Noongar Mosaic Footpath
Public Art : Noongar Mosaic Footpath
Description : A series of mosaics along the footpath
near the Wind Farm depicting the six Noongar seasons.
Location: Path winding around the Albany Wind Farm,
Albany, Western Australia.
Date Unveiled : Unknown
Background : The Aboriginal Noongar people are the
first inhabitants of the South West region of Western Australia. Artifacts found in the hills near Margaret
River suggests they inhabited the area some 38,000 years ago. Noongar literally translates to meaning man.
Within the Noongar community there are 14 tribes. The central figure in Noongar culture is the Waagle, a
rainbow serpent which they believe dominated the earth and the sky creating waterways and people. To the
Noongar the Waagle gave life and food and in return they promised to become the custodians of the land.
The Noongar year has six seasons - Birak, Bunuru, Djeran, Makuru, Djilba and Kambarang.
Birok (December - January)
In the heat of mid summer the lakes and wetlands inhabitied by the long necked tortoise had shrunken,
making yabbin (or kilong) easier to hunt. Further, by now its eggs had hatched and its young were grown
up - so taking the adults did not impact the long-term supply of this resource. Ths, in Birok the
turtle became an important energy source for local Noongar people.
Burnuru ( February - March)
Like yonga, the kangaroo, the karda or race horse goanna was an important food all year round for
Noongar people. In late simmer, however, other food resources became harder to find and so the
delicious karda assumed greater importance. Its fat wa much sought after for its medicinal qualities,
while th eggs were considered a delicacy - though only a few were eaten, in order to maintain the
Geran (April - May)
The kangaroo was a major food source for local Aboriginal people most of the year, but was particularly
sought after during the season of Geran (late Autumn). Why? Because the skins were needed to make
claoks and bedding for the winter ahead.And because the fires used to flush out the yonga could be more
easily controlled after the first rain.
Magorro ( June- July)
In the middle of winter pelicans - and black swans, too - begin moulting and for several weeks cannot
fly. In this condition they are relatively easy to catch - and so peelamuk was on the menu more
frequently during Magorro than at other times in the year. Egg-laying did not begin until spring, so
the sustainability of this resource was not threatened in the long term.
Before the arrival of European settlers the quongdong was widespread in the Albany area. In early
september the cherry-sized fruit ripen to a rich red and when they went slightly soft they were eaten
with great enthusiasm. Quanong fruit are rich in Vitamin C and contain valuable minerals. The kernels
(seeds) were ground up to make a kind of flour.
Unfortunately the Kumbarung plaque was missing but here is what I can tell you, the season runs
between October to November. This was the time when families moved onto the coastal plains where frogs,
tortoise and freshwater crayfish were caught.