Little Wilgie Ochre Mine included on State Register of Heritage Places

News story
The Little Wilgie Ochre Mine in Cue has been included in the State Register of Heritage Places.
landscape image of Little Wilgie

The place is unique for Aboriginal ochre mining activity and was later used by non-Aboriginal mining ochre operations in the latter part of the 20th century.

The Little Wilgie Ochre Mine is a significant part of the Aboriginal story of how the Weld Range in the Mid-West was formed. According to local Aboriginal tradition, the great Marlu Dreaming ancestor (a giant red kangaroo) was wounded by an evil spirit. It lay down bleeding at Little Wilgie before moving on and dying at Wilgie Mia. The blood left by the dying Marlu created the red ochre at both places.

Little Wilgie has been a site of mining and trade of red ochre by Aboriginal people for thousands of years, with the ochre traded across the State and beyond for ceremonial uses.

The Little Wilgie Ochre Mine has significant potential to improve understanding of Aboriginal life in the Weld Range region prior to colonisation and into the 20th century. The place demonstrates food processing, tool manufacture and mining techniques. 

The Little Wilgie Ochre Mine boasts a wide range of archeologically significant artefacts demonstrating the varying mining techniques of both cultures. The place includes Aboriginal artefacts, rock shelters, caches and commercial mining artefacts, including survey markers and mine shafts.

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Page reviewed 19 May 2022