Marn Grook Australian Football

Marn Grook (also spelt marngrook), literally meaning "Game ball", is the collective name given to a number of traditional Indigenous Australian recreational pastime believed to have been played at gatherings and celebrations of up to 50 players.

Generally speaking observers commented that Marn Grook was a football game which featured Punt kicking and catching a stuffed "ball". It involved large numbers of players, and games were played over an extremely large area. Totemic teams may have been formed, however to observers the game appeared to lack a team objective, having no real rules, scoring or winner. Individual players who consistently exhibited outstanding skills, such as leaping high over others to catch the ball, were often commented on..

Robert Brough-Smyth, in an 1878 book The Aborigines of Victoria, quoted William Thomas, a Protector of Aborigines in Victoria, who stated that in about 1841 he had witnessed Wurundjeri Aborigines playing the game.

The men and boys joyfully assemble when this game is to be played. One makes a ball of possum skin, somewhat elastic, but firm and strong. ...The players of this game do not throw the ball as a white man might do, but drop it and at the same time kicks it with his foot, using the instep for that purpose. ...The tallest men have the best chances in this game. ...Some of them will leap as high as five feet from the ground to catch the ball. The person who secures the ball kicks it. ...This continues for hours and the natives never seem to tire of the exercise.

Aboriginal Hunting Weapons

The weapons that Aboriginal people have used since the Dreamtime are Spears, Stone Knives, Shields, Boomerangs, and Fighting Stick . There are more Weapons but these are the main ones used for hunting .

Large animals are hunted (by men) small animals are gathered [by women] . The chance of success in obtaining animals is related to size. Large animals are hard to obtain, but provide a lot of meat (and prestige for the successful hunter) small animals individually provide little meat but can be obtained readily enough to provide much meat in total.

Hunting is a great experience when you first go out to hunt. Sometimes it's very exciting when the Elders take you out.
When I first went out Pig hunting I was 8 years old I felt very nervous when my older brother take me hunting to a very special place. Only men are allowed to go in but women are not allowed. If any women or girl go in they would go missing for a couple of years, that's the Law, it's very strong to us men. We have to use a four wheel drive. When we got there we left the four wheel drive near the main road. We had to walk, it took a couple of hours of walking to get there. As you look around you could see all the pigs just standing there looking at you so my brother just got into it and there went my brother chasing the pigs, while me and the other boys tried to get the smaller pigs, we call them suckers that's what we call them in our Language. Me and the boys caught 2 suckers, I helped my brother to catch 6 we shot 3 of them and left one alive and the two sucker. It was getting late so we started walking back to the car. Because we had to cook dinner that night we invited some of our relatives over to have dinner with us and offered some pig to our neighbours.
Edwin Butcher, Herberton, Australia

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