The Wiradjuri nation was split and sub-split into many tribes. According to oral tradition, in Mudgee, the Mowgee clan extended over a 50 km radius. The Mowgee women’s totem was the wedge tail eagle (Mullian) and the men’s totem the crow (Waggan). They settled around the Cudgegong River, using its resources for food, and water.
The Wiradjuri were the occupants of the Mudgee district, as well as of a large part of what is now the state of New South Wales, prior to the arrival of Europeans. Contact with the Europeans was disastrous for the Wiradjuri whose numbers were soon decimated. By the end of the 1800s the Wiradjuri had virtually disappeared from the greater Mudgee district. There are, however, numerous traces of their extensive occupation of the land.
The Mudgee district holds many sacred Aboriginal sites and cave painting, some sites with evidence of tool making. Some of the better known and accessible sites include Hands on the Rocks; The Drip; Babyfoot Cave.
In the early 2000s the Mudgee Historical Society assisted AIATSIS (the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander Studies), an organization based in Canberra, in compiling an extensive history of “Diana Mudgee”, an Aboriginal woman who was born in 1826 in the Mudgee district where she lived most of her life apart from a short break at Mulgoa with the Cox family.
All that material has been gathered into an online exhibition which can be found at the AIATSIS website.
It makes fascinating reading. Hopefully this exhibition will uncover even more information about Diana Mudgee and enable a more complete family tree of her descendants to be compiled.
Mudgee Historical Society Inc.
Headquarters of the Mudgee Historical Society Inc.