'the Ningy Ningy People Of The Redcliffe Peninsula'

2126 words - 9 pages

The Ningy Ningy People of the Redcliffe Peninsula(Ninge Ninge, Ningi Ningi)The Ningy Ningy, whose name means 'oysters', are identified as being the southern most clan of the Undambi people of the Sunshine Coast. Ningy Ningy are red-ochre people and the traditional owners of my home town, the Redcliffe Peninsula, situated on the coast of South-East Queensland. The ancestral homelands of the Ningy Ningy people extend from the Pine River in the south to Elimbah Creek in the north; and from Old Gympie Road in the west to Pumicestone Passage in the east. The Ningy Ningy dialect is from the Kabi language group and is called Oondoo.Fairhall, P. (1989), 'Ningi Ningi - Our First Inhabitants', Redcliffe Historical Society Inc., Queensland.I was able to find this book easily in the Moreton Bay Regional Library but was dismayed to find that it was the only book available on the Redcliffe Peninsulas' first inhabitants. Personally, I found Fairhall's book to offer a decent representation of the local history of the Ningi Ningi people as she endeavours to give readers an insight into the clan who lived in the area prior to Europeans landing in Moreton Bay and Redcliffe in 1824. I found the author referenced heavily the work of Steel (1984, p. 163) but the book also includes a lot of original research in regards to Redcliffe's local indigenous history.One of the highlights of the publication for me personally are the remarkable interviews from older Redcliffe residents, most of whom have since passed themselves, in regards to prominent Aboriginal individuals throughout Redcliffe's history, the most famous being Boama (d.1913). I love the stories about Boama, whose name was changed to Sammy Bell after a local identity 'adopted' him. Sammy was adored by locals and supported himself by getting oysters and crabs for residents and visitors and could always be seen amusing visitors with his well-known songs and dances for pennies at the Woody Point Jetty. Sammy's story is significant to all residents of the Redcliffe Peninsula and features not only in Fairhall's book, but can also be seen in a touching visual display at the Redcliffe Museum and a memorial headstone at the Redcliffe Cemetery honouring the much-loved Sammy is still well visited to this day.Despite the book's title, whilst an interesting introduction to the Ningy Ningy people of the Redcliffe Peninsula, I found the book to be lacking in any real discussion on the clans culture prior to European settlement. There is disappointingly little reference to shelter, food or clothing, spirituality or other anthropological history except for some mention of 'humpies', the traditional hut style of living prolific to the Redcliffe Peninsula beaches. The author seems more concerned with the Ningy Ningy's relationship with white man and all photographs within the publication feature Ningy Ningy people in European clothing, with no visual representation of traditional garments or decoration.Whilst lacking in any...

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