Next Open Day at the Courthouse
December 7 2013
9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m
Next Historical Society Meeting
January 27 2014
Original design by gorotron
Historical Society members visit Kurtonditi and
the Bessiebelle Sheepwash
Blessed with sunny spring weather members of the Mt Rouse & District Historical Society recently visited significant cultural sites on the Budj Bim (Mt Eccles) lava flow.
The visit was hosted by Budj Bim Tour guide Eileen Alberts, assisted by granddaughters Taleena Harrison and Alenna King. Starting with a spectacular view of Lake Condah the tour group then drove to the Kurtonitj property owned and managed by Gunditj Mining Traditional Owners Inc.
Aunty Eileen guided the tour to sites of eel and fish traps - a system of constructed channels and weirs that supported an aquaculture industry dating back thousands of years. Using ponds and wetlands the Gunditjmara people could grow eels and fish and then harvest them through woven baskets. The fish and eels were preserved in smoking trees.
A master basket weaver, Eileen described the local native grass used for making baskets and the weaving style handed down through the generations. Traditional eel trap baskets have been recorded as over 1.5 metres in length.
After the Kurtonitj visit the tour went onto the Bessiebelle Sheepwash, also on Indigenous property. The sheep wash, recently restored by stone mason Brett Pevitt and dry stone waller Alistair Tune, is heritage listed. It consists of a series of stone walled holding pens and races, constructed with the contours of steep stony hills that lead down to a long sheep dip that would have naturally filled with water.
A picnic lunch at the Bessiebelle Sheepwash completed the visit. Anyone wishing to see these sites should contact Budj Bim Tours on phone: 5527 1699 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.