THE WIRADJURI PEOPLE
The Wiradjuri people are the first inhabitants of the Bathurst district and have been living here for at least 40,000 years. The Wiradjuri people are the people of the mountains, rivers and plains whose heritage is rich and ancient.
Wiradjuri country extends from the western slopes of the Great
Dividing Range, near Lithgow, and is bounded by the three rivers:
Macquarie (Wambool), Lachlan (Kalari), Murrumbidgee (retained its
original name). It was a land described by early European explorers
as fertile, abundant in fish and game. Wiradjuri people had their
own language and a rich culture of stories and songs.
Carved trees used to mark graves are an important feature of old Wiradjuri culture. An example of one of these trees can be seen in the Bathurst Museum. Many of these trees have now been destroyed by land clearing and bushfires.
Another important feature of the old Wiradjuri was their handsome
cloaks made from the fur of many possums stitched together. When
Governor Macquarie visited Bathurst in 1815 he was presented with
such a cloak by a Wiradjuri man.