Tuesday, September 6, 2011

In which Al answers questions

A couple of questions were asked about my recent posts so I thought I would attempt to answer them.When I posted about these Aboriginal hand prints at the Grampians, Kathleen Jones asked about the images “Do you suppose it was some kind of 'coming of age' ritual?”

Well that is hard to say, only the people who made the marks could say for sure. Aboriginal people had many levels of knowledge; some of which were available to anyone and others which could only be revealed to people initiated in the right way.
I remember meeting Aboriginal elders in northern NSW who talked about much of the ‘dreaming’ of their people which had been lost. It was lost because their parents and grandparents had refused to pass it on to even their own relatives because they had not been properly initiated in the old ways.

However given that the hand prints were all of young people ‘coming of age’ was probably part of the story. But it was most likely more complex, the platform the shelter sits above has an amazing view far out into the northern plains. Any ceremony here was likely to have been about the ‘country’ that the young people belonged to as much as about them.

Now a little more ‘down to earth’
Susan Flett Swiderski asked of my last post “I take it you have a LOT of waterfalls in your area?”This is a question that is also a little complex. The simplest way to put it is that depends on your frame of reference.

Victoria, the state I live in, is Australia’s second smallest. It is about the size of Minnesota in the USA or about the same size as the United Kingdom

The waterfalls I have posted in the past few months are in an area 473km (295 miles) across. To a Victorian that seems like a huge space but to a Queenslander like me it seems a relatively short distance. Queensland our second largest state is bigger than Alaska (or in European terms bigger than France, Germany, Spain and Italy put together).

Now as a reward for making you sit through all that some piccies of Trentham Falls that I took on Sunday.I spent a couple of hours shooting the falls from many angles. From almost level with the top of the 82 metre (270 ft) falls
to the river bed at the base. That was quite a climb on the way back up!


Faith E. Hough said...

Gorgeous pictures--and the frame of reference was quite interesting. The only major falls I've ever seen is Niagara Falls, which is impressive, but not quite so beautiful, in my opinion. It always seems rather barren.

Anne Gallagher said...

Funny how in pictures it doesn't look that high. But I guess if you fell from the top, it would hurt when you hit the bottom.

Linda G. said...

Yay! More waterfall pics! One can never have too many waterfall pics. :)

Old Kitty said...

Awwww it's worth the climb up and down for these gorgeous yummy shots!! Yay!!! Thanks for sharing! Take care

Kathleen Jones said...

Thanks for your response to the question Al. I suppose we can never know for certain so far back in the past.
I was thinking a lot about 'the dreaming' when researching Shamanic journeying and whether there was a connection since so many of these ancient people seemed to practise the art of it.

Carolyn V said...

Wow. That is so interesting about the Aboriginal people.
Love the waterfalls, we have a few here too. Love them!

Hart Johnson said...

I have no idea whether there is any commonality, but in Idaho there are rock paintings of a similar nature and it's my understanding they were from a ritual involving 'sweathouses' (probably a euphoric something burned) but the natives would go in until they hallucinated and then they would paint their 'visions' on the rocks... (or something like that-my sense of history is largely filtered through what I find interesting, so I've been known to combine stories)

I LOVE those falls. I think anywhere with big elevation changes and precipitation gets them--the northwest US where I come from has quite a few.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. I'm the kind of person who will tear through the woods like an idiot to pursue the distant sound of falling water, because even a small falls is worth the pursuit. But thanks to you, I can enjoy beautiful pictures of waterfalls ... without tearing up my legs on the sticker bushes!

Michelle Teacress said...

I've been gone for the month of August, so I'm glad to be catching up on your picture posts. Good to 'see' you again (though I've already seen you commenting on my blog - thanks for that). Lovely waterfalls. :)

L'Aussie said...

Hey Al, gorgeous pics as always. Well, the state I live in, Q'ld, is the size of ... well pretty big eh? Have you been to Kakadu and seen the Aboriginal cave art there? It's pretty amazing. I always love a waterfall too. I hope Spring has sprung down in Melbourne town. It's delicious up here ATM.


Deniz Bevan said...

More great photos! I hear you on the distances. We've had relatives say funny (to us) things like "we're coming to Montreal, should we land at Montreal or Toronto airport?" :-)