Possum Group - 4 August 2016
To celebrate National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day, the Possums were introduced to an indigenous story “Our Special Place on Country”. Using soft felt puppets, we told the story of and indigenous family Nan, Pop, Kiella and Mani.
We looked at indigenous symbols and their meaning, as well as the indigenous flag and the meaning of the colours. The children were invited to retell the story using the puppets and experiment with making the indigenous symbols in their art work and sand play. We aim to share with the children, the knowledge and stories given by Aboriginal elders and to foster a respect and understandings of Aboriginal culture.
Our Special Place On Country
One cloudy day Nan, Pop, Kiella and Mani went to visit their special place on Taungurung Country. They travelled up and down the mountains in their big red car to get to the Yea wetlands. Along the way it started to rain. As the sun began to shine, Nan pointed to the sky and taught the children their Aboriginal word for rainbow which is “brinbiil”. AS the walked through the wetlands, Pop showed Mani the kangaroo tracks in the dirt near the big she oak tree. Pop told him that the big line behind the foot print is the kangaroo’s tail hitting the ground. Pop rubbed his hand over the trunk of the tree and shared with Mani how their people traditionally made spears form the timber by using the branch of the tree. Nan walked with Kiella along the track close to the river. She pointed to the yellow flowers of the wattle tree and showed Kiella that it was a good time fish for eel! Nan told stories of being a young girl and going fishing for eel with her Dad using fishing lines. Nan shared with Kiella how her Grandmother would collect the wattle seeds and grind them on a grinding stone to make a powder like flour. She would add water to the powder, mix it together and then cook the damper on the ashes of the fire. Everyone started to feel hungry, so they found a spot under the gum tree. Pop pointed out the possum tracks on the ground as they sat down. He told the children that “walert” means possum in their Taungurung language. Nan unpacked the yummy damper for everyone to share. They all had a good feed of wattle seed damper with lily pily jam.