northern and western Gariwerd ranges,and on the Wimmera Plains to the west. This regionhas only half the rainfall of central Gariwerd. As water is scarce in summer, this would have determinedwhere the Jardwadjali could camp. Both the GulgurnManja and Ngamadjidj sites are on the edge of theranges, from where the Jardwadjali had easy accessonto the plains and were also able to utilise the water and food resources of the rocky uplands.
 
G
ulgurn
M
anja
(pronounced Gulkurn Manya)meaning ‘hands of young people’, is a rockshelter atthe northern tip of Gariwerd. From here the smallgroups of Jardwadjali would have been ideallypositioned to see the fires of other groups on theplains to the north. They also used the local fine-grained sandstone to make stone tools. Marks wherestone has been broken from the walls can still be seenin this shelter.The paintings at Gulgurn Manja include bars, emutracks and handprints. Handprints such as these areonly found in northern Gariwerd, and many here weredone by children, hence the Aboriginal name for thesite. These paintings were part of a unique local artstyle which was used to tell stories and pass on thelaw of the people.
N
gamadjidj
(pronounced NG as in sing, DJ as in jaw)meaning ‘white person’, is on the western edge of theranges near a small secluded waterhole. Remains of campfires and stone tools used by the Jardwadjalihave been found here, which suggests it was afavoured camping place.The paintings at this site are unusual because onlywhite clay was used. Elsewhere in Gariwerd thepaintings were mostly done with red pigment. Theremnants of sixteen painted figures are on this panel,but some are becoming very faint. Unfortunatelynothing is known about the meaning of thesepaintings. The traditional lifestyle of the Jarwadjali wasdestroyed before it could be recorded.
Detail from Ngamadjidj 
Detail from Gulgurn Manja
R
OCK
A
RTHow is it made?
The Jardwadjali gathered specialmaterials for their paints. Iron-rich clays (ochre) werequarried from around Gariwerd for red pigments.Kaolin clay was used for white. The pigment wasground, mixed with water, and applied either with abrush (made of bark fibre or the frayed end of a stick)or a finger. At Gulgurn Manja, handprints were madeby pressing a painted hand against the rock – asopposed to the stencil technique used in southernGariwerd, where a hand was placed on the rock thensprayed with a mouthful of pigment.
How old is it?
Only a few sites in Gariwerd havebeen investigated, but these show that Aboriginalpeople have camped in rockshelters here for the last22,000 years. We do not know exactly when thepaintings were made. Research elsewhere hasdemonstrated that Aboriginal people have lived in thearea now called Victoria, for at least 40,000 years.
C
ARING FOR THE
S
ITES
It is important to preserve these sites so we can learnabout and appreciate the way Aboriginal people live.Today, such places serve as a source of pride tocontemporary Aboriginal people, and are important toall Australians as examples of our continent’s longhistory. The Aboriginal community has recently builtthe Brambuk Living Cultural Centre in Budja Budja,where they share the knowledge of their culture, bothpast and present.Unfortunately the cages around the art are necessaryto protect the sites against vandalism. On your visit,take care not to interfere with the sites in any way.
 
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BUDJA BUDJA
(Halls Gap)
BILLIMINA
MANJA
Horsham
Gariwerd
MtThackeray
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50 Kilometres
A
boriginal
R
ock
A
rt
S
ites
Southern Gariwerd
In the Gariwerd - Grampians National Park,the public can visit rockshelters whereAboriginal people camped and paintedimages of their life and law on the sandstonewalls.
B
illimina (Glenisla Shelter) and
M
anja(Cave of Hands) are two such sites located inBillawin (Victoria Range), which make for aninformative visit.
A
CCESS AND
F
ACILITIES
These sites are about a 1-hour drive from Budja Budja(Halls Gap), along the Glenelg River Road, LodgeRoad and Red Rock Road.
B
illimina
is a 15-minute, steady uphill walk fromBuandik picnic and camping area.
M
anja
is a further 10-minute drive from the Buandikcamping area. There is a 20-minute uphill walk to theimpressive sandstone outcrop from the carpark besidethe Billywing Pine Plantation. There are no picnic or toilet facilities near the site.
P
LACE
N
AMES
In the last 150 years, European names have beengiven to Aboriginal places, but many of these areinappropriate. In northern Gariwerd the ‘Cave of Ghosts’, for example, is not a ‘cave’, and there is noevidence to suggest that the white figures were meantto resemble ‘ghosts’. Local Aboriginal words, whichrelate to features of the site or nearby places, havebeen chosen and are now preferred.
T
HE
S
ITES
The western slopes of the Billawin Range wereregular camping places of the Jardwadjali(pronounced Yard-wa-jali) people. Here there weremany rockshelters which offered protection from therain and cold southerly winds. The Jardwadjalipreferred to camp in shelters facing north or eastaround the creeks on the lower slopes of the range.From these places they had easy access onto theplains, but could still venture up onto the ranges tohunt or gather food.

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