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Aboriginal heritage
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Ian - Chairman of the
Nari Nari council

 

Aboriginal heritage

The Nari Nari Tribe

Historians believe that the Nari Nari tribe was formed by an amalgamation of tribes from the surrounding areas, whether from the fierce Waradjuri from the east, or the Mathi Mathi found in the west, where Balranald is now situated. Many nations shared a common pattern, using local sub-languages and it is thought that the Nari Nari were skilled in many regional dialects. Believed to be a peaceful nation, the Nari Nari were an imposing people. Research on burial patterns reveals the Nari Nari were on average, tall, strong figures, attributes that assisted their survival in what could be a harsh area.

Marked tree signifying the entrance to a ceremonial area

During the summers, temperatures were high, and during these times the Nari Nari made their homes along the banks of the Murrumbidgee River, where food, such as fish, kangaroo, native fowl and freshwater mussels, were abundant. When the river flooded, however, the tribe moved out onto the plains in search of slightly higher ground.

One significant area is that of Dry Lake, west of Hay. This area lies on the outskirts of the Nari Nari's traditional boundary, and remains of camp and burial sites are still evident. It is believed that the area was a site of much trade between the Nari Nari and other nomadic and travelling tribes.

In 2000, the Nari Nari Tribal Council (NNTC) was formed. In 2001, the Indigenous Land Corporation purchased Toogimbie and Glenhope Stations, situated 40km west of Hay, on behalf of NNTC. This purchase will ensure the continued protection of sites on the properties, but will also provide gainful employment and recreational opportunities for the community. Conservation projects have commenced in 2002, and will continue to be a priority for the Council.

Information sourced from "Culture and Heritage on the Hay Plains".

Acknowledgements
Make Hay shine. "A modest splat" and "surprisingly likable"
American travel writer Bill Bryson on Hay, from his 2001 best-seller Down Under
© Hay Tourism & Development Inc. 2004