Although mainstream education teaches the four seasons of Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter, Western Australia’s Noongar Aboriginal people lived by six seasons. These seasons clearly indicate change in weather. Aboriginal culture dates back tens of thousands of years and reveals an astounding knowledge and understanding of the environment.
Through this ancient wisdom, Noongar Aboriginal people (sometimes spelled Nyoongar or Nyungar) lived across the south west of Western Australia. Life was lived according to the six seasons, moving with the availability of various food sources, weather patterns and cultural habits.
The six Noongar Aboriginal Seasons are:
- Birak (December-January)
- Bunuru (February-March)
- Djeran (April-May)
- Makuru (June-July)
- Djilba (August-September)
- Kambarang (October-November)
In April and May, it’s the season of…
Djeran – April/May
Djeran brings cooler days, a time for building or repairing mia-mias (tents) in preparation for colder weather. Kangaroos were hunted for food and skins. The skins were turned into valuable coats and rugs. With the Emu In The Sky constellation clearly seen within the band of the Milky Way, this signifies the time to search for emu eggs as a prime source of food. Many red flowering gums are in bloom and seeds picked from the Zamia Palm last season and treated, are eaten, along with root bulbs from Bullrushes, frogs, turtles and fish.
Artist, Rikki Garlett
The beautiful image above was created by Rikki Garlett, a local Ballardong artist who grew up in Northam. Her ambition is to create traditional art, inspired by the stories of her culture shared to her as a child. She sees her art as a way to share knowledge and connect with the community. If you would like Rikki for other projects, please contact Wheatbelt NRM.
Noongar Season Dateless Planner
WA’s Wheatbelt NRM organisation, in conjunction with the Wheatbelt NRM Elders Advisory Group, has produced a wonderful yearly planner laid out with the Noongar six seasons. It’s a dateless planner and includes photographs and stories from all over the Wheatbelt along with art from local Ballardong artist Rikki Garlett. You’ll discover more about the six Noongar Aboriginal Seasons and the unique Wheatbelt environment. The planner is for sale from Wheatbelt NRM’s website.
READY TO FOLLOW THE SIX NOONGAR SEASONS?
The Noongar Season Dateless Planner shows the way to celebrate the year from a different perspective