Bundjalung Nation

Bundjalung Nation

The Bundjalung Nation (also spelt Bandjalang, Banjalang, bunjulung, bunjalung or Badjelang) has become a general term for the whole language area stretching the far North East Coast of NSW and the Southern Eastern coast of Queensland. It extends from Grafton on the Clarence River in the South to the Logan River in the North and inland as far as the Great Dividing Range at Tenterfield and Warwick.

At the time of first European contact in the  1800’s there were up to 20 dialects in the Bundjalung Nation, including; Wahlubal, Yugambeh, Birrihn, Bandjalang, Wudjebal, Wiyabal, Wuhyabal, Minyangbal, Ngaraakwal, Ngarrahngbal, Nyangbal, Barryugil, Gidhabal, Galibal and Githabul.

These ancient languages and dreamtime stories of the Bundjalung people have only just mananged to survive and much has been lost. In just over 200 years after thousands of years of occupation, the last speakers of the original language have all but been wiped out.

Sacred lands and hunting grounds were involuntarily turned into someone else’s property and families were torn apart to an extent that still impacts on the new generations.

 

Over many centuries Aboriginals living in coastals regions of Northern NSW encountered strangers who arrived by sea. This was not unusual as The Three Brothers, Yahbeerim Mahmoon and Birrum- the ancestors of all the Bundjalung clans, had come by sea in a bark canoe from south to north, landing at different locations and establishing fresh water sites, tribal laws, bora rings and traditional knowledge for generations to come.

Bundjalung Country was thickly forested with large freshwater lakes and swamps near the coast, and successive mountain ranges bordering the west and running to the sea coast of Wollumbin




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