Aboriginal Bora Grounds, Discovery at Tumut

The Tumut & Adelong Times

 Tuesday 15 June 1926

Three grounds with 'rings' which from local legend are believed to have been used by the aborigines for the sacred 'Bora' ceremonial in the early years, have been discovered at Jounama, county of Buccleuch, Land District of Tumut.

Two of them are within a reserve for public utility (dedicated in 1924) and the other is embraced by the Jounama State forest (1917). The three rings are in country by a deep creek running parallel with Bogong Mountain range, which in some places is over 5000 feet above sea level. The discovery, was made by officers of the Lands Department and of the Forestry Commission, and under official instructions the grounds are being enclosed with rabbit-proof fencing as a protection from destruction by stock or vandals. The Minister for Lands proposes to specially reserve the areas as public recreation grounds, and the local Shire Council will probably be asked to undertake the care and management and care of them.

Beautiful Rugged Scenery

In officially reporting the approximate positions of these aboriginal ceremonial grounds, Mr. W. A. de Beuzeville, the District Forester at Tumut, states: “The whole area has some of the most beautiful scenery imaginable, and the leading spurs of the main Bogong range, which forms the northern boundary, are of most fantastic rock formation. With protection of the grounds, which have been somewhat damaged through cattle horning and pawing up the earth 0n the embankments, and with provision for reasonable access, the area would become a favorite recreation ground for summer campers, trout fishermen, and tourists generally. The Bogong Range permits a superb outlook, and the grounds should be dedicated to the people.”

The Bora Ceremonial

The Bora or Boora, "the belt of manhood," was conferred on the neophyte of aboriginal life entering that stage, and was supposed to be endowed with magical power, so that, by throwing it at an enemy, sickness could be ejected from the body of the thrower. It is the great national institution of the Australian aborgines, the rite of initiation into the duties and privileges of manhood.