A Smoking is an important part of any ceremony and can also be performed as its own ceremony. Usually at the beginning of a ceremony it accompanies a Welcome and assists in cleansing the area and the people of bad spirits and to promote the protection and well-being of visitors.
It is not just the smoke that is important in the ceremony but also how the fire is lit and what is used to make it. Some mobs might only use a certain type of leaves or bark while others may interchange them depending on what the ceremony is.
There a few different ways for a Smoking to take place. An Elder of a younger person of the mob may carry around a wooden dish containing coals and wet leaves around assembled guests or there may be a set smoking site that the guests can gather around so that they can walk through the smoke.
Uncle Max Harrison (Yuin Elder) and Dean Kelly (Yuin) talk about the meaning and significance of a Smoking Ceremony.
Image Source: Bendigo Advertiser.
- Smoking Ceremony, Wurundjeri Tribe Council