Monday, 2 June 2014

Tandop David Tournier, Wathaurong elder

                          May Excursion

                                           You Yangs National Park

The Wathaurong people are part of the greater Kulin nation surrounding Port Phillip and Western Port Bays. The Wathaurong area stretches south of Geelong toward Lorne, north toward Ballarat and then south-east to the Werribee River. 
The Wathaurong ranged over a wide area according to seasonal food sources, ceremonial obligations and trading relationships. 
The people conscientiously managed their land by building substantial houses, cultivating root vegetables and promoting grasslands by using controlled winter fire to promote the best conditions for plants and game while eliminating the risk of wildfire in summer. 
The standard of living of Koori people has been measured as one of the best in the world. To collect food and shelter materials, took on average, less than 2.5 hours each day, leaving a large part of the day for recreation and cultural activities. The life was not without its dangers and discomforts, but it was not the brutal impoverished existence painted by the rudimentary research of most white anthropologists. A study of habitation methods, tools, plant utilisation and midden sites reveals a very sophisticated society with a rich diet derived from careful agriculture and resource collection.
Bruce Pascoe
Wathaurong Co-operative 


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