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THE FIRST INITIATION IN 150 YEARS

Many people still believe that the Tasmania Aboriginal people are no longer, others believe that our culture died with the Ancestors. 

Our Traditional Ancestors are no more, that is true, and it is also true that the culture they practiced is no longer. But! Nothing is stagnant, cultures move with the passage of time and all vibrant living cultures change and adapt with changes in seasons, invasions, and time. 

It is only when a culture is isolated for tens of thousands of years that a peak is reached and no further forward movement is necessary. This does not imply that a culture has regressed or is de-evolving as one archaeologist insisted. 

The peak our Ancestors reached was beyond the comprehension of the invaders. That is why they called us "Stone age and Primitive"

Culture is more than physical trappings.

Culture is about heritage, unity, traditions that are so old they have become lost in the beginnings of time. For the Ancestors this was when the world was without a sun. 

Our Smoking Ceremonies were for a variety of purposes many of which we will never know. We do know that there was a smoking ceremony associate with initiation to become an Elder. Elders in our Urban Traditional culture often become so with age or upon becoming a grandparent. 

Wallantyannalinany Lydidder (Southern Country all Around) Southern Traditional Elders Council is bringing back the Traditional culture for the community. We have Seniors Elders and Elders in training. In Australian and Tasmanian Aboriginal culture we use the terms Auntie and Uncle as respect for our elders.

Our Spiritual Advisor and Senior Elder is Uncle John Coleman, he is one of the stolen generation. Uncle John is the only Tasmanian Aboriginal person who can speak the language of the Ancesters fluently.

Uncle John performed my initiation Ceremony. He called on the Ancestral Creator and the Spirits of the past to welcome me as an Elder within the community. It was the first time in 150 years that an Initiation Smoking Ceremony was performed. 

The ceremony took place at Risdon Brook Dam. Today it is a picnic area but in the past it was a place where the Ancestors were known to be. It is also adjacent to the place where the first massacre occurred. It was considered appropriate to use this place by Uncle John as it combined both worlds the past and the present.

We invited the media to see the public aspects of the ceremony, to inform the broader public that our culture was alive and practiced.

Pictures from the initiation ceremony.

(Click on each picture to enlarge it)

 
 
 
init04.jpg (91138 bytes)  
 
A proud moment. My father congratulating me on becoming one with the Ancestors of the past.

My father grew up not knowing he was Aboriginal so it is a proud moment for him when he can pass his Ancestral heritage on to me publically, forever destroying the shame factor for our family

My initiated name is Tereetee Lore. Tereetee is the name of a woman from the Big River Tribe, sadly the name is untranslated. The original Tereetee was a black Aboriginal and as I am a white looking Aboriginal it was considered that the name represented the changes in our culture. 

Lore means white. Thus making me Tereetee Lore. 

A white Tereetee. 

At this time I was also given my Dreaming and Totem.

 

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