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The Road to Bogong-Mountain Festivals-People and the Environment Blog


My name is Patrick Bailey. This is the second of three articles I prepared as an intern at the National Museum of Australia (as part of the Australian National Internship Program), which explores the interaction between human and non-human forces in the high mountain regions. Southern New South Wales and the capital The combination of territories forms a way of expressing community identity that changes over time. The second article explores the practices of aboriginal and non-indigenous peoples, which establish a strong connection between people and the environment.

“In summer, the arrival of Bogong Moth provides another source of food…[they] Going to the Alps…not only about food, but also about rituals and exchanges between different groups. The opportunity to climb a mountain is an important spiritual experience. “(Matthew Higgins, Unimaginable solidity: a story from the mountains of Australia page. 13).

One of the most important events in the Australian Alps is the annual Bogong Moth (Inject Acrota) Immigration. Every year, millions of Bogong moths migrate from southern Queensland through New South Wales and Canberra to southern Victoria to escape the heat. It is not clear how long this migration took place, but it is estimated that as the earth’s temperature rises and glaciers recede, this migration occurred at approximately 16,000 BP or the last glacial maximum (LGM). Moths sleep (hibernate) during these warm months between October and January. The Aboriginal Bogong Moth Ceremony is held from October/November to January/February of the following year and represents the intimate relationship of the indigenous tribes on the land around them.

In 2007, Bogongs blocked a building in Sydney. Photo: jjprojects, Flickr Creative Commons

It is not clear when the Aboriginal groups started harvesting these nutrient-rich insects, but evidence from Bogong Cave (excavated by Flood, 1974) indicates that the minimum date is 1000 BP. The river pebbles (now held by NMA) discovered by Flood in Shelter II at Bogong Caves and Shelters in 1974 revealed how aboriginal people used their stone tool sets combined with moth hunting practices to make moth sauce or cakes. Robert Vyner was the only known witness to this process. In 1865, he recalled how to use pebbles to grind moths “with a small stone and hollow bark into a paste, and then make a cake.” .

The cultural significance of skiing—whether it’s communicating with mountains or conquering mountains (or both)—also depends on the landscape. These forms of dependence have inspired skiers and their representatives to change their view of the Alps and make substantial changes to the landscape itself.

It is now a ghost town. Until the 1970s, the small mountain towns and Kiandra were the places where indigenous and non-indigenous people gathered. However, it was in winter that this land called people, and alpine skiing developed. Alpine skiing in Australia was first established by miners working in the Kiandra gold mine in the 1860s. Kiandra and a ski club in Norway are the first ski clubs in the world. Only 70 years after the first Europeans settled in Australia, the establishment of the club is a testament to the power of this land in attracting people to connect and the culture that persists in other parts of Australia today.

Chiandra Children
Postcard, Kiandra, 1873, National Museum of Australia

Tom and Jean Moppert and Oliver Moriarty are a group of people who are definitely involved and gain identities from the environment. These three adventurers traveled extensively in the Australian Alps from the 1930s to the 1960s. However, it was their journey from Kiandra to Kosciusko that caught our attention. In April of this year, we went to Sydney to visit Nancy Pallin and her sister Kate (unfortunately she was unable to attend) to discuss a new collection proposal, during which we saw many important artifacts. These artifacts include ski equipment used by their parents Tom and Jean, as well as an extensive photo album. NMA is acquiring this series of handicrafts that record and commemorate specific human experiences in alpine environments. The series is extensive and fascinating. The photo album captures the magnificent beauty of this extraordinary landscape with vivid and charming details.

Jean Hotham
Jean of Hotham, Victoria
Ski trail through the snow-Franklin
Piste through the snow
Main range from Twynam to Tate
Main range-Twynam to Tate
Let hat
Jean’s ski hat and badge

The attention to detail in the photo and the personal connection with homemade mountain equipment reveals Tom and Jean’s close relationship with the area. The fact that Jean makes his own clothes is important for two reasons. First, they realized that Australia lacked outdoor clothing suitable for high mountain regions. This may also indicate that the equipment available is too expensive for most people. Jean’s creation symbolizes a strong desire for skiing, and she will do her best to go skiing. On the other hand, due to the Great Depression, the 1930s and, to a lesser extent, the 1940s were periods of global economic turmoil, and many people did not have a stable income. Therefore, being able to ski shows that Jean and Tom have a strong desire to be part of this land. Secondly, the clothes, especially Jean’s hat, created a personal connection, and she designed this item to remember her skiing experience. In addition to capturing the alpine landscape with sublime detail, these photos also represent the importance of this land to Tom, Jean and Oliver. Jean, Tom, and Oliver are just a few people who are attracted by the Alps region and by its cold brilliance.

Jungle trekking and national park

Like alpine skiing, jungle trekking also focuses on the concept of how the personal connection with the land shapes and defines identity. Although this is not unique to Australia, it is on this land that the material, spiritual and emotional connection with the land has inspired the greater development of the national park and the basic desire to connect people with the land. Bushwalking is the result of this desire, made possible through Australia’s ancient and diverse landscapes.

One of the early clubs was the Canberra Alpine Club (in the 1930s), which was used as a ski club and bushwalking club. The members of the club enjoy bushwalking, but are also known for their in-depth knowledge of Canberra’s high mountains. In search and rescue missions, one of the club members is often the leader of rescuers. Other clubs, such as Mountain Trail’s Club (1914) and Sydney Bush Walkers (1927) have expressed similar connections to the environment that bushwalking can provide.

In the end, these clubs promoted the development of national parks through long-term connections and attention to environmental protection. Since jungle trekking hopes to connect with the non-human elements of the world, these elements have not been affected by human development, so national parks are the logical product of this desire: to protect the land or “wilderness” from human influence. Through bushwalking, the national park has been expanded in return for the emotional connection between the Australian people and the Australian landscape and their desire to protect it.

DSC04459
The flannel flower is a symbol of Sydney bush walkers, embroidered on the cover of a scrapbook owned by Jean Moppett

For Miles Dunfee and his son Milo, bushwalking in nature is an experience of vital importance to humans. The interaction between the non-human world and the human world is essential for exploring the relationship between humans and the environment. Both are proud advocates of land conservation. Through their bushwalking and conservation clubs, they formulated a series of environmental protection reforms that shaped the purpose of Australia’s national parks and reserves today. These campaigns include the purchase of leases for the Blue Rubber Forest (located in the Blue Mountains), the establishment of the National Parks and Native Area Councils, and the development of the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service. The desire to protect the land through the establishment of national parks is born under the influence of non-human environments, which attract human miracles and sensory experiences.

Above: Bogong performance at Tidbinbilla in 2006. photography: Pierre Polykin, Courtesy of Flickr Knowledge Sharing.



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