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Gubbi Gubbi

Glass House Mountains Legend

The Glasshouse Mountains Ecolodge recognises both the the Jinibara and Gubbi Gubbi people and the as the traditional owners of the land we now know as the Sunshine Coast region.

Gubbi Gubbi is the name of the actual language spoken by the local Aboriginal people. Gubbi Gubbi means “NO”.

Gubbi Gubbi lands stretched from the Pine River in the south, to Burrum River in the north, and west to the Conondale ranges. Their territories were bordered by mountain ranges and river systems. There were many “clans” within this vast area, approximately 20, each numbering from 150 to 500 strong. All of these family groups shared this language, and would come together on a regular basis for special ceremonies, such as marriage, initiation, and especially festivals.

One Festival that held great significance was the Bunya gathering, held every three years in the Bunya Mountains. People would come from far and wide to be involved in these important meetings; from Bundaberg in the north, to Bourke in the south, and Taroom in the west. Naturally only the fittest and strongest would make the long journey from those distant places.

The Bunya Mountains gathering was quite a large scale event and there was also a smaller bunya gathering held every year in the Blackall Range on the Sunshine Coast, at a place now called Baroon Pocket Dam.

Gubbi lands were very popular for many people, not only for the Gubbi Gubbi people, but also for all those living in the surrounding areas.

Traditionally Gubbi Gubbi people believed that every animal, bird and rock that belonged to their group's totem species was in fact the actual living spirit of an ancestor. As a result each member felt a definite kinship with that species. The totem, if it were a bird or animal, was never hunted or killed for food by the person whose totem it was.

The dyungungoo, or territory of the Gubbi Gubbi, is a typically-sized area for the south coast. The seasonal nature of food resources meant that groups travelled over, what seemed to non-indigenous people, as a vast area. Weather and seasonal variations affected shellfish supplies, and land-based resources needed to be used to supplement these temporary supplies. The seasonal availability of fruits, grasses and vegetables meant that groups travelled to these locations when the food was in season. This seasonal migration was a form of conservation.

By varying their diet to include everything in the area that was at all edible at that time, the Gubbi Gubbi ensured that the one or two favoured food items would not cease to exist.


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