Summary: A significant site near Bulgandry in Kariong: "The whole group is particularly well drawn, and presents one of the best samples of this native art that the Writer has met with"

This site doesn’t officially have a name; for convenience I’ve called it “Bulgandry 2”, as it’s another significant and complex engraving site located not far from the signposted Bulgandry Aboriginal Site. The site has many overlapping figures on a relatively small rock platform, with a deep waterhole in the middle, and was described effusively by W.D. Campbell: “The whole group is particularly well drawn, and presents one of the best samples of this native art that the Writer has met with”.

engraving bulgandry 2 Bulgandry 2 (Brisbane Water)

As well as overlapping each other, many of the figures traverse a large whale which is at the centre of the site: “The central one [section] has a whale twenty-five feet long, and a large sunfish with nearly sixteen feet spread of fins. Within this figure a circle is cut, and around the northern and western sides of these principal figures are grouped “intricate rows of men and women, life size, with waddies, boomerangs, spears, and nulla-nullas” (Campbell).

awat7662 lr Bulgandry 2 (Brisbane Water)

At the eastern end of the rock platform is a long and quite unusual engraving which is crossed by many pecked dotted lines. It was described by Campbell as “a large curious-looking figure fifteen feet long, which has the appearance of a caterpillar or grub”.

awat7645 lr Bulgandry 2 (Brisbane Water)

The caterpillar or grub has 36 “bars” crossing the figure.

shape caterpillar Bulgandry 2 (Brisbane Water)
Source: Sydney Rock Art

A kangaroo or wallaby intersects this grub-like figure.

awat7661 lr Bulgandry 2 (Brisbane Water)

Just in front of the wallaby/kangaroo is what look like a turtle, which was described as a “radiate oval figure”.

Near the small turtle is what seems to be a swamp hen, which is not shown on the site sketch.

Although the interpretation of any site is fraught with danger, McCarthy noted an emphasis on the line of men and women approaching the “barred figure” (grub or gigantic white caterpillar, of the type eaten by the Aboriginal people).

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