Cherissma pictured with Quandamooka/Nunukul Clan/Tribe.
Cherissma pictured with Quandamooka/Nunukul Clan/Tribe.

First cultural union in 100 years in region

A COUPLE hopes to have revived an ancient tradition by being the first to wed with a cultural union on the land of Port Curtis Coast People in more than 100 years.

Goreng Goreng woman Cherissma Blackman and Quandamooka Nunukul man Lincoln Costelloe last month united their clans in a cultural union on the shore of Wogun Bay at Seventeen Seventy.

Cherissma said it was the first cultural union on PCCC land since her great-grandparents' more than 100 years ago.

During the ceremony Cherissma was welcomed into Lincoln's clan through cultural dance and song.

A cockatoo feather, which symbolises peace and purity, was passed from Lincoln's family to Cherissma's to mark the occasion.

 

Cherissma Dancing after receiving Ceremonial Dress from the Quandamooka/Nunukul Women.
Cherissma Dancing after receiving Ceremonial Dress from the Quandamooka/Nunukul Women.

 

"It was something that both of us discussed after Lincoln proposed, after we watched the movie Top End Wedding," Cherissma said.

"We're both strong culturally and we thought it would be appropriate to have a ceremony that was a cultural union."

The Aboriginal wedding tradition is thousands of generations old but is not practised regularly now.

 

Cherissma's Son Jariya with Cherissma and Lincoln Costelloe-Blackman.
Cherissma's Son Jariya with Cherissma and Lincoln Costelloe-Blackman.

"I'd never even been to a cultural wedding, so to be part of it was so special, and to see our parents and families there too made it a special experience for all for us," Lincoln said.

With cultural unions not recognised under the Marriage Act, the couple solemnised their wedding with an authorised marriage celebrant.

Two hours after the cultural ceremony Cherissma and Lincoln swapped their traditional dress for a white wedding dress and a suit.

Speaking to The Observer from Bargara where they are honeymooning, they said they hoped ceremony would inspire others to consider a cultural union too.



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