Saturday, April 23, 2016

(Un)Holy Smoke

So, this old fella came by with a 'fee' list that I could chose from for allowing folk into the Tavern. He claimed that we stood on Aboriginal Land and should pay him. I introduced him to my Bouncer. I have to say that Germaine Greer, that maven of Feminism has a lot to answer for encouraging such nonsense, but on the other hand one has to admire the efforts of some Aboriginal folk for pulling themselves into the 21C with a bit of entrepreneurship.

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 day
Tony 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” 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.
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.   
Some ancient traditions go waaaay back. !! 
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.
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.
"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.”
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!  
Good for driving out moths from old suits and overpowering 'Old Spice'.
Clearly, if it is to drive out evil spirits, it ain't working.

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.



  1. They can get knotted. I'm driving into that part of Oz and that's that.

    1. You will need to pay for them to issue a Trigger Warning. I hope the fee scedule helps. I suggest smoking a pipe, as I do, and blow smoke up their Native Arspidestras

  2. But, but, but the Aboriginal Flag surely preceded the Union Jack by 40,000 years !! [Alright, I added a zero or three for effect].
    All seriousness aside, the Whitefella SJW's invented the Aboriginal Industry with all its perks. And the lucrative ancient art of "dot painting" with acrylics?...... that's capitalism baby.

    1. Yes, the whitefella almost certainly had a black hand in it. The ancient tradition of getting pissed too.


Ne meias in stragulo aut pueros circummittam.

Our Bouncer is a gentleman of muscle and guile. His patience has limits. He will check you at the door.

The Tavern gets rowdy visitors from time to time. Some are brain dead and some soul dead. They attack customers and the bar staff and piss on the carpets. Those people will not be allowed in anymore. So... Be Nice..