Himberrong

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Himberrong Clan
Nationality/Ethnicity Anaiwan (Aboriginal)
Language Nganyaywana
Dialect Himberrong
Location/Region New England Tableland, NSW

Himberrong is a clan of the Anaiwan (also ‘Nganyaywana’) Aboriginal tribe of what is now known as the New England Tablelands region in northeast New South Wales.[1]

Territory[edit]

The territory of the Himberrong clan stretches from the Moonbi Range in the west (adjoining Gamilaraay), past Yarrowitch and Kunderang in the east (adjoining Dunghutti), and from Nowendoc in the south (adjoining Biripi) to north of Walcha (adjoining Inuwon).[2] Border disputes over the Moonbi Range were common between the Himberrong and a clan of the Gamilaraay.[2]

The main camp of the Himberrong was on the bank of the Muluerindie[3] (English: Macdonald River), about two miles upriver from where the 140 acre Inglebah Aboriginal Reserve now stands[2] (declared a reserve by the NSW Aborigines Protection Board in 1893). Inglebah is the Anaiwan word for whirlpools of crayfish; the swamps and gullies throughout the Inglebah district are perforated with thousands of crayfish holes.[2]

"Traditionally Aboriginal people camped around Inglebah for fishing and ceremonial activities. Inglebah was favored because it was a sheltered, secure camping spot nestled between hills and the banks of the MacDonald River. It has a permanent water supply from the springs in the area, and various animals could be hunted there."[4]

Inglebah Aboriginal Reserve holds special cultural and historical significance for the Himberrong Clan.[5]

Language[edit]

The Himberrong clan spoke a dialect of the Anaiwan language. An elicitation of Anaiwan words was recorded on tape by Harry Wright in 1963 "as they were spoken by tribesmen coming into Armidale from Inglebah".[6]

History[edit]

At the time of first contact, the Himberrong clan numbered around 600.[1] Two Himberrong men by the names of Bungaree and Yarry were the first of their clan to encounter colonists in the early 1800s. Each year when winter was approaching, the clan would leave their camp at Inglebah, always heading east in the direction of the Macleay River (Dunghutti territory), but they would not push too far over the Great Dividing Range. On returning from their winter trips, the clan would have a great corroboree.

Inglebah Massacre[edit]

In the late 1800s, colonists used explosives to massacre the Himberrong clan at their main camp. The death toll is unknown.

"There were pieces of burning wood of all sizes hurled hundreds of feet into the air...the shrieks of natives could be heard as they fled in all directions...what became of them for the next six months was never known...they disappeared completely from their usual hunting grounds..."[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Moore, A. (1991). Three of a kind. Parramatta, NSW: Macarthur Press.
  2. ^ a b c d e Jamieson, D. (1987). Tales at old Inglebah. Tamworth, NSW: Peel Valley Printery.
  3. ^ "Macdonald River". Geographical Names Board of New South Wales. Retrieved 24 June 2014. 
  4. ^ "Inglebah Aboriginal Place". New South Wales Office of Environment and Heritage. 2013. Retrieved 24 June 2014. 
  5. ^ Cohen, P. (1990). Ingelba and the Five Black Matriarchs. Sydney, NSW: Allen & Unwin.
  6. ^ Capell, A. (1963). Anewan language elicitation by Harry Wright. Canberra: Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies.