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From: Dot Miller

Sent: Wednesday, 29 December 2004 12:41:08 PM
Subject: found it by accident

I am thrilled at the opportunity to explore your far I have only begun to read 'return in '76' not knowing what any of this is about except the adventure of a 'some one' who has explored as I'd have loved to years ago but now will never, as time runs away...thank you for your work..I appreciate it so much!


From: Sandrine Jallon-Courduroux

Sent: Thursday, 25 November 2004 5:27:32 PM
Subject: image copyright

Dear Simon,

Thank you very much for your fast answer and your additional information. It will be of great help.


Sandrine Jallon-Courduroux

From: Sandrine Jallon-Courduroux

Sent: Thursday, 25 November 2004 4:55:41 AM
Subject: image copyright

Dear Sir,

I am currently working on a presentation of a small/medium music venue in France (300 to 1000 seats). The architectural concept of this venue is based on rope/string, the one from music instruments (and the oldest one appears to be the bull-roarer) and the one used in the textile industry (the major activity in our area in the nineteenth century).

Looking for a bull-roarer picture, I found a great one on your website with the following property:

Would you authorize me using it for my presentation? It would be printed on one poster (one copy) and one folder (20 copies).

Please let me know if you have any question that would help you in your answer.


Sandrine Jallon-Courduroux

From: Barron Adventures

Sent: Sun, 7 Nov 2004 21:50:14 AM
Subject: Australian artefacts

Hello Simon,

Can you tell me if these items are still for sale:

churinga 3703533584 $36
bullroarer 3727424527 $66
bullroarer 3735162817 $113.50

Also what are the prices for the following:

churinga 3736069859
churinga 3735845571
bullroarer 3736868283

Thank you,

Bruce Barron
562 5921012

From: J.Charles Holt

Sent: Thursday, 28 October 2004 11:30:39 AM
Subject: Pointing Bones

Oh, sorry about that! Yes, I'd truly appreciate it if you were to let me know. I check periodically, but they are quite scarce. Thanks for your time,

- J. Charles Holt

From: J.Charles Holt

Sent: Sunday, 24 October 2004 3:26:38 AM
Subject: Pointing Bones

I came across the results of your auction on Google. I'm curious if you know any other places to obtain pointing bones, since I've apparently missed your auction. I've been checking eBay, but with no luck. Any information would be appreciated!

- J. Charles Holt

From: Phons Bakx

Sent: Thursday, 14 October 2004 1:01:26 AM
Subject: bull roarer 2541096020


I am very interested in purchasing the bull roarer from Australia under number 2541096020 for 72,70 USdollars. Is it still free for purchase? My name is Phons Bakx (Holland) and I am interesting in the subject of the bull roarer because I wrote about it and have studied it in anthropology.

I would like to hear from you... And how to pay...?

Phons Bakx
Lijsterbeslaan 19
4334 BM
The Netherlands

From: Peter Rob

Sent: Tuesday, 10 August 2004 11:30:55 PM
Subject: Lasseters Diary

Where can I purchase a copy of Lasseter's complete diary?
Tel: 61 8 95274409

From: Lauren Labasky

Sent: Wednesday, 4 August 2004 7:39:59 AM
Subject: Aborigional religion

I am doing a project for school and I am having trouble finding ANY information on an aborigional religion. If you could give me some information, direct me to a website or guide me in the right direction that would have some kind of information that may help me I would appreciate it more than you know. Thank you so much for your time!


From: Bethe Hagens

Sent: Tuesday, 20 July 2004 10:25:56 PM
Subject: Bull in the labyrinth

Simon, I will find a space on the coast here to reply to you within the next couple of weeks, but I had to send this now. Maybe hotmail will let you accept one picture. . . I hope you can make it out.

labyrinth of cobblestones

About three years ago, out of nowhere, came the urge to build a labyrinth of cobblestones. I couldn't get the idea out of my head and must have spent a couple of weeks dowsing a position in the side yard (over the septic drainage field!) and then laying it out in chalk on the grass. My best construction tools turned out to be a butcher knife and a pancake flipper. I'd make foot-long incisions into the grass (four inches apart) with the knife and then spatula them out for transplanting into the middle of the driveway. We don't live in the middle of nowhere like Annie, but Kennebunkport proper is definitely not a suburb--just a little fishing cove in the woods at the edge of the sea with lobsterpeople, independents like we are, and a good handful of kids and teenagers. The really wealthy--e.g. the Bush family--are about a mile away, but encroaching.)

I swear this is true: I was looking at the news on a little screen beside my computer the morning that my cobblestones were delivered, and I watched them slide out of the delivery truck as the second Trade Tower crumpled in NYC.

Lately I have been taking my bullroarer replicas out to my labyrinth to test fly them. Your image of the Minotaur sent shivers through me, as I think you must be exactly on to the origin of the thing. I'd never thought of it that way, the circles radiating sound waves as well as the path of the bullroarer and the effect of swinging it. I have always thought of Orion as somehow also the Minotaur since he lives between GeMINI and TAURus.

I will write more, but I'd like to take some time and send you some things by paper. Would you send me an address? I tracked down Neville Fletcher on the internet and found that he had gone to music school just two hours from here!

You must be ready to welcome spring, and we're feeling a little autumn already!


From: Cyril Arney

Sent: Sunday, 18 July 2004 2:30:26 PM
Subject: Use of picture

Dear Simon

Thank you for your considered and generous reply. You give me much to think about.

I have long admired the picture, and recall (maybe incorrectly with the passing of years) that I first saw it in a geography book in school. I was fortunate to find it so easily again on the web. I would never wish to use it in a way that gives offense to anyone, and especially not to the indigenous people of Australia.

I did not say that I am also President of the Houston Chapter of the United Nations Association of the USA. And my message is pure, although unfortunately and unavoidably diluted by what in recent years has become a cuthroat winner takes all political game in this country.

I shall certainly read the protocols. I hope they take me to a place where I truly find that my message and the interests of the Aboriginal peoples of Australia are one and the same, and that my religion and their religion are similar. That life is eternal, and that matters truly approached with a respect for life and a respect for humanity are dignified and worthy.

From your reply I already know that I do not need to say the image I would convey is that the greater danger to the world is the re-election of President Bush. And without entering into the politics of the day, President Bush also believes in the death penalty. I think I would have much in common with the people with whom your father worked so closely and so well.

I would like to send you the FT article, once I can download it. The FT web site is down at the moment. The article, the quotation and the picture make a Riefenstahlien juxtaposition that I hope your father would have found fitting. Although I doubt that too many of the President's supporters in the South of the United States have read Rousseau.

Once more, my thanks for your kind reply.

With best wishes,

Cyril E Arney

From: Cyril Arney

Sent: Sunday, 18 July 2004 5:31:15 AM
Subject: Use of picture

Simon: I would like to use this photo in an email response to an email sent to me and some twenty other people by a friend, supportive of President Bush and critical of John Kerry (scroll down). I am on the other side of the debate. I am particularly insensed by:

With Kerry as president our Army will be made up of naked men running around with sticks and clubs.

I would include in the response the measured article in Friday July 16 US Edition Financial Times by Phillip Stephens, and would like to include the attached picture to which I believe you hold the copyright, with the comment that it shows an elite US infantry unit in 2104 if Bush is re-elected in 2004.

4 men with initiates

May I do this, and is there a charge? If I may, what acknowledgement would you like? What restrictions should I place on further forwarding of the email?

Kind regards,
Cyril E Arney
Houston, Texas

From: Bethe Hagens

Sent: Monday, 12 July 2004 11:11:00 PM
Subject: Bullroarer article

Bullroarers. However defined - as toy, musical instrument, communication device, work of art, or ritual object - bullroarers have fascinated human beings throughout our species' history. There is no precise formula for making one. A fully functional bullroarer can be crafted by simply attaching a four-foot string through the hole at the end of a foot-long wooden ruler and swinging it overhead from the end of the string. The ruler will spin rapidly on its long axis, creating a buzzing sound or "call."

The quality and impact of a bullroarer's call varies with factors such as the strength, endurance, and expertise of the swinger; component materials of both bullroarer (wood, flint, slate, bone, ceramics) and string (fiber, hair, gut, leather); weight; shape and length (oval, rectangle and tear-drop shapes ranging from five inches to five feet); thickness and edge detailing; environmental acoustics (proportions of open or enclosed space, resonance, damping, humidity); social context; ambient sounds (other bullroarers, chanting, gongs, drums, environmental noise); age of the listener; and presence of visual, olfactory, and other sensory stimuli.

From the late 1800's until well into the twentieth century, anthropologists worldwide recorded bullroarer mythologies, rituals and initiation traditions and argued their significance in theories of diffusion and independent invention. Social evolutionists used the bullroarer as a gauge of progress "up" the civilizational ladder, with Britain at the pinnacle, their bullroarers having "deteriorated" into toys as superstition was overcome by science. Somewhat lower were peasant Spain, where bullroarers were ritually swung on Good Friday, and indigenous cultures in North and South America using bullroarers to summon wind and rain, promote fertility among game animals and crops, and ward off evil spirits. In "primitive" Australia and New Guinea, researchers found thriving and almost unfathomably complex ancestral bullroarer "cults." Women and girls, they were told, neither knew about nor, under pain of death, could they see the bullroarers. Young men newly circumcized and sub-incized were given small bullroarers to swing both to promote healing and to warn off females. At the same time, sacred traditions across many cultures held that the bullroarer was either given to, discovered by, or born of a woman who ultimately surrendered it to men.

Infrasonics and Consciousness Modification In the mid-1980s, a radical reassessment began when acoustic scientists determined that bullroarers produce a range of infrasonics, extremely low frequency sound waves (20 Hz. or less) that are below the human auditory threshold but nonetheless enter the brain. Thunder, earthquakes, waterfalls and waves, whales and sharks, cassowaries, deep drums and gongs, chanting, jet planes, and bass-boosters all generate infrasonics. These waves are picked up by the cochlea (labyrinth) of the ear and influence the vestibular, circadian systems of the brain. Infrasonics stimulate a wide array of euphoric, eerie, and/or deeply traumatic trance-like and hallucinogenic states, and serotonin nerves may be central to this process.

Awareness of and experimentation with infrasonics in military applications, performance, rock art research, ritual, therapy, persuasion, and learning has grown exponentially with contemporary brain research. Infrasonics fall within the same frequency range as brain waves, and brain waves have been experimentally linked to a variety of mood and thought patterns. Theta brain waves (5 Hz – 8 Hz) are associated with creativity and insight; alpha waves (8 Hz – 13 Hz) with relaxed meditative states; and beta waves (13 Hz – 30 Hz) with fully awake, analytical thinking. The different parts of the brain simultaneously generate different waves, and researchers have only begun to imagine how environmental infrasonic mixes might actually shape or even have given birth to human consciousness.

Traditional Symbolism Bullroarers have been universally linked to spirit beings in the sky. In general, until the present proliferation of bullroarers for performance art and ritual, bullroarers worldwide were carved or painted in some way to acknowledge the strikingly brilliant constellation of Orion, thunder and lightning, the Milky Way, rhombs, the vesica piscis ("vessel of the fish"), and/or optical illusions (especially fine line grids which create virtual color).

The oldest bullroarers are Paleolithic batons de commandement made of bone and incised with animals, lozenges (rhombic diamond shapes), zig-zags, and astronomical references. A 6500-year-old bullroarer was found at &#Ccedil;atalh&#ouml;y&#uuml;k in Anatolia (modern Turkey). Given the traditional practice of rubbing bullroarers with pigments, red ochre, oils and/or fats, it's likely that 5400-year-old rhombic cosmetic palettes from Late Predynastic Egypt were swung.

In classical Greek mythology, a rhombos (meaning bullroarer, but also rhomb, penis, and fish) was given as a toy to baby Dionysus just before his father Zeus had him killed by the Titans. Reborn from the thigh of his father, Dionysus lived on as god of fertility, vegetation, wine and ecstasy. Much like Orion, he is associated with death, rebirth and immortality. The name bullroarer is English and probably relates to Orion, who stands in the Milky Way just south of Taurus the Bull and is visible from every part of the globe. Orion derives from the Akkadian Uru-anna, "Light of Heaven."

Several researchers have noted (and then bracketed) the astonishing similarity between bullroarer cults in Australia and New Guinea and the Greek myth of the castration of Uranus (Ur-anus) by Gaia (which can be translated as "dung ball") and her children. Many Australian bullroarers, which are almost exclusively long vesica-shaped ovals, carry names closely related to a word for excrement. Well into the twentieth century, the ceremonial ground on which youth initiations and circumcisions took place (and on which bullroarers were swung) was sometimes called "place of excrement." Many interpreters believe the bullroarer represents a penis and that the sanctification of excrement relates to ritual homosexuality that occurs in some initiatory rites. There are other instances of two bullroarers ceremonially bound together and labeled "womb," however.

Fish-shaped bullroarers may relate to ancient traditions about spinning dolphins who assist humans. Recent iconographic research ties the dolphin (Greek delphys), the womb (delphis), and the lozenge shape (rhombos) to the constellation Delphinus the Dolphin (stars which form a rhomb on a string). The contemporary Dogon tribe of Mali in northwest Africa uses a fish-shaped bullroarer named po, which is also the name for their most important dietary seed grain (fonio) and the small dark companion star of Sirius (beneath the foot of Orion).

Future Research Directions History, anthropology, and the neurosciences are teaming up to decipher the roles of diffusion and independent invention in the remarkably uniform worldwide tradition of bullroarers. A major task is to understand the subtleties employed in generating the voice or "calls" of the bullroarer and their role in the creation of human belief systems-especially the spectrum of physical, emotional and hallucinogenic responses to beneficial (15 Hz. and above) and potentially "toxic" (below 10 Hz.) infrasonics. Of particular significance is the widespread belief that the bullroarer existed prior to deities or ancestor spirits. Robert L. Hall has argued persuasively that bullroarer and flint knife traditions can be analytically joined (Hall 1983, 75), thus providing an important window on the interpretation of historical artifacts such as the Aztec Sun Stone, whose tongue is a fish-shaped flint knife (Tecpatl) traditionally believed to have preceded the creation of the gods.

Bethe Hagens

Further Reading

Allen, R. H. (1963). Star names: their lore and meaning. New York: Dover Publications.

Dundes, A. (1976). A psychoanalytic study of the bullroarer. Man, 11(2), 220 238.

Gianfranco Salvatore Home Page. (2001). Can archetypes be heard? Retrieved 1 February 2004 from:

Hall, R. L. (1983). A pan-continental perspective on red ocher and glacial Kame ceremonialism. In R. C. Dunnell & D. K. Grayson (Eds.), Anthropological Papers: Lulu linear punctated: essays in honor of George Irving Quimby (pp. 75 107). Ann Arbor: Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan.

Purdey, M. (2003). Does an infrasonic acoustic shock wave resonance of the Mn 3+ loaded/CU depleted prion protein initiate the pathogenesis of TSE? Medical Hypotheses 60(6), 797 820.

Ramsayer, K. (2004). Infrasonic symphony: The greatest sounds never heard. Science News 165(2), 26 28.

Spencer, B. and F. J. Gillen (2003). The Northern Tribes of Central Australia. Elibron Classics.

Tuzin, D. (1984) Miraculous Voices: The Auditory Experience of Numinous Objects. Current Anthropology, 25(5), 579 596.

Williams, F. E. (1976). Bull-Roarers in the Papuan Gulf. In E. Schwimmer (Ed.), Francis Edgar Williams: "The Vailala madness" and other essays (pp73 122). London: C. Hurst & Company.

Zerries, O. (1942). Das schwirrholz [The bullroarer]. Stuttgart: Strecker and Schroder.

Response to reviewer:

1 (Subincision) Subincision is the splitting of the underside of the penis, from urethral opening to base. Variations, including splitting along the top, as well as head-splitting and total bifurcation have been reported in contemporary cultures.

2 (defense) It might be better to substitute "military applications."

3 (virtual color) The black and white sensors of the human eye (the rods) are overstimulated by the intense black/white juxtapositions typical of geometric optical illusions. The rods actually begin to vibrate against the eye's color sensors (the cones) to create an illusion of flourescent colors and rainbows washing across the black and white pattern.

4 Their really isn't a translation for batons de commandement. A number of researchers have begun to classify them as bullroarers, but they are still called by the old name which hearkens back to a time when the investigators thought that they must have been the power sticks of the community rulers (like conductors' batons).

5 The Egyptian rhombic slate palettes are identical in size and shape to many bullroarers. The have a hole in the end at exactly the point where a bullroarer's string is attached, and (Flinders Petrie's photos) there is evidence of wear that would have been caused by swinging of some sort. Many of the same oils and paints are found on them as on bullroarers. Some of the holes of palettes are broken in the way that they are on bullroarers. The Egyptian palettes, like the Australian churinga (even today), were multi-use objects. For example, the same Australian bullroarer/churunga can be a bullroarer, resin palette (for smoothing wax), or a baby board. The Egyptian palettes that are patterned after animals (again, Flinders Petrie) are in many cases identical to power objects in Oro or Orun societies in Yoruba culture and Cuban Ifa societies that are swung as bullroarers.

6 A better way to put it might be "noticed but then generally ignored" rather than "bracketed" similarities between aboriginal and Greek mythologies.

7 "Vesica-shaped" is what we need, as it is a technical geometric term that has been important in the history of iconography and sacred art. It is the middle oval-shape created by the overlapping of two identically-sized circles. It has been used to represent all manner of divine figures including both Mary and Jesus (as "vessel of the fish").

8 What I'm trying to get across here is that much ethnographic literature across cultures reports that indigenous sacred narrative (what we would now probably call "mythology") holds that the bullroarer actually preceded the divinities. That is what is so puzzling and tantalizing at the same time. It is not "belief" in divinities that they mean here, I think. Divinities make their presence felt when the bullroarer is swung.

11. Yes! Robert Hall is an archaeologist, Professor Emeritus in the Dept. of Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

From: Bethe Hagens

Sent: Monday, 12 July 2004 11:08:58 PM
Subject: Abbreviated second message

Dear Simon --

I'm sorry to hear about the retrenching. It is rampant here in the States and in Maine, where I live, unemployment is at an all-time high. I work in a university, but tenure is now gone and we are pretty much contract labor. This is both freeing and living on the edge. I don't know what's coming, to be honest.

I mentioned age because your father must have been somewhere near my dad's age. Several years ago, my mother sent me all the handwritten letters he had sent to her while he was on campaign in Europe during WW2. He had that same kind of careful script that characterized your father's hand. The handwritten portions you used on your site were so tactile and made for a much different experience than reading printed text. I have been tempted to make a book of dad's letters--probably if I no longer have a job. My mother's father was quite a prominent geologist in the United States and made exploratory journeys into Mexico in the very late 1800s and early 1900s.

The email message bounced, I'm sure, because I sent picture attachments and a playscript I wrote. The central element in the play was the transformative sound of the bullroarer. In response to your question on the philosopher's stone. . .I've noticed in many cultures that the area where they are swung is called 'place of excrement.' Sometimes the bullroarer itself is named excrement. The philosopher's stone is found 'buried in dung.' In a second email, I'll paste in the text of an article I just completed that touches on this idea.

Here's the other message:

Hi again, Simon--

I've been looking through Flight of Ducks, as well as the links to bullroarers from eBay (which were so helpful) I am tempted to detour right off course and talk about so many of the things on your site--especially the reaction by Aboriginal conservators regarding your publication of pictures of the deceased and sacred places on your site. I think you were honoring the sacred body of earth, of which our bodies are all part. But nothing is clear any more. I am hoping that my making replicas from ancient designs and dimensions is also not going to be considered a violation.

By way of introduction, I am a cultural anthropologist (and of course familiar with Strehlow). My passions are art, design and music. I am a lifelong violinist. Anthropology gives me the context in which I can really experiment with my whole being. I did some research work for a little while in Adelaide and then in PNG, but it was fisheries industries business. My family is related to the vonHagen for whom the mountain in Papua is named, and I have always been drawn to the south Pacific. But more to the "ideas" than to the reality of the places there. I was pretty much terrified during my time in Port Moresby, Lae and Madang in the early 1990s. The Aboriginal mythologies have always seemed incredibly familiar to me, especially some of the names of the spirit ancestors and the shapes in the artwork. I wish I could explain this more clearly--but I see Egyptian and Greek phonemes and meanings everywhere. I can't imagine that these cultures aren't related. This isn't very acceptable within the discipline, to say the least.

About seven years ago I wrote a play about the winter solstice and I used the metaphors of bullroarer, shofar, and other infrasonic generators to talk about entry into another dimension and into the shared meanings that might exist there across cultures and time. It centered around what I have come to think of as the Sky Cube. Astronomers call it the Winter Hexagon. (I've done a lot of technical anthropological writing on this, centering on geometries in the text of Revelation, if you ever want to see it.)

When I was in PNG, I spent some time with a museum curator from Orokolo (Sebastien Haraha) who let me photograph bullroarers in the National Museum of PNG. I shared with him my ideas about a cluster of symbols relating to bullroarers around the world. I developed them from linguistics, shape, and mythology--0rion, thunder and lightning, fish, canoe, vesica, rhomb, genitalia. I haven't published any of it yet, but I believe that I can relate the bullroarer to an Egyptian symbol on the Dendera circular zodiac and to the tongue on the Aztec calendar stone. All three symbols are related to Orion. I hope to suggest that at least these three civilizations were using a similar geometry on the sky to chart precession, and the voice of the bullroarer is the announcer of the closing of one cycle and beginning of a new one. It is an exact parallel, really, of what happens in youth initiation. What I suspect, having looked at a lot of pictures of Australian rock art, is that this geometry was well-known in Australia thousands of years ago. When I think of Rainbow Snake and the corroborree, I think "Pythagoras" (whose name means "snake in the dance ground"). Patanjali's name means the same.

I just wrote an article on bullroarers for the new Berkshire Encyclopedia of World History in the most traditional terms--that's how they wanted it. But I have been trying to get some of these concepts framed in better language. (This is the one coming in the next email. I suspect it will seem pretty basic to you.)

I don't really know all the ethnographies around the world--one couldn't, to say the least. But I have been collecting pictures, research--anything I can find on bullroarers. Then I have been simultaneously making replicas because this feeds my soul, and somehow I learn something from making them. I am doing a big presentation at the Society for Visual Anthropology in November of this year, and I am going to get all of those anthropologists to swing the bullroarers. I have been just stunned at the variety and the different sounds. I am trying to find a way to chart the infrasonics and to see what I discover. Thank you again for sending me the images. I can't wait to try to carve some of them. Do you know how they made the ones with the fine-line etchings? Is this with a metal file? Or a shell such as a scallop?

If you have insights that you would like to share them with me, I would so welcome them.

Take care, Bethe

From: Bethe Hagens

Sent: Monday, 12 July 2004 2:39:39 AM
Subject: Did you get second message?

Hi again - I wrote you a letter with attachments a couple of days ago, and I wonder if it was too big for hotmail. If you didn't get it, please let me know and I'll send it in another format. I still feel like a teenager, too, though I have to be fair and say I'm probably more like 29. Let me know, though. I look forward to continuing the communication.


From: Bethe Hagens

Sent: Wednesday, 7 July 2004 10:30:17 PM
Subject: Bullroarers

Dear Simon -

I am almost wordless, I am so in awe of what you are doing.

We have family here today, but I will write you later on. I just wanted to say thank you for responding so quickly. We must be pretty nearly age-mates (I'm 57--my parents born in 1919.) Maybe it's the part poem, part image, part spirit, part digital, part yearning to be part of a new birth that drives the kinds of work we are both trying to do. Mine is more grounded in performance art--but really the heart of our projects seem drawn from a common well, I think.

I am wondering how to tell you about bullroarer as philosopher's stone. That's what occurred to me after I'd looked at your image of just the Ducks in Flight page yesterday.

Bethe Hagens

From: Bethe Hagens

Sent: Wednesday, 7 July 2004 6:10:48 AM
Subject: Bullroarers

I just discovered your site. Do you auction, sell, collect, research, ??? bullroarers. I'm in the US, working on a many year research project making replicas and trying to put together some authentic knowledge on woods, sizes, etc. Your picture of the Flight of Ducks is incredible.

Thanks for any information.


From: Eden Zell

Sent: Monday, 07 Jun 2004 20:26:54
Subject: photograph use


My name is Eden Zell. I'm currently in Year 12. I am doing a majorwork for HSC Drama on Nicholas Parson's play "Dead Heart." - a play which deals with the conflict between white and indigenous Australians. I was on the web and found a few pictures on your site that I would love to be able to use for my majorwork. All the photos under the link 'people' would be useful if you would allow me access/use.

Please let me know whether it would be possible for me to use any of your images and what credit you would like to be given in the final work, or any other information you think relevant.

Thank you so much for your time.

Eden Zell

From: Michele Spiers

Sent: Monday 31 May 2004 16:20:26
Subject: Craig San Roque

AM trying to get intouch with Craig - he is a former colleague of mine from Alice Springs. I have noticed that a James Harvery of Mullumbimby has received assistance to script write and produce the Sugarman Story - I think this may be against Craig's wishes. Please forward - info about film project at - page 4.


Michele Spiers

From: Gary C. Willis

Sent: Thursday, 25 March 2004 11:58:29 PM
Subject: Baldwin Spencer

Simon -

I did scan the site that you sent me but I am afraid I did not really engage - with the detail - tonight - now 12.PM I have had a look through a bit of it and find it interesting. The Foxtel image is a bit of a shocker - the images and the commentaries in the following section are very interesting. Were they your father's photographs?

The debates between appropriation and representation and authority - I think I agree with the notion that it is impossible to control - and those differences in cultural sensitivities are very hard to police - in my case I have sought and been given permission to exhibit the photographs that I have taken of the Aboriginal people out at Urapuntja - and also from the Indigenous services unit at Melbourne University. Never the less as time goes on there will be increasing numbers of images become available - as successive generations open up their archives - and most of will be impossible to police.

Meantime - I look forward to meeting you on the merry go round

- Gary

From: Gary C. Willis

Sent: Wednesday, 24 March 2004 6:54:44 PM
Subject: Baldwin Spencer

Dear Simon - Thanks for the notes on the Baldwin Spencer Photos - I have already discussed the political issues with Dr. Charles Green in the Fine Arts Dept. and also the Gary Thomas the director of the Indigenous Studies Unit at Melbourne Uni. Both of them have given me their respective advice, angles and in Gary Thomas' case an aboriginal go ahead. So it should be fine.

I have already found your site at ACMI and read through a lot of it - excellent - in fact that's where I got your contact from.

Yes Leichhardt is a fascinating figure - as was Spencer - curiously I noted in my searches that both of them are represented in the Melb. University bright sparks pages

Meantime - I will be delighted to send you a copy of the little catalogue when it comes from the printer and let you know when the show is on.

Thanks again for your help and advice - Gary:)

From: Gary C. Willis

Sent: Tue, 23 Mar 2004 17:03:57 +1100
Subject: Baldwin Spencer

Dear Simon -

I wondered if you might know who to speak to regarding the use of a Baldwin Spencer photograph in a small exhibition catalogue I am currently producing to accompany my exhibition at the Baillieu Library in July this year.

The catalogue is to accompany an exhibition of my own photographs and paintings to do with the theme of Ludwig Leichhardt's disappearence into central Australia in 1848 and Patrick White's Myth of VOSS.

Any suggestions ? - Gary

The true work of art offers us the gift of poiesis; the uncanny production of presence, where the past and the future are both at stake and the act of being-in-the-world claims its proper meaning.

When the work of art becomes for aesthetic enjoyment only, its formal aspects are appreciated and analyzed, but the essence of art remains untouched and we are left in a self-annihilating desert of terra aesthetica, unable to cut through time.

'The Original Structure of the Work of Art' - circa Giorgio Agamben (1999)

Gary Willis

From: Jeff Horner

Sent: Friday, 5 March 2004 8:35:07 AM
Subject:fish trap

Hi can you give me any info on this old fish trap. It is one long vine for a frame and extends to about 10 feet.

Thanks Jeff Horner Omaha Ne.

From: Linga Longa

Sent: Monday, 23 February 2004 12:27:51 PM
Subject: Aboriginal Philosophy Week 2004 invitation

Please find following in the body of this email an invitation to this years Aboriginal Philosophy Week as from your website it appears you may find this of interest. We would appreciate if you are able to include this invitaiton to any other people or networks you may think are interested

Thanks and regards Richmond

Linga Longa Aboriginal Philosophy Week 2004 12th- 17th April, 2004

"Sustaining Ourselves through Indigenous Philosophy" Australia's Indigenous Cultures have sustained themselves and their people for thousands of years based on the primary concept of Relationship. Philosophy Week 2004 provides a unique opportunity to spend five fulfilling days with Australia's Indigenous Philosophers and Teachers learning how to sustain ourselves through our relationship to family, country, spirit and our selves.

"Sustaining the self has been the key to sustaining the oldest living culture on the planet" -Jack Beetson Philosophy Week gives you the opportunity to spend five days and nights Koori time, camping under the stars in the tranquil Rollands Plains. The week includes presentations from Indigenous Philosophers and Teachers and allows lots of time for sitting around a campfire and sharing your views on culture, spirituality and sustaining ourselves. People of all ages and cultural backgrounds have gathered each year in this relaxing and friendly environment to learn, laugh and grow with the oldest living culture in the world.

Philosophy Week 2004 is strictly limited to 150 people For photos of Philosophy Week 2003 please visit

Presentations & workshops:

Each day 2 presentations will be given by prominent Indigenous Philosophers and Teachers focusing on Sustaining Ourselves through our Relationship to family, community, country, spirit and to our selves. Throughout the week Elders and Teachers will be available for informal discussions on these and other topics such as belonging in the land, stages through life, ceremony, timelessness, healing and spirituality.

In addition to presentations are daily cultural workshops providing a fun, practical experience of various cultural activities including - Bush Medicine, Bush Tucker, Dance, Language, Art, Music, Craft, Healing & Spiritual Growth. This year will also include a children's program providing fun, hands on learning experiences of traditional culture for children of all ages.

When is it? Philosophy Week is the week after Easter and runs from Monday 12th April through to Saturday 17th April 2004. Registration for Philosophy Week will be open from 9.00am on Monday 12th April with the Opening Ceremony beginning approximately an hour and a half before sunset. The week will close at sunrise on Saturday 17th April.

Payments can be made by cheque, money order or cash in full (or in instalments with prior arrangement) payable to Bilyara (Eaglehawk) Pty Ltd. (All prices include GST.) Philosophy Week 2004 is strictly limited to 150 people Full registration: $660 Student/Pensioner registration: $440 Child registration: $220 (primary/secondary school age) $110 (pre school age) Early bird registration: $550 (before 31st January 2004) Very early bird registration! $484 (before 19th December 2003)

Getting There Linga Longa is situated at Rollands Plains, approximately 40 minutes north west of Port Macquarie on the Mid North Coast of NSW. Directions will be sign posted to Linga Longa from the Ampol Service Station, corner Pacific Highway and Pembrooke Road, at Telegraph Point.(This turn off is north of both Port Macquarie turn offs from the Pacific Highway) Participants travelling by public transport can be picked up at either the Wauchope train station or Port Macquarie Bus Terminal or Airport by prior arrangement.

For all inquiries, phone Richmond on (02) 6582 6441 or email:
Bilyara (Eaglehawk) Pty Ltd
ABN 97 070 542 264
Post Office Box 713
Phone (02)6582 6441 Fax (02)6585 8042
Email Web site

From: Henry Nguyen

Sent: Monday, 9 February 2004 11:27 AM
Subject: Churingas

HI Simon Pockley...

Auction 2003 -2004 ceremonial artefacts.

Do you mean this number#2004-01-22 2589097929. #2004-0-03 2584491802. #2004-01-03 258449387. What ever you have available please email the picture and tthr asking price.

Thank you


From: Henry Nguyen

Sent: Sunday, 8 February 2004 4:52 AM
Subject: Churingas

Hi .....

I just wonder are those Churingas are for sale? please let me know.

Thank you


From: Gil Robertson

Sent: Monday, 2 February 2004 9:35:36 AM
Subject: Your Site

Hi! Simon,

I have not heard a Duck Song, but will ask Mindi Crombie. He is a Antikirrinya, from Coober Pedy to Emu Junction. He is full traditional man and grow up in the scrub. His mother is one of the Old Women fighting the Nuclear Dump. She sang with him at last weekend's Tunarama, in language..

So will see if he know it or knows some one who would.


From: Gil Robertson

Sent: Tuesday, 27 January 2004 11:28 AM
Subject: Your Site

Simon Pockley wrote: What do you mean by 'looking into our local evidence of Aboriginal life for forty five years'?

As a teenager I started accompanying an old man who hosted visits by Museum and University groups to the area. I took part in my first artefact collecting project at thirteen. I continued studying sites and after the old man died, I became "local contact" and still have visiting consultants and researchers call for directions and I often go on field work. From the early eighties, I became involved in Site Protection and Site Recording. In the mid eighties I became the "go between" for non Tribal Aboriginals communicating with Tribal visitors and with Government in its three tiers. With Sarah Martin I under took a major Fish Trap Study under National Estate funding. Fish Traps and coastal ecologies have remained a major interest of mine. Over time I have been taught a great deal by the traditional people of several tribes. I write letters for traditional people who do not have office facilities. I am currently working to have the Southern Eyre Peninsula covered by a blanket Site Survey, as we are loosing many valuable site to developers. When Tribal People come to town they usually come to the farm to visit and I am able to arrange access to a lot of Sites that are on private land and difficult for them to access, but I am able to get them to most places. As recently as Sunday, we were on a sacred site that had not been visited for years and they were just blown away to have access and it was great to watch them find things as they had been taught, but not seen before. They regard me as a an Aboriginal in spirit.

'Have you come across any duck songs?'

Do you mean folk and that sort of thing?

Some where I have a cassette of 'Mucky Duck' a Western Australian Bush Band. (Mucky Duck refers to Black Swan.) I think there is a fun duck song on it. will check it out if you like.


From: Gil Robertson

Sent: Friday, 23 January 2004 1:34 PM
Subject: Your Site

Hi! Simon,

Thank you, I played with the setting and got it much more readable and am enjoying it. How long do you intend to keep it on line? I ask this as it is going to take a long time to work through it.

I thank you for putting the site up. I will enjoy it. I have been looking into our local evidence of Aboriginal life for forty five years. and am at this moment waiting for a phone call to meet and anthropologist and a couple of four wheel drives of traditional people recording a story line. I have obtained the keys to get access to a high hill to allow them to point out the path of the story line across some inaccessible country. I am involved in site recording and work at times as a culture and heritage advisor to a group.

Gil Robertson
Port Lincoln SA

From: Gil Robertson

Sent: Tuesday, 20 January 2004 1:14 PM
Subject: Your Site

Hi! Simon,

An Archaeologist friend sent the address to me, saying he knew I would enjoy it.

I would if I could read it. I find you dark background and small pale writing almost impossible for me.

Any way I can access a form of it with readable colours?

Gil Robertson
Aboriginal Culture, Heritage and History.

From: Phil (DAIS) Czerwinski

Sent: Monday, 19 January 2004 3:24 PM
Subject: top site FOD


I must say this is an excellent website and the diary of your father's trip is a fascinating read. It sort of reminded me of a hike I did to the top of Mt Giles in the MacDonnell Rangess a few years ago (but I wasn't feasting on wallabies and echidnas though!). You have created a great educative tool with this and should be congratulated for your troubles.

top stuff and well done Phil

Phil Czerwinski
Aboriginal Heritage Language and the Arts Group
Department for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation (DAARE)
Postal Address: PO Box 3140 Rundle Mall SA 5000
Phone: (08) 8226-8964
Fax: (08) 8226-8999

From: Sarah Cusack

Sent: Wednesday, 14 January 2004 12:45 PM
Subject: Antique Aboriginal fishing spears

Dear Simon,

Thankyou for your email

Best wishes

Sarah and Michael

From: Sarah Cusack

Sent: Tuesday, 13 January 2004 5:25 PM
Subject: Antique Aboriginal fishing spears

Dear Sir,

I am interested in selling my collection of Aboriginal spears that my uncle gave to me. I am not sure if you are interested or that you can help me, so I have included the story of the spears.

My uncle worked as a teacher in Parmtuaau (Aboriginal name for the area) also known as Edward River on the West coast of Cape York and the East coast of the Gulf of Carpentaria. While working there in 1975 he was given seven Aboriginal spears (2 multi -prong (6 prongs on each) I assume fishing spears and 5 single prong hunting spears). The spears are all over 2.5 meters long and are in their original condition, they have never been used or displayed in any form. The spears were made by the local tribal groups known as the Thayorre and Munkan tribe. Both of these tribes continue to speak their own language as well as English. They were made by full blood Aboriginals and the men would use similar spears to fish and hunt with. I would like someone to buy the spears as a set as I would like them to stay together. If you are interested please contact me via my telephone and my number is 0747289237. I live in Townsville.

P.S If you do not wish to buy them could you please give me any indication as to how much they might be worth. You can email me if you have any questions.


Yours sincerely

Sarah Cusack

From: Michael Darby

Sent: Monday, 5 January 2004 10:15 PM
Subject: Greetings to Simon Pockley


Congratulations on your remarkable site I have never been to Hermannsburg and am merely aware that Pastor Albrecht encouraged artistic endeavour, including that of the great Albert Namatjira.

Here is the relevant section of my almost completed Anthology 200 Poets of the People, plus some of my own poetry.

I would certainly welcome the opportunity of reproducing some of your photographs to illustrate the efforts of the pioneers.

With all good wishes

Michael Darby