About this objectGrave site of Yuranigh, an Aboriginal Wiradjuri man, who accompanied Sir Thomas Mitchell on his expedition into the topic north in 1845-46. Mitchell had a great respect for Yuranigh’s bush skills and friendship.
The gravesite is located to the south of Molong off Yuranigh Road (previously the property of Gamboola). It is within a fenced paddocked accessible to the public. Several carved trees originally surrounded the gravesite (2 viewable carvings remain) along with other eucalypts. The grave has an original headstone now lying down and a replica headstone standing within a fenced plot.
Yuranigh died in April 1850 and was buried as per his people’s traditions. Sir Thomas Mitchell then had a fence (1852) and gravestone erected (1854) on the site.
Gravesite of Yuranigh (?-1850), a celebrated Aboriginal Wiradjuri Gibirr (man) and guide to Sir Thomas Mitchell’s 1845-46 expedition into the Interior of Tropical Australia, with associated carved trees and European headstone is a nationally significant site. Not only is it one of the few remaining sites with in-situ carved burial trees it is also the only known site where both Aboriginal and European burial traditions coexist. The carving of 4 (possibly 5) trees on the site is unusual and the more carvings the more important the man was to his people (Etheridge/Milne references). Sir Thomas Mitchell, Surveyor General and early European explorer, had a Gravestone monument erected at the site in 1854 to his “guide, companion, councillor, and friend”.
The existence of the site is locally important to the Wiradjuri nation for spiritual and teaching purposes. Nationally it is a significant Aboriginal site for education and teaching of burial practices at the time of European expansion and settlement. Also, in association, the understanding of Aboriginal guides to the successfully European exploration of the interior of Australia.
Hayley Lavers 2019
Inscription and MarksEuropean grave reads –
HONESTY AND FIDELITY
WHO ACCOMPANIED THE
EXPEDITION OF DISCOVERY
INTO TROPICAL AUSTRALIA IN
LIES BURIED HERE
ACCORDING TO THE RITES
OF HIS COUNTRYMEN
AND THIS SPOT WAS
DEDICATED AND ENCLOSED
GOVERNOR GENERALS AUTHORITY
The original headstone reads the same. The plinth of the 2nd headstone reads THIS MEMORIAL ORIGINALLY ERECTED IN 1852 WAS RE ERECTED ON THIS BASE OF MOLONG MARBLE BY THE GOVERNMENT IN 1900