What is a Scarred Tree?
Scarred trees are those that have been permanently marked by Indigenous communities using their bark to make tools or equipment.
On 6 October 2013, a ceremony was held at Heide Museum of Modern Art and the tree was given the name Yingabeal by Uncle Bill Nicholson (a Wurundjeri elder) and Dr Jim Poulter (a local historian). In the Woiwurrung language spoken by the Wurundjeri, ‘yinga’ means ‘sing’, ‘song’ or ‘singing’ and ‘beal’ is the name for a red gum tree. When placed together, it means ‘song tree’. The naming ceremony included traditional dancing and a smoking ceremony. A smoking ceremony is a ritual burning of plant matter to cleanse the location of bad spirits.
Story education resources
Education Education Kit: Yingabeal: Indigenous Geography at Heide
This unit of work has been designed to fulfil the content requirements of the Victorian Curriculum (History) Year 7 & 8 topic entitled ‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and Cultures’. It focuses on the Scarred Tree at Heide Museum of Modern Art as a starting point for discussing concepts such as Indigenous geography and wayfinding, Indigenous customs and traditions, food and resources and the importance of preserving Indigenous artefacts and intangible heritage.
This education resource will assist students to develop their knowledge of Indigenous culture and the issues that threaten contemporary Indigenous heritage.