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The Argyle Diamond Mine & The Legends of Barramundi Gap

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Today we visited the Argyle Diamond Mine. Watching them mine the Diamonds was fascinating and Gail had to practically DRAG me out of there!! The Diamonds echo the rich colours of Australia from Cognacs, Corals and Browns to Light Champagne and Precious Pink. The darker and more intense the colour, the more rare and expensive the diamond. The colours are completely Natural, not created by any chemical or man-made process.
I was captivated by the Tour Guide's Story of the Aboriginal Heritage of this area, and the Legends which chronicle the Dreamtime Origins of the Barramundi Gap where the Argyle Mine is located. The Miriwung and Gidja people who live in East Kimberley share a "Dreaming Story" (Ngarranggarnia) about the Barramundi Fish. The stories have been passed down orally over many generations. The Barramundi is also known as the "Australian Sea Bass, and according to the Gidja People it is not found in this area today because of the presence of the Ngarranggarni ("Dreamtime") Barramundi in this place.
I will try to repeat it here ~ with Apologies for any Misspellings or Mispronounciations!

JALIWANG NGARRANGGARNI BARRAMUNDI DREAMING STORY (Miriwung)
A Barramundi lives in the river at Tharram (Bandicoot Bar). One day a Crane was fishing for food and speared the Barramundi with her beak but was not able to catch it as the Barramundi swam quickly away.
The Barramundi traveled up the Dunham River past today's Worrworrum Community and on to the first gate of the Glen Hill Community. Going through the Gate, she scraped off some of her scales and they can still be seen today - especially in the late afternoon. They look like White Rock on the hillside.
Here the Barramundi is spotted by some women who try to catch her using nets made of rolled Spinifex Grass. This is a Traditional Miriwung Fishing Method called "Gelganyem". The Barramundi flicks her tail and leaps over their trap. She manages to escape through Barramundi Gap and heads down to Bow River where she comes to rest as a White Rock. This Rock - which can still be seen today - is Very Different from the others at Bow River.


DAIWUL NGARRANGGARNI BARRAMUNDI DREAMING STORY (Gidja)
A Barramundi is being chased by a group of old women and swims into a cave near the area now known as Barramundi Gap. As she enters the cave the women prepare to catch her with nets made from rolled Spinifex Grass (a traditional fishing method known as "Kilkayi").
The Barramundi realizes that she is trapped in the shallow, muddy water of the cave entrance and tries to escape by swimming to the other end, toward Nunbung (Wesley Springs). But she cannot find a way out and returns to the entrance of the cave where the old women are waiting with their nets. She swims toward the women and jumps over them, shedding her scales as she jumps and leaving them behind in the shallow water. The scales become the diamonds of all colours that are found there today.
The Barramundi then jumps through a gap in the rocks, landing in the Deep, Clean water of Kowinji, or Cattle Creek. As she dives, she turns into a white stone. Three of the old women who have chased the Barramundi into cattle Creek peer into the water looking for her and they too turn to stone, forever becoming part of the landscape. Today there are Three Stone Formations overlooking the creek.

The diamonds are so Beautiful and I was so captivated by the Legends that I just wanted to bring home a whole handful of the Multi-Coloured gems!!
One of the effects of this Virtual Trek is that I have done so much Reading and Research about Australia that my Computer has started sending me Ads and Offers for Trips and Sales in Australia!!
emoticon Plus, I have learned to open and utilize MULTIPLE Tabs on my Computer so that I don't have to take As Many Handwritten Notes!! Even at that I have taken more Notes in the last Two Months than I have since I got out of Nursing School!!!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TUDAFD 6/5/2013 3:11PM

    I'm a little behind but so cool. Thanks for sharing. I love rocks and legends!

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CRITCHFIELD1 5/28/2013 8:55PM

    Just lovely! Thank you for re-capturing our virtual trip and this wonderful story!

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CATLADY52 5/24/2013 3:29PM

    And you love it, right! You really are never too old to learn something new. emoticon

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NASFKAB 5/24/2013 12:56PM

  thanks so much for posting these lovely gems

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IKACEY 5/24/2013 7:10AM

    emoticon Blog LJ you did a lovely job with the pictures and I love that legend story. I'm glad I bought that book on Aborigines. I learned alot about them in that. Btw aren't those diamonds the Bomb! Wish I could have bought them all lol
IKacey co-leader of the Chair Exercise Team

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_LINDA 5/24/2013 1:48AM

    This is so fascinating to hear about! Should a trip to Australia become some day a Reality for my Mother and me, you will have me well educated on what to see and the local Folklore!
Enjoying the tour immensely!

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JOANOFSPARK 5/24/2013 12:54AM

    Mine, too, Jeannie...... emoticon
Wasn't it just the most incredible day........wow, I could not tear my eyes away from all those lovely diamonds......Psssst, I got something to tell you later about one of the things that.....I bought....
anyway, it was so great checking out the gorges again this afernoon. I am so fired up and wanting to go forward but I don't want to leave the Kimberley either....just as I did not want to leave the Karijini .......they say every place you visit leaves a powerful mark on you in many ways, and that is so very true of our Bibbulmun Trek and now our Central Australian Trek.....Thank you, Ann......and thank you, Sandra.....and thank you to all the rest of our team who are working so hard to make this trek a success and such fun.......*grin* :)
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oh, yeah, great blog, Jeannie.......I got so emotional I forgot why I was commenting on your blog......fantastic job as always.....and I do love those diamonds....btw, which ones did you pick? emoticon it was really difficult to choose.

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SISSIE21 5/24/2013 12:06AM

    Love the stones, such beautiful colors! The legends are really interesting. I have always wanted to visit Australia. Go for it!!! emoticon emoticon

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EMMABE1 5/23/2013 11:36PM

    Great legend!!
Well, what are you waiting for? - find a cheap trip and get on it!! We are waiting for you and we always said we would workout at Curves together!!

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