This story is about all the Waii (jellyfish) we see in our waters and that wash up on our beaches. This story comes from my mother’s country at the mouth of the Holroyd River. We are not allowed to take Tea-Tree bark from any of the trees except for one big, old tree. We are not allowed to cut wood for spears from the big tree. If my father caught someone doing this, they would be in big trouble, and possibly get speared or beaten. We rip the bark off the big tree and use it for many purposes such as making bowls, sleeping mats, plates and starting fires.
When we take bark from our big old tree, we give the tree cooked fish, served on a plate on the ground. This is our way of saying ‘thank-you’. I remember seeing this tree when I was young and had my first child, Christine. If someone takes bark from any other tree in the area, our waters will fill with waii, making it bad for fishing and people will get stung. If bark is removed from the southern side of the trees, waters from the south will become infested with waii. If bark is removed from the northern side of the tree, our northern waters will be inundated with waii.
|Artist: Marlene Norman|
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