Summary: A vertical Aboriginal rock engraving on Smiths Creek, with a frieze containing eleven figures, and an adjacent site with five mundoes

Towards the upper reaches of Smith Creeks (near the site of the old Angus Farm) are couple of Aboriginal engraving sites.

McCarthy Group 127, Series 1 and 2

One of them includes a frieze of eleven human figures, fish and a shield, engraved vertically on a long rock face. Most of the human figures are men, but there are also five boys (or small men) and a figure described by McCarthy as a woman, who has both breasts and a penis. This is not unusual, with McCarthy explaining “the addition of a penis to the women’s body may mean nothing more than the absolute preoccupation of the artists with the stylized depiction of the human figure, predominantly men, and they could not resist drawing a penis instead of a vagina on this figure”.

Engraving Smiths Creek frieze Upper Smiths Creek frieze and mundoes

Most of the figures are still visible, although it’s hard to see the entire frieze.

Montage2 stitch LR Upper Smiths Creek frieze and mundoesMontage2 stitch LR highlighted 1 Upper Smiths Creek frieze and mundoes

AWAT9633 LR Upper Smiths Creek frieze and mundoes

McCarthy proposed a few different potential interpretations of this Aboriginal scene: “firstly, a party of men, a woman and five boys, secondly, the men taking the boys away from the women for initiation, and thirdly, the capture of a woman to be a wife for one of the men“.

McCarthy Group 127, Series 3

Close to the vertical rock engravings is a set of four or five mundoes (footprints). These are described as part of Group 127 by McCarthy who asserts there are five mundoes, and was consideed a separate group by Campbell who documented four definite mundoes and maybe a fifth. These are very very weathered.

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Aboriginal Sites by National Park

Over 40 sites have been recorded within the park; many were located along the river bank and were flooded by the building of the weir in 1938.