PUGHERITTA – THE BLACK SWAN
As told by Rodney Dillon
“The wattle blossom marks the start of the new year and the start of new animals.
This time marks a time of celebrations as the oysters, scallops and abs are at their best.
The river winding through our valley is special, it was the boundary for Aboriginal groups, their back fence.
It had reeds for making baskets, it had food, it was our life and is still our life today.
The swans tell their own stories and are an important part of who we are as Aboriginal people.
They are an important part of our history and culture.
Aboriginal people would watch the swans and they could tell if it was going to be a dry or a wet year by where the swans built their nests… close to or away from the water line.
They’re like a barometer in the river, they can tell you a lot of things.
The swan is an important part of our food chain and the relationship we have with them is unique.
A nest must have ten eggs in it, so you can only take one.
The old swan says, “I’ll lay one egg for the people.”
They always donate one egg to our people.
When you see the swan flying with his big, long neck out flat, well, they’re just a beautiful bird to watch, our people sat in amazement of them.
There are lots of things happening around us, nature has a way of expressing itself.
If we take the time to watch, listen and learn we can all help care for Country.”