December 22, 2020
The recent corroboree held at the Bunya Mountains had special meaning for Wakka Wakka woman Aneta Dodd who dreams of bringing language and culture to a new generation of young Indigenous men and women.
Aneta – also known as Mgurr Narlee – paints and writes about what she sees, feels and dreams.
She has created posters and postcards but her latest work is a book, “The Bunya Tree”, which combines her artwork with Wakka Wakka language.
“I go out on country and put the words together with the landscape,” she said.
It tells the story of a special dream she had where she saw Grandmother Weazel, who hugged her and welcomed her.
The spiritual love she felt overwhelmed her.
“The little old Weazel lady took me to where her spirit is in this very huge bunya tree, so high up top,” Aneta wrote.
“She no longer was a lady but the bunya tree. Her face and hair were the bunya tree.”
All along the branches of the tree were cute little children’s faces “with the biggest brown eyes, dark skin and chubby faces”.
“The reason why she is in this huge beautiful bunya tree is because her spirit is safe,” Aneta wrote.
A large bunya tree at Dandabah on the Bunya Mountains – overlooking where corroborees have been held for the past two years – is Aneta’s “Granny Weazel” tree.
Aneta feels a strong, spiritual connection to the Bunya Mountains, one of the many sacred, dreaming spaces across the South and Central Burnett areas.
She believes her ancestors want the true history to be told so it isn’t lost; and that reviving language and visiting country – such as the Bunya Mountains and Ban Ban Springs – is part of healing.
“We have to get this culture back now. It will make our young people so strong and proud,” she said.
“They are the future generations. We have to keep that knowledge going.”
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