|aka: Ea-ora, Iora, and Yo-ra
Eora (AIATSIS), nd (SIL)
Sydney Basin bioregion
|Location:||Sydney, New South Wales|
The Eora // is the name given to a people by the earliest settlers in their land[a] for a group of indigenous people of Australia, are those Australian Aborigines that were united by a common language, strong ties of kinship and survived as skilled hunter–fisher–gatherers in family groups or clans scattered along the coastal area of what is now known as the Sydney basin, in New South Wales, Australia. Their traditional territory spreads from the Georges River and Botany Bay in the south, to Port Jackson, north to Pittwater at the mouth of the Hawkesbury River, and west along the river to Parramatta.
The indigenous people identify themselves as Eora, literally meaning "the people", a word derived from Ee (yes) and ora (here, or this place). The language of the people is also called Eora.
With a traditional heritage spanning thousands of years, approximately 70 per cent of the Eora people died out during the nineteenth century as a result of smallpox, other pathogens and viruses, and the destruction of their natural food sources.
However, Indigenous people of the Sydney region still have a strong presence. Indeed, Eora people maintain their claim to the land and participate in political, cultural and social events as proud Indigenous people.
The Eora people generally comprise three main clans; the Cadigal, the Wanegal, and the Cammeraygal peoples. There is evidence that the Wallumedegal, Burramattagal, Boregegal, Cannalgal, Birrabirrigal, and Gorualgal clans are also Eora peoples. Adjoining peoples are the Tharawal people to the south and the Darug people to the north west.
The Cadigal people are the traditional owners of the inner Sydney city region. Their traditional land and waters are south of Port Jackson, stretching from South Head to Petersham. The people described by British settlers as the Eora people were probably Cadigal people, the Aboriginal tribe of the inner Sydney region in 1788 at the time of first European settlement. The Cadigal clan western boundary is approximately the Balmain peninsula.
The Dharuk (or Eora) language has been reconstructed from the many notes made of it by the original colonists, although there has possibly not been a continual oral tradition for over one hundred years. Some of the words of Aboriginal language still in use today are from the Eora (possibly Dharawal) language include: dingo, woomera, wallaby, wombat, waratah, and boobook (owl).
The Eora's habitat was centered around Port Jackson and Botany Bay. To their north were the Kuringgai. Inland to the west were the Darug, while on their southern boundary lived the Tharawal. Their clan identification, belonging to numerous groups of about 50 members, overrode more general Eora loyalties, according to Governor Phillip, a point underlined by a visiting Russian naval officer, Aleksey Rossiysky in 1814, who wrote:
each man considers his own community to be the best. When he chances to meet a fellow-countryman from another community, and if someone speaks well of the other man, he will invariably start to abuse him, saying that he is reputed to be a cannibal, robber, great coward and so forth.
The traditional Eora people were largely coastal dwellers and lived mainly from the produce of the sea. They were expert in close-to-shore navigation, fishing, cooking, and eating in the bays and harbours in their bark canoes. The Eora people did not grow or plant crops; although the women picked herbs which were used in herbal remedies. The They believed that inside everything, no matter what it was, there was a living spirit inside it keeping it in existence and something could only really be gone from the world if the spirit inside was destroyed. They also believed that if land was taken away from them that all the spirits in that land would die.
The Eora placed a time limit on formal battles engaged in order to settle inter-tribal grievances. Such fights were regulated to begin late in the afternoon, and to cease shortly after twilight.
Smallpox in conjunction with the destruction of their natural food sources, saw approximately 70 per cent of the Eora people die out during the eighteenth century. The circumstances of the smallpox outbreak have been detailed by Christopher Warren in Journal of Australian Studies. Other pathogens and viruses and frontier violence continued to depopulate much of Eora territory throughout the nineteenth century. However, there are still many Indigenous people living in Sydney who identify as Eora and reject the notion that the Eora people have died out.
Bennelong, a Wangal of the Eora peoples, served as a link between the British colony at Sydney and the Eora people in the early days of the colony. He was given a brick hut on what became known as Bennelong Point where the Sydney Opera House now stands. He traveled to England in 1792 along with Yemmerrawanne and returned to Sydney in 1795. His wife, Barangaroo, was an important Cammeraygal woman from Sydney's early history who was a powerful and colourful figure in the colonisation of Australia. She is commemorated in the naming of the suburb of Barangaroo, in east Darling Harbour. Neither Bennelong Point nor Barangaroo are located in traditional Wanegal or Cammeraygal territory.They lived in east austrailia at the top of new south wales and lived there for over 50,000 year.
- Kurupt, Daniel, ed. (1994). The Encyclopedia of Aboriginal Australia. Aboriginal Studies Press. ISBN 0-85575-234-3.
- Thieberger, N; McGregor junior, W (eds.). "Sydney language". Macquarie Aboriginal Words.
- Mapping Aboriginal Sydney 1770-1850 at the State Library of New South Wales
- Barani/Barrabugu (Yesterday/Tomorrow)
- Bibliography of Eora people and language resources, at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
Notes and references
- 'Neither the word lists nor the contexts in which eora is used in these early accounts suggest the word eora was associated with a specific group of people or a language.'
- Dousset, Laurent (2005). "Eora". AusAnthrop Australian Aboriginal tribal database. Retrieved 10 May 2012.
- Attenbrow 2010, p. 35.
- "Eora: Mapping Aboriginal Sydney 1770–1850" (PDF). State Library of New South Wales. 2006. p. 1. Retrieved 27 October 2010.
- "Aboriginal People and Place", City of Sydney government website, 2002
- "The Aboriginal language of Sydney", The Notebooks of William Dawes on the Aboriginal Language of Sydney, School of Oriental and African Studies, London, retrieved 11 March 2013
- Conner 2002, p. 22.
- Conner 2002, pp. 2,22.
- Conner 2002, p. 3.
- "Eora People". About NSW. Government of New South Wales. Retrieved 11 May 2012.
- Warren, Christopher (2013). "Smallpox at Sydney Cove - Who, When, Why?". Journal of Australian Studies. 38: 68–86. doi:10.1080/14443058.2013.849750.
- "Barangaroo". Geographical Names Register (GNR) of NSW. Geographical Names Board of New South Wales. Retrieved 5 August 2013.