Living Arts and Culture is a place to promote and celebrate indigenous arts and cultures in the far west region of NSW.

Warren Country

Photo by Charles Kerry of Wailwan Bora grounds

Photo by Charles Kerry of Wailwan Bora grounds

The Wailwan people inhabited the area between Gilgandra and Brewarrina in Central Western NSW and were centred around the township of Warren. From 1860 to 1890 their population reduced from approximately 30,000 to 800,  nearing extinction.

The Wailwan, like many of their neighbours, were mark makers and tree carvers. Most notable were their tree carvings which were made for spiritual and ceremonial purposes. Many of these were found at traditional bora grounds which were sacred places where tribal ceremonies were held and initiations took place.

The carved designs were individual to each tribe and within each tribal group there would be different totemic designs. These designs were connected to the culture-hero or traditional leader of the people, Biame the benevolent All Father, who introduced the customs and traditions to the people. (The Carved Trees of NSW by Frederick D. McCarthy 1940).

The Macquarie Marshes was a place of cultural significance for the Wailwan people and was a gathering place for ceremonies and events. Another significant landscape feature of special significance was the Cumborah Knob which is situated between the Barwon and Narran Rivers, which was part of their Dreamtime stories.

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