The Eurobodalla Area

The Eurobodalla area is generally accepted as lying within Yuin country. The Yuin cultural area is generally stated to extend from the Shoalhaven River in the north, to the Victorian border in the south and to the eastern edge of the tablelands in the west.

Throughout the region there were complex patterns of intermarriage and group movements. The mapping of the smaller groups within Yuin country is problematic for a range of reasons. Two of the major factors are the contradictory nature of the documentary sources and the fact that the documentation occurred many decades after European intrusion and the consequent disruption of group boundaries. 6 In the case of two of the major anthropological sources for the south coast area, Howitt and Mathews, their writings were based on work done in the area in the 1880s and later, after more than five decades of European impact.

Within the broader context of the south coast it is clear that the Aboriginal people of the region travelled throughout the coastal zone and west into the Monaro tablelands for a variety of reasons.

These reasons included resource sharing (e.g. whale meat, fish flushes, bogong moths) and ceremonial purposes, including initiation and warfare. Patterns of movement along the coast and between the coast and the Monaro hinterlands existed long before European arrival in the area. Such patterns of movement have persisted to the present day although the form and ostensible reasons for the movement have altered over time. Although this history is confined to the area of the Eurobodalla Shire it should be remembered that such boundaries are the product of European institutions and do not relate to the patterns of Aboriginal life.

Aboriginal people and communities within the Eurobodalla area continue to operate today, as they did in the past, as part of a broad network of community and kinship extending south and north along the coast and inland to the tablelands.

Excerpt from "Eurobodalla Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Study, South Coast New South Wales", 2005. Story Contributed by Martin Ind from Moruya High School.