Monday, September 28, 2009

Burning Mountain

One day the Gumaroi Aboriginal people in the north sent a raiding party to steal Wanaruah women for wives. The Wanaruah people heard of the plan and sent their warriors to do battle with the raiding party. One of the wives of a Wanaruah warrior sat at the top of the southern rock face of Mt. Wingin to wait for her husband's return. When her husband did not come back because he had been killed in battle, the woman was so sad that she asked the great sky god, Biamie, to kill her. Biamie felt so sorry for the warrior's wife that he turned her into stone and as she turned to stone she cried tears of fire that set the mountain alight.
This dream story comes from the Wanaruah Aboriginal people of the Hunter Valley of New South Whales. It documents their relation to Burning Mountain, located about 300 kilometers north of Sydney, just off the New England Highway.
Burning Mountain is a a naturally ignited coal seam which is believed to have been smoldering for several thousand years. It is one of three burning coal seams in the world and the only one in Australia.
From the car park there is a short trail, flanked by interpretive panels, that leads you through a gum tree forest to a viewing platform at the barren summit. Here you can see smoke, hot sulphur gases, rising from the grey, smoldering ash, and you can not help but remember the Wanaruah Warrior's grieving wife.

(source-information panels Burning Mountain Nature Reserve)

1 comment:

  1. Hi Maya, this is a very interesting read. I had never heard of a naturally ignited coal seam before. The Wanaruah Warrior's grieving wife story is also very interesting. Great photos to capture the Burning Moutain.

    Thanks for sharing.