Culture and heritage

Casino Bora Ground

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Why is it an Aboriginal Place?

Casino Bora Ground is a sacred ceremonial (Bora) site where men's initiation ceremonies took place.

Why is it important to Aboriginal people?

Casino Bora Ground originally consisted of a large mud-walled ring connected by a narrow path to a smaller ring. The rings were almost perfect circles, and a large up-turned tree trunk stood in the centre of the larger ring.

The site for the Bora ground was carefully chosen because important ceremonies were held there. Bora grounds were generally situated near a camping ground large enough to accommodate all the tribes invited, and close to a river, creek or lagoon to provide sufficient water and food for all those attending the ceremonies.

It is likely that the rings at Casino Bora Ground were built and used between 1860 and 1890. W. Gill recorded that the rings looked relatively new when he saw them in 1906, and the geographer Griffith Taylor reported in The Sydney Morning Herald that the Bora Ground was still intact and well known to locals in 1924.

Casino Bora Ground is a sacred men's site because it was used for men's initiation ceremonies. Only Aboriginal men should visit the site. Aboriginal people believe that bad things will happen to anyone else who visits the site.

What's on the ground?

Little visible evidence of the Bora Ground remains on the site. The position of the larger ring is evident from a slight circular hump and a fallen tree with a shield pattern.

Nature of the environment

Casino Bora Ground is located on the northern slope of a bare hill just north of Casino. A tree-lined watercourse runs to the north of the site, and most of the land has been cleared of trees.

Land status

Private land.

What's the land used for?

Unknown.

Further information

Bowdler, Sandra 2000, A heritage study of Indigenous ceremonial (Bora) sites, University of Western Australia, Perth

Page last updated: 21 May 2013