Andy Bolt whet his whisle and told us about the 'smoking ceremony'. Or rather he brought a few others to tell.
Welcome to what’s actually your country -
and to an ancient ceremony invented the other dayTony Thomas checks out the rates charged for a brand new ancient tradition by the Wurundjeri Tribe Land & Compensation Cultural Heritage Council:Good business.
This reinvented superstition invades even an organisation once devoted to science but now gripped with a global warming alamism which its boss warns ”almost sounds more like a religion”:Even the CSIRO, an organisation nominally pledged to rational inquiry and scientific rigour (OK, there is that climate-change hysteria), has bought in to the ‘welcome’ business, having issued guidelines for pay rates and accommodations....
when its laboratories need to be cleansed of “evil spirits”
...by an ochred contractor waving fiery foliage. Exposed and widely ridiculed, those guidelines were quietly removed for the internet. They remain available via Wayback Machine’s web archive, however, and can be read in full here.
Some ancient traditions go waaaay back. !!The supposedly ancient ‘welcome’ tradition goes back 30-40 years, whereas the House of Commons goes back nearly 700 years. Indigenous entertainers Ernie Dingo and Richard Whalley, of the Middar Aboriginal Theatre, claim to have invented the “welcome to country” in 1976 because two pairs of Maori visitors from NZ and the Cook Islands wanted an equivalent of their own traditional ceremony before they would dance at the Perth International Arts Festival.
Another version is that activists shrewdly created the ceremony at about the same time to buttress land-rights claims. And Aboriginal Rhoda Roberts, head of indigenous programming at the Sydney Opera House, says the ceremonies were developed in the 1980s by members of the Aboriginal National Theatre Trust which she co-founded.
Her speaker-for-hire profile claims she personally invented the term “welcome to country” along with the protocols involved. She would like welcomes to include marking guests with ochre and Aboriginal sweat.Yet:Anthropologists and early settlers failed to record anything much resembling “welcome to country” ceremonies. Bess Price, CLP Aboriginal member of the Northern Territory Parliament and Minister for Community Services, has described “welcomes” as “not particularly meaningful to traditional people anyway.
But hey, its a great little money spinner, along the lines of a Mafia shakedown. And of course, kow-towed to by almost any organisation funded by taxpayer's money!"We don’t do that in communities. It’s just a recent thing. It’s just people who are trying to grapple at something that they believe should be traditional.”Anthropologist Ron Brunton found in WA some evidence for permissions being required to enter neighbouring clans’ land (although more honoured in the breach these days) but saw no evidence of any welcome-to-countries in the state where the ceremonies were (probably) first invented.Adelaide archival researcher and geologist Alistair Crooks says,“During years of geological site inspections, I have never seen or heard of a welcome ceremony being performed when entering tribal land (invited), nor have I seen the ceremony performed when transporting Aborigines into or across various tribal boundaries. Nor is any such ceremony described by any of the early explorers or anthropologists that I am aware of.”
|Good for driving out moths from old suits and overpowering 'Old Spice'.|
Note: Tony Thomas’s new book of essays, That’s Debatable, will be launched at 6.30pm Thursday, May 19, at Il Gamberos Restaurant, 166 Lygon St, Carlton.
And maybe in the Tavern if he pays a small fee.