Camping close to Grafton in New South Wales, I learned about Aboriginal traditions. I learned about how different tribes used to meet year after year in areas that were abundant in food and shelters. These assigned places were chosen because they were suitable to accommodate for hundreds of members. As secret rites once took place at these locations, or are still taking place, access to this land is restricted. “White fellas” should keep out. And even if they don’t know what they are setting foot on, they might get into trouble being caught by the protectors of this land.

A hint of secret land from above.

What struck me is how me and my group members felt more and more exited hearing about the secretive nature of this area. It was as if this fact that it was forbidden for us to go made it a necessity for us to find out why by trespassing. Even though we could be quite sure that the land would not be spectacularly different from where we had ventured before, or would not hold structures or other remains of any past meetings, we felt a force that drove us to go there. Or at least question our guide thoroughly about entering which is what our curiosity resulted in.

Our nosiness scared me in a way, because I found it hard to distinguish between knowing about the aboriginal culture out of respect or out of a drive for violation. The beauty of secrets is that they have to remain secrets. No more questions.

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