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Uncle Wes Marne

Uncle Wes Marne
Elder, Mt Druitt Community
Wes, can you explain the uses of smoking ceremonies

Smoking ceremonies were used for numerous things - if somebody had died, to help spirits go on into the next life; also for cleansing if the ground was not good; if someone had done something bad and they were not old enough to be punished by elders they would be smoked for things like stealing, or anything else wrong or out of the ordinary - put through smoke to get rid of bad spirits inside.

Wes, can you explain singing spirit into tools and weapons

Well, back in the old days, they usually had a weapon maker, used to make just about most of the weapons. But when a man sat down to make his own, as he put it through the fire to harden the wood, he would sing to it. He would sing his stories and his and he would sing all his sacred things and his spirit into the spear, whatever he was making; for instance, 'Fly true please, kill the animal straight out, don't let it die slow, let this spear find the animal's heart'. No-one would touch that spear, only the man who made it. He was the only one that it would work for.

Wes, how important are stories?

Our stories told of the creation. Creation stories tell how things were made, why they were made, how they were made and then from the creation we have the Dreamtime and the Dreamtime stories were moral stories. Every animal, everything around us had a story. These stories were told to the children and morals were learnt by the children. It helped them to grow up to be better people and [to learn] the rules and the laws under which they lived. It stopped them from being and like and from stealing, jealousy, disobedience. All these things were learnt through stories because the Aboriginal people never had a written language. It was all passed down verbally and these were passed down through the stories of the Dreamtime.

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