Wednesday, April 25, 2007

New England's Aborigines - the Birpai: web references

Photo: ABC Mid North Coast. Coorah Canugan Badu Exhibition Closing Ceremony. Kattang Dancer Joe Archibald on the hunt for some honey. In the background playing the didge is one of the exhibition's curators Birpai man Stephen Donovan.

In an earlier post on visitors to this site I mentioned the visitor who searched on the Birpai, the Aboriginal people occupying the Hastings and Manning River Valleys.

I also said how disappointed that visitor would have been by the results. So for his/her sake as well as my own, I thought that I would do a brief post pulling together some of the web references on the Birpai. I can then use this as a base to do a fuller post later.

First, as a general comment, while those in the Hastings Valley say Biprai, those in the Manning Valley often refer to the Biripi. They are the same people. As a second general comment, there are a lot of fragmentary glancing references that make a full search difficult.

AIATSIS has a 2003 list of references on the Birpai language and people, although I find the lay out complicated.

The Greater Taree City Council has a very useful heritage section on the Birpai. The Kendall site contains a short summary. There is a another very useful page on the Tobwabba site that deals with the Worimi and Biripi and sets a historical context. The Great lakes museum has a short page on early contact with Europeans. A related Great Lakes page can be found here.

The Timbertown site also has a useful page focused on the use of wood. The site page includes a list of references and also provides an introduction to the Dick photographic collection. Even though the photos were staged, this is by far the best collection of photos on traditional Aboriginal life in New England.

The Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission has an interesting page that provides a snapshot of the position of the Birpai people in 1998.

Another interesting snapshot is provided by the minutes of the Purfleet community meeting. The NSW Department of Aboriginal Affairs Two Ways report on the North Coast sets a general context on current Aboriginal conditions on the broader North Coast region.

Arts Mid North Coast has a useful page giving contact details for various Aboriginal organisations.

The booklet prepared after the construction of the Cowarra dam contains some limited information. The Dooragan National Park Management Plan (July 2004) has some material including the story of the three brothers. Another short National Parks reference can be found in the material on the Barrington tops.

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