08 Nov A culture not to be forgotten
The Aboriginal communities of Australia are like any other community. They consist of farmers, artists, teachers, navigators, doctors, athletes and so much more. The people have faith, their own languages and traditions.
Too sadly has their culture been slowly lost into the midst of history. Some parts have already disappeared, but there are many that can still be reclaimed. With special permissions, conditions and the utmost respect for the local people, this is how our Goolimbil Walkabout Tour came to life.
What does Walkabout mean?
A traditional Walkabout is a rite of passage for young Australian Aboriginal males. Mainly between the ages of 10 – 16 years. When the elders of a tribe believe a boy to be mentally and physically equipped, he is sent on his own into the wilderness to ‘become an adult’. The journey could last for 6 months, even years. During this time the boy must survive alone, he must; hunt, catch fish, distinguish edible from inedible plants and identify those used for healing. He must be able to build and seek shelter and protect himself from the elements and wildlife.
Not only is the Walkabout a physical test, it is just as importantly a spiritual search. Being alone for such a period, one has a chance to reflect on himself, understand bravery, connect with the surrounds and interpret in his own way, the spiritual beliefs of his people. This can be especially hard for one so young and the elders do not take it lightly. The elders prepare the boys by passing on their advice, teaching the ways of their tribe and tutoring by song.
The journey is the ultimate measure of strength and upon return the boy is celebrated as a man. This can be viewed by some as a medieval method, but maybe we could all learn something from this cultural practice. In a world where technology rules, the closest some get to survival skills is eating weetbix for dinner and pulling out Google maps when lost, getting an insight to the raw natural world is both eye opening and refreshing.
A platform for learning
On the 1770 LARC! Tours cultural tour, Goolimbil Walkabout, we are privileged to be able offer a platform for our Indigenous guide to provide an insight as to what might be learned before a young boy embarked. Our guests learn to recognize several plant species and their healing properties, try their hand at spear throwing and taste test bush tucker. Our local guide will captivate you with stories from when the “Dreaming” began and tales from ancestors. There is something for everyone in the family to take away from this experience.