Wumera Nangamay - A Salt Lake Series (Sydney, 2024)

Our connection to Country embodies more than merely the physical realm, it also allows us to connect spiritually. It is this spirituality that is often spoken of in Western terms as ‘dreaming’. To me, growing up in an urban city, this complex spiritual understanding was very limited. It is only now as an adult, a mother and woman living in regional Australia, without all the clutter and noise of a city, that I have begun to understand, to lean into this way of being and knowing.

One of the Gadigal songlines; a physical and spiritual connection to a place other than our own Country, connects the Gadi to Kati Thanda (Lake Eyre) the great salt lake that occupies 9,700 square kilometres of the desert and the wider basin area it sits within spans the intersection of South Australia, the Northern Territory, Queensland and New South Wales.

I have long been fascinated with this place, well before I knew of the songline and its significance to my ancestors. This lake is arid, dried out and overwhelmingly beautiful in its many states of living and being. The lake and its creeks, waterholes and tributaries only flow after the great desert rains and have been cared for by Arabana custodians for tens of thousands of years.

There is also a very special Gadi story of the Garanga (Pelican) that follows breeding cycles between Warrane (Sydney) and Kati Thanda; it demonstrates a deep knowing of animal, spirit, people and place.

It is this wisdom of the cycles, this knowing of place that kicked off this series, a study of our great salt lakes, as seen by a bird soaring through the sky, dreaming of our big Countries.

Wumera Nangamay - Salt Lake #12

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