When the Gathang Guuyang was created in 2012, it was the first canoe of its kind made in more than 150 years.
The Manning community now has the opportunity to view this canoe which is on display at Manning Regional Art Gallery until July 21.
"It really is a sight to behold and we hope many locals will visit us to appreciate the workmanship and the importance of showcasing Aboriginal cultural objects," gallery director Rachel Piercy said.
The canoe is made from the bark of a blackbutt tree that was sourced on Gathang Country and is the result of years of research into traditional customs and building techniques, including the careful selection process.
For thousands of years the people of the Gathang speaking nation made and used canoes from stringy-bark and blackbutt trees to explore the waters around Forster and the Wallis Lake system, the Manning, Hastings and Wilson River Systems. Examples of canoe scar trees can be found throughout these coastal areas.
It's so important to inform people about our local culture and that of our First Nations people and we're delighted with the reception it's receivedGallery director Rachel Piercy
This incredible piece offers an insight into local Aboriginal culture and workmanship.
The Gathang Guuyang accompanies the 'Sea of Bellies' NAIDOC Week exhibition that features artworks from the Biripi and Worimi communities, celebrating motherhood.
Rachel said the canoe has been a talking point for everyone who has visited since it arrived.
"It's been our absolute pleasure to welcome this piece to the gallery and we have loved listening to the conversations it has sparked," she said.
"It's so important to inform people about our local culture and that of our First Nations people and we're delighted with the reception it's received."
The process to create the canoe is particularly refined and methodical.
The selection of a tree to create a Guuyang is very important and the tree must be straight, large and free from knot holes, cracks or disease.
The bark then needs to be heated and folded at the ends to form the canoe shape, before being secured with stakes and vine using the traditional local methods. Clay from Tobwabba (meaning 'place of clay') is used to plug the ends and to create a fire mound in the canoe.
This canoe was officially launched on Sydney Harbour in May 2012 at the Australian National Maritime Museum's NAWI Indigenous Watercraft Conference complete with fire and cabbage tree palm paddles. This historic event celebrated the strength of culture and the resilience of First Nations people and gallery director Rachel Piercy is hoping to do the same at the gallery.
Rachel will also be giving a special talk as part of NAIDOC Week celebrations, at the gallery on Friday, July 12 at 11am.
"It really is a sight to behold and we hope many locals will visit us to appreciate the workmanship and the importance of showcasing Aboriginal cultural objects," she said.
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