[Sound of didgeridoo in background throughout]
Uncle Max Harrison, Yuin Elder: Smoking ceremony was a gesture of good will, bringing people together and healing.
There’s smoking when there’s a burial. There’s smoking when there’s a celebration. And there’s smoking for clearance and healing also. So, it’s not just about lighting up a fire, sometimes it’s about how we light that fire and different leaves.
Some mob will use some particular kind of leaf, some of them will use another leaf. Different smoke, different woods and that for different ceremonies.
We must look at the young thin ones, they can burn pretty quick with the oils in them. So we’ve got to get the big old heartier ones, or sometimes we’ve got to be near water where we dampen the oil and stuff that’s in the leaves.
So we’ve got three types of leaves there now. We’ve got Sydney red gum, we’ve got Sydney peppermint and we’ve got bloodwood.
The most important thing that you should do when a smoking ceremony is being performed and you’re in it, is just accept it. It’s a gift and our people are offering this healing and this blessing. So just accept it and take a bit and waft it around you. Take whatever is on offer.
That is thousands of year old. Some of the oldest ceremony in the world today that is still being practised. Celebration was a very important part of a joyous occasion, and making fire and then smoke. Cleansing an area so that people could get on together and live in harmony.