July 3, 2019
Yarraman is a town of many mysteries … and one of the biggest is a giant wooden head that’s been located at the Royal Hotel for more than 30 years.
No one is quite certain who carved it or why, so stories abound.
But the most commonly accepted explanation is that a group of Maori workers employed during the Tarong Power Station construction in the 1980s finished off a night on the town by taking their chisels to a large block of wood.
Those unknown workers are long gone, but the head has lived on to delight hotel customers ever since.
And soon it will be joined by six brothers (or sisters), thanks to the Yarraman Business Group (YBG) and a grant from Toowoomba Regional Council.
The extra “Yarramen” will be positioned at businesses around the town, and each one will be uniquely decorated.
That way, no one will ever confuse the original with the new arrivals.
Yarraman Caravan Park owner Tania Paul said the YBG had come up with the idea to create a point of difference for the town.
“These wooden heads are weird, wonderful and fun,” she said.
“We got a local wood carver to prepare them, and we plan to distribute them to YBG members around town on condition they decorate them in whatever way they like.
“The only other condition is that their decoration must be different to everyone else’s”.
Tania said one idea the YBG is looking at is to create a “Yarraman passport” involving the wooden heads to encourage visitors to wander around Yarraman’s CBD.
The group may use GPS or some other technology to track the passport trail, but the finer details are yet to be worked out.
If the idea proves successful, it is possible even more “Yarramen” could be created.
The Water Inn Cafe is the first business to adopt a “Yarraman”, and they called on local artist Anthony Donas to help decorate it.
The gaily decorated “Yarraman” now sits in the cafe’s courtyard, ready to be photographed with visitors.
Others are expected to be rolled out soon.
Footnote: We all know that “Yarraman” really means horse …
[Photos: Water Inn Cafe and Yarraman Business Group]