Summary: An unusual depiction of Baiame at an Aboriginal engraving site above Cottage Point Road. The figure has two horns, and is holding a shield and a dilly bag.

One of the most striking Aboriginal engravings around Cottage Point, this ten-foot high man or deity takes up most of a small rock outcrop on a ridge above Cottage Point Road. He was documented by both W.D. Campbell and R.H. Mathews in the 1890s, Mathews describing him as a “an aboriginal warrior with his clubs, shield and boomerang, having his head decorated in the usual manner”. McCarthy many years later described him as “an ancestral being of the Baiami type”.

AWAT1265 LR Smiths Creek Baiame

The Baiame (deity) figure is holding a shield in one hand; in the other he is holding a boomerang or cone-headed club. From his left arm hangs a dilly bag, “probably a string or netted bag containing magical objects” (McCarthy).

montage2 stitch LR 3 Smiths Creek Baiamemontage2 stitch highlighted LR Smiths Creek Baiame

The most unusual feature of this Baiame figure are his “conical horns or horn-like ears”.

AWAT1253 LR Smiths Creek Baiame

The boomerang or waddy (Campbell) or cone headed club (McCarthy) in his right hand is quite deeply cut.

AWAT1263 LR Smiths Creek Baiame

On the shield is a faint J-shaped motif, which may represent a fish-hook.

AWAT1251 LR Smiths Creek Baiame

Inside the figure’s body is what has been described as a bird – although this is not at all obvious.

AWAT1262 LR Smiths Creek Baiame

Beside Baiame’s right foot is a fish. Both the bird and the fish may indicate a totemic association.

AWAT1379 LR Smiths Creek Baiame

As well as the different interpretation of whether the man is a warrier or a deity, Campbell’s sketch (left) included the fish by the figure’s right foot, and the hook within the shield. The sketch by Mathews (right) incorrectly depicts the figure with six toes on one foot and four on the other foot (both feet have five toes).

Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hiking the World, and receive notifications of new posts by email. (A hike is added every 1-2 weeks, on average.)

Join 1,147 other subscribers


Leave a Reply

Aboriginal Sites by National Park

Located to the north-west of Sydney, just south of the Dharug and Yengo National Parks, Maroota has a high concentration of (known) Aboriginal sites. Many more Aboriginal heritage sites are located in the Marramarra National Park. The original inhabitants of the area were the Darug people.
Over a hundred Aboriginal sites have been recorded in the Hornsby region, with many of these in the Berowra Valley National Park and around the suburb of Berowra.