1/10/2012

Tucki Tucki Bora Ring

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1. Aboriginal Site


Tucki Tucki Bora Ring


The Tucki Tucki Bora Ring is located in the grounds of the Tucki village cemetery, 14km south west of Lismore along the Wyrallah Road on the far north coast of New South Wales (Grid reference 001 map no. 540--S Wardell). The site sits on a north-south ridge 60 metres above the flood plains of the Richmond River and commands extensive views across the cleared plains to the west and the rolling hills leading north to the McPherson Range along the NSW-Queensland border.


The bora ring lies within the grounds of the Tucki Tucki General Cemetery which was dedicated in 181. The ring has been described as the finest example of its type in New South Wales (Danks 1).


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The site consists of a large bora ring and a short section of pathway leading southwest to a smaller ring on adjacent private land. The smaller ring is now largely obliterated due to past agricultural activities (Free 1). The larger ring is circular and approximately 5 metres in diameter. It is marked by a raised embankment approximately 1.5 metres wide and averaging 18cm in height. The embankment extends around the entire perimeter of the ring except for a large opening in the southwest for the path that originally led to the smaller ring (Free 1).


The centre of the ring is marked by a circular depression about 0cm deep and 1.8 metres wide (Free 1). Steele (187) suggests that this may have served as a fireplace although an information sign erected by the Richmond River Historical Society, in the form of a stone monument adjacent to the ring, refers to the depression as a pit or open grave.


A treated pine log fence approximately 1 metre high has been erected around the outside of the ring, presumably to exclude vehicles and livestock. The site is almost completely surrounded by a relatively recent planting of native tree species including Eucalyptus tereticornis and E. microcorys. These are estimated to be 0 to 0 years old and have attracted a variety of regenerating species that have germinated in the understorey. There is a cleared area about 1 metre wide between the fence and the tree planting that allows easy access around the perimeter of the ring


A lone gravesite is located close to the perimeter of the ring while the remainder of the graves belonging to the cemetery are several metres distant to the north and east.


A large stone set in concrete can also be found on the southern edge of the perimeter. Although there is no information as to the significance of the stone Danks (1) suggests that this may have been used for grinding ochres.


Although it has been speculated that cattle grazing has caused considerable erosion in the past (Richmond River Historical Society 164), the site is currently under a healthy grass cover and the exclusion of cattle and vehicles appears to have arrested any erosion problems.


Along with the interpretive monument erected by the Richmond River Historical Society, there is a National Parks and Wildlife sign briefly outlining the significance of the bora ring and penalties for defacing or damaging the site.


References


Danks, M. 1, The management of Bora Grounds, Far North Coast, NSW, Integrated Project, University of New England � Northern Rivers.


Free, M. 1, An Assessment of Management Options for Tucki Tucki Bora Ground, Integrated Project, University of New England � Northern Rivers


Steele, J.G. 187, Aboriginal Pathways � In Southeast Queensland and the Richmond River. University of Queensland Press, St Lucia.


Richmond River Historical Society 164, Bora Rings � Lismore Area, Unpublished, held in society library.





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