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This work has reached the exceptional level
A young man hunts sacred animals.
Stories of the Dreamtime
The Bora Ring. by Aussie
 Category:  Young Adult Fiction
  Posted: October 16, 2013      Views: 560
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Aussie is a wheel - chair person with a passion for poems and short stories about Australia. She likes to express herself through both mediums. She is an an artist who likes to paint in all mediums. Writing has become an outlet for her as she is ext - more...

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Pride comes before a fall. Never lie, cheat or take that which doesn't belong to you. Each story is complete in itself.

Gindee was a young man about to be initiated into manhood. He sat by the campfire and pondered the Bora ring, or initiation ceremony. As he thought about the morrow, he was both excited and fearful of his special day when he would become a fully fledged member of the tribe - he would no longer be a child.

A handsome fellow, athletic and popular with the girls, Gindee fished and hunted with aplomb - always showing off his skills to the young girls that gathered to watch his prowess with the spear and his carving of didgeridoo. He loved to hunt Bindar, the kangaroo, for fun. Around the age of sixteen, a boy becomes a man according to tribal lore.

The Bora ring is a sacred place where only men are allowed to visit, a ring of stones mark the Bora. Women are not allowed to be with their men during the ceremonies - especially the initiation of a boy. Nor, are they allowed to play the didgeridoo; special musical instrument carved from the branch of a hardwood tree, hollowed out, dried, and finally painted with symbols to protect the player.
The didgeridoo has been used for centuries - for corroboree (dance) and to call across the valleys from the mountain tops; warning of an impending attack from warring tribes. Today, the 'didge' as we call it, is mass produced for tourists - the real ones are blessed by an elder and kept within the families and handed down to the sons. A good 'didge' player can make it talk; bird songs and animal noises - it has its own range of notes - every 'didge' is different, and some can be ten feet long - according to the type of tree branch used. The 'didge' has a language understood by tribal members and has always been part of the aboriginal culture.

The day of Gindee's ceremony, he was painted by the women, white and black ash from the fires, and ochre paint, sometimes coloured red and yellow. Chipped from the multi-coloured sandstone and ground down into a paste then applied to the body of Gindee. White Ibis (bird) feathers are placed in his hair and plaited armbands and leg bands made from the reeds surrounding the billabong (water hole) that have been dried out by the women - a gift of love from his mother and sisters.

The women stay behind to cook a special meal for the men, on their return with Gindee a huge feast is enjoyed. The ceremony can take a whole day to complete. The father and uncles are the principal men involved in Bora. This ceremony is taken most seriously and will change the boy forever. He will be allowed to hunt with the men and join in the dancing at the corroboree. Children do dance at a gathering but the men dress up and their bodies are painted - they often tell the stories of the animals through their dance - jumping up and down like the Kangaroo or stalking like the Brolga (bird.) Because there is no written language - these dances tell of a good hunting day or a special warrior that has proved himself through spearing a wild boar.

Gindee was taken to the Bora Ring, once there he was instructed in the lore of the tribe and the sacredness of life - animals must only be taken for food and not for sport. His chest was scarred with a flint knife - kept open with special herbs and antiseptic leaves from the forest. These small cuts across his chest marked him as a man of the Aranda tribe.

On his return, the men danced together and Gindee danced with them as Bindar - he had been given his totem animal - Bindar the kangaroo.
As days went by he earned the respect of the menfolk because he had proved himself a wonderful hunter.

Unbeknown to the tribe, Gindee had broken a sacred rule.

"You are such a great hunter, no longer a child," said his father.
The men were amazed at the amount of wildlife the young man presented to the women, to skin and cook for the tribe.

"Where are you hunting these animals?" Father asked.
Gindee ignored his father and uncles - another type of behaviour that was not acceptable. Gindee was supposed to be instructed by his elders in bushcraft and hunting. Never show disrespect to the tribe - he was so puffed up with his own skills and laughed at tribal lore.

The men were patient with the young man and thought that he would soon learn his place in the tribe. Things got worse and Wirrinum, the wise man, decided to follow Gindee as he set out to hunt.

Wirrinum was horrified as he watched Gindee spear the animals nonchalantly and without respect, it was just a game to him. A terrible game that was played out on the sacred place where these animals were protected by Baiame, Great Spirit, Creator of all life.

Wirrinum hid in the bushes, saddened by the attack on the sacred animals. He decided to approach Baiame and ask why nothing had been done to punish Gindee.
Gindee slung two kangaroos over his shoulder and attached two water fowl to his belt - laughing to himself he muttered, "Now, who is the best hunter in the tribe?"

Great clouds began to gather and Gindee sought shelter, he was sore afraid of the voice that called his name.

"You have hunted on my sacred ground - killed animals protected by me!" Baiame threw lightning bolts and split the gum trees - Gindee was terrified.

"You have broken sacred lore and hunted in secret, now, you shall be hunted. Leave this place, you don't deserve my love and protection."

Slowly, the Willy-Willy (dust storm) surrounded Gindee and he was transformed into a Bindar (kangaroo) to be hunted by his tribe.

The lesson is - never lie and cheat and never take that which doesn't belong to you. Baiame watches all men for all time.

The book continues with Sweet Water Child. We will provide a link to it when you review this below.

Author Notes
Australian English and grammar: This is the story of a proud youth who killed the sacred animals and in turn he was punished by Baiame, Great Spirit, maker of all living things.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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