Wp/nys/Djarraly (Jarrah)

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Djarraly Boorn at Greenmount Hill on the Darling Scarp near Perth

Djarraly or Djarra is a type of boorn (tree) which is native to Noongar boodjar (country).[1] Its woodlands are close to the coast. Along with other eucalyptus boorn, it is a very important type of boorn for Noongar since kura, yeye and boorda (past, present and future). Boodjar, including djarraly djarlma (forest), provides physical sustenance and burang nidja (objects) used in daily life. The major vital factor to be understood, though, is the spiritual and cultural connection that Noongar have to boodjar.[2] [3]

Noongar particularly in the kongal (south) and boyal (east) boodjar had their lives sustained from djarraly djarlma.[4] However, djarraly grows in much of Noongar boodjar, so people from a lot of places could also live with this boorn. Djarraly and its djarlma supplied meriny (vegetable food), daartj (meat), koornt (shelter), burang nidja and woorlbirniny (healing).

Djarraly's Wadjela name is Jarrah, coming directly from Noongar language. Numerous spellings for this boorn have been recorded in writing, attempting to correctly portray the sound of the word, including djerryl, djarra and djara amongst others. Pinjarra boodjar has its name from language, meaning 'to dig in the swamps amongst djarraly trees.'[5] Djarraly’s scientific name from the Wadjela is Eucalyptus marginata.

Djarraly Blossoms

Spiritual and Cultural Connection[edit]

Spiritual and cultural aspects are foundational in Noongar connection to boodjar. These are the creation Nyittiny Yarns (Dreaming Stories), baronga (totems), rituals and ceremonies. They surround and underpin the physical activities which people carry out on boodjar. There are signs coming through boodjar which people can understand and follow. This is the case for djarraly djarmla and any other boodjar. Physical sustenance from boodjar is necessary and respected. The deepest value placed on boodjar though, is from the Nyittiny Yarns, the spiritual connection. This connection to boodjar is embedded in a person’s being. It is not an intellectual learning attached at mind-level only. It is a unified relationship between Noongar and boodjar, coming from the koort (heart).[6] [7]

Baronga[edit]

There are spiritual obligations and responsibilities to ancestors and boodjar which take place through Baronga. Each person born has a baronga. The type depends on which moort (family) and boodjar the person is from. Baronga originate through the various Nyittiny Yarns, and can be different types of barna (animals) or plants. They may offer messages to people, and they must be taken care of in a very respectful way.[8]

Djarraly boorn is a baronga for some Noongar. This means that they will never chop down the djarraly. The provisions from the boorn are taken in a way which is not harmful to it. Its wood is only taken when the boorn or its branches have fallen down naturally, such as through a storm.[9]

Daatj and Meriny[edit]

Karda

The availability of different foods depends on the season. Djarraly boorn can be in bloom between June and December or January,[10] which crosses over four seasons. Other plants in djarraly djarlma can indicate from their blossom time what is happening in boodjar. For example, that it is the time that certain barna are fat and good to ngardang (hunt).[11]

Daatj[edit]

Many barna in djarraly djarlma provided daatj for Noongar to ngardang and eat. These include yoorn (bobtail), karda (lizard), yongka (kangaroo), koomoorl (possum), weitj (emu) and other djert (birds). Places of kep (water) could also contain gilgie (freshwater crayfish). Bardi (witchetty grubs) are found under bark on boorn such as balgas (grass trees).[12] [13] [14]

Meriny[edit]

An online book titled Plants and People in Mooro Country, with contributions from Noongar Elder Neville Collard, lists the following about meriny djarraly.[15]

  • Nectar
Djarraly blossoms contain a nectar which can be sucked out of the flowers directly, or the blossoms can be dipped in water to make a sweet drink called neip.[16][17]
  • Ngook (Honey)
Bees sometimes make their hives in boorn, then people can find ngook in hollows in boorn mangka (branches).
Weitj Noorook
  • Noorook (Eggs)
Birds lay noorook in their nests which they make in the boorn, or on the ground in the case of weitj. People can climb up the boorn and find noorook to eat.


Burang Nidja[edit]

Djarraly boorn is moorditj (hard, strong), and is used to make important burang nidja, including the following. [18]

Drawing of two types of kitj
  • Doaks
These are boorn (sticks) for knocking off the top of balgas.
The boorn makes spear handles to attach the stone points to. The drawing to the left is by a Wadjela explorer, David W Carnegie, who explored Western Australia desert boodjar in the late 1890s, then wrote a book about the experience..
This instrument is used by women, and is useful in digging for woorine (yams).
Some djarraly mangka are suitable for making these instruments which men use in hunting.
  • Boorn Baminy (Clapping Sticks)
Djarraly is made to use these percussion instruments.[19]
Djarraly Bark

Bark[edit]

Djarraly bark is another very useful part of this boorn. The bark has a rough appearance with a greyish-brown colour, and the grooves are noticeably vertical. The bark can peel off the boorn in one big curved sheet. Scarred trees are the result of this.

  • Koornt
The bark is considered very good for making koornt roofing, as it is easy to make it waterproof.[20]
  • Colouring
Djarraly bark contains a lot of tannin, so it works well as a tanning agent and can make dye.[21]


Leaves for Sleeping[edit]

Djarraly leaves along with the leaves of other eucalyptus boorn were used as bedding.[22]



Woorlbirniny[edit]

Djarraly boorn, along with other eucalyptus boorn, have quite a few medicinal benefits. Balardong Noongar Elder Vivienne Hansen, co-authored a book of Noongar woorlbirniny kaartdijin.[23] She wrote of djarraly woorlbirniny as follows.

Gum[edit]

The gum from djarraly boorn has several woorlbiriny.

  • Mild Anaesthetic
This was made was by boiling gum in water to drink.
  • Dental Filling
Pieces of djarraly were sometimes used to fill holes in teeth.
  • Djirritj (Diarrhoea) and Constipation Relief
These could be relieved by eating small amounts of the gum.
  • Upset Stomach Treatment
Powdered djarraly gum can be mixed with water and drunk as a tonic to settle the stomach.
  • Ointment
Djarraly gum can be ground down into a powder and used on sores or infected areas. It would be sprinkled on wounds to stem bleeding.

Leaves[edit]

Djarraly leaves, like those of other eucalyptus boorn, contain eucalyptus oil which provides woorlbirniny through different methods.

  • Decongestant for Colds and Flu
Djarraly leaves, with their eucalyptus oil content, is rubbed between the hands and breathed in to clear a blocked nose.
Crushed leaves could also be placed into the nose, or into the pillow which the patient slept on.
Steam pits and steam beds lined with the leaves were helpful woorlbirniny.

Kura[edit]

Noongar have kaartdijin through Nyittiny Yarns, life activities, and burang nidja that djarraly has been important and used since kura, yeye and boorda. This kaartdijin is strong and true. Recently, since the 1820s, Wadjela started living permanently in Noongar boodjar. Wadjela science connected with djarraly in Noongar boodjar shows that people lived here tens of thousands of years ago. It also shows that people have lived here through time until yeye, the same fact stated in Noongar kaartdijin.[24] [25]

Archaeologists excavated in Devil’s Lair in Wardandi boodjar, for example. They found numerous charcoal djarraly pieces with other artefacts relating to humans. Technology identified and dated the pieces to various ages, between 300 and 24,000 years old. [26]

Ngeern Wangk[edit]

  1. Eucalyptus marginata Sm. Jarrah. Retrieved 2 October 2018 from Florabase, Department of Parks and Wildlife Western Australia
  2. Exploring Woodlands with Nyungars. Retrieved 29 October 2018 from Department of Parks and Wildlife Western Australia
  3. Connection to Country. Retrieved 29 October 2018 from Kaartdijin Noongar - Noongar Knowledge
  4. About Noongar. Retrieved 26 September 2018 Kaartdijin Noongar - Noongar Knowledge website
  5. Collard, L., C. Bracknell and A. Rooney n.d. Nyungar Boodjera Wangkiny. Retrieved 23 October 2018 from Boodjar: Nyungar Placenames in the South-West of Western Australia
  6. Exploring Woodlands with Nyungars. Retrieved 29 October 2018 from Department of Parks and Wildlife Western Australia
  7. Connection to Country. Retrieved 29 October 2018 from Kaartdijin Noongar - Noongar Knowledge
  8. Spirituality: Baronga – Totems. Retrieved 23 October 2018 from Kaartdijin Noongar - Noongar Knowledge website
  9. Whadjuk Noongar, Personal communication, 2018.
  10. Eucalyptus marginata Sm. Jarrah. Retrieved from Florabase, Department of Parks and Wildlife Western Australia
  11. Wallace, K. and J. Huston (eds) 1998 Exploring Woodlands With Nyoongars. Como: Department of Conservation and Land Management. Retrieved 27 October 2018 from Department of Parks and Wildlife
  12. Food, Retrieved 27 October 2018 from Kaartdijin Noongar - Noongar Knowledge website.
  13. Meagher, J. 1975. The Food Resources of the Aborigines of the South-West of Western Australia. Retrieved 23 October 2018 from Western Australian Museum website.
  14. Wallace, K. and J. Huston (eds) 1998 Exploring Woodlands With Nyoongars. Como: Department of Conservation and Land Management. Retrieved 27 October 2018 from Department of Parks and Wildlife website.
  15. Plants and People in Mooro Country - Eucalypt. Retrieved 1 October 2018 from City of Joondalup website.
  16. Hansen, V. and J Horshall. 2016 Noongar Bush Medicine. Crawley: UWA Publishing.
  17. Noongar of Beeliar (Swan River). Video retrieved 25 September 2018 from Kaartdijin Noongar - Noongar Knowledge website.
  18. Plants and People in Mooro Country - Eucalypt. Retrieved 1 October 2018 from City of Joondalup website.
  19. Whadjuk Noongar, Personal communication, 2018.
  20. Hansen, V. and J Horshall. 2016 Noongar Bush Medicine. Crawley: UWA Publishing.
  21. Plants and People in Mooro Country - Eucalypt. Retrieved 1 October 2018 from City of Joondalup website.
  22. Hansen, V. and J Horshall. 2016 Noongar Bush Medicine. Crawley: UWA Publishing.
  23. Hansen, V. and J Horshall. 2016 Noongar Bush Medicine. Crawley: UWA Publishing.
  24. Food - Devil's Lair and Long Ago. Retrieved 22 October 2018 from from Kaartdijin Noongar - Noongar Knowledge website.
  25. Pearce, R. H. 1982 Archaeological sites in jarrah forest, Southwest Australia. Australian Archaeology 14:18-24.
  26. Burke, S. 2004 The feasibility of using charcoal from Devil’s Lair, South-West Australia, to access human responses to vegetation changes at the late Pleistocene-Holocene boundary. Australian Archaeology 59:62-64.