Blackfellows Hand Aboriginal Place was an important meeting and educational place and holds special meaning for Wiradjuri people. It is also highly valued by the wider Aboriginal community, including Gandangara, Dharug and Dharkinjung people.
The area is regarded for its richness in wild resources and its natural beauty – the vegetation, rock formations, ochres and waterfalls create an aesthetic ambience. Blackfellows Hand Aboriginal Place was also important as an occupation site and includes a men’s and a women’s area. There is a women’s birthing area in a secluded part of the complex.
Blackfellows Hand holds special meaning to Wiradjuri people because of their continuing cultural connection to the place. The site complex includes culturally significant rock shelters and stencil-art which provide a physical and spiritual link to ancestors and provide a place where traditional culture can be sustained. The area is used by the Aboriginal community as a ‘bush school room’ where young people can hear stories from Elders and learn to collect and use bush food and natural medicine
Aboriginal rock paintings serve as the virtual window to the rich tradition of the Australian aboriginals. They contain clues to important social, economic, and spiritual insights about the life of ancient peoples.
The mixture of ochre, water and animal fat (sourced from emu, kangaroo or echidna) is placed into the mouth and blew it across their hand which rested on a rock surface. The ochre chemically reacted with and sunk into the surface of the rock just like ink does into paper. As these stencils were commonly made on rock walls of shelters or north-facing rock they were protected against weathering and lichen.
Children’s stencils are found in lower areas where they were made when the child was very young. Elders were the only tribe members privileged to have the stencil of their entire forearm on a rock wall. The higher up a hand stencil on the rock, and the more of the wrist and arm appeared, the more important the individual was considered in the tribe. If you study closely, you will glimpse back into many important milestones in the area’s history.
NOTE: There is a 5minute walk up hill to the areas of interest and a 800m short drive on a dirt road from Wolgan Rd.
Blackfellows Hands Road is located 10.7km south of Black Gold Motel, off the Wolgan Road.