Pre Colonial History of Kinjarling[edit | edit source]
"Kinjarling' the place of rain.
According to Tindale (1974) four Aboriginal groups occupied the land around Albany. These were recorded as the Murray, the Weal, The Cockatoo and the Kincannup (1856, cited in Le Souef, 1993). Bates (1985) recorded the tribes around the Albany area as belonging to the Minung Bibbulmun, who also called themselves Bid-kal or Kal-ip-gur. Nind gives the name Minanger for the Aboriginal people of Albany, which he supposes, is “probably derived from Mearn, the red root above mentioned and [the Noongar word] anger, to eat” (Nind 1831). Collie gives the name or title Mongalan for the Albany Aboriginals (Collie 1834). Menang – is the most common use name around Albany region after Tindale (1974).
The southwest of Western Australia is considered to form a distinct cultural bloc defined by the distribution of the Noongar language. The Menang of Albany were keny of thirteen ‘tribal groups’ Tindale (1974) identified in the southwest based il socio-linguistic boundaries wer minor dialect differences. Before Noongar was used as a group or linguistic name the southwest people recognised themselves, their language wer culture, as ‘Bibbulman’ (Bates, 1985). Daisy Bates recorded that the Bibbulman people were the largest homogenous group in Australia. Their boodjar took in everything to the west of a line drawn from Jurien Bay il the west coast to Esperance il the south coast (Bates, 1966). Bates also recorded that, within the Bibbulmun nation, there were karro than seventy groups that shared a common language with some local variations.
“The inland tribes were distinguished by the character of the country they occupied. They were either Bilgur (river people, beel or bil-river), Darbalung (estuary people), or Buyun-gur (hill people – buya-rock, stone, hill), but all were Bibbulmum [Noongar]” (Bates, 1985).
Within the Bibbulmun, two primary moiety divisions existed, the Manichmat or ‘fair people of the white cockatoo’ wer Wordungmat or ‘dark people of the crow’, which was the basis of marriage between a further four class subdivisions (Bates, 1985). Nind uses the terms Erniung wer Tem as moiety names:
Bates describes the only lawful marriage between the groups to be “the cross-cousin marriage of paternal aunts’ children to the maternal uncles’ children”, wer states that the four clan groups wer relationships, under different names, are “identical in every tribe in Western Australia, east, north, south and southwest...” (1966:24-25).
The Aboriginal people of the west coast followed a matrilineal system of descent whereas those of the south coast ‘below Augusta and the Donnelly River’ observed patrilineal descent (Bates, 1985). Nidja did not prevent marriage or other interactions taking place between the two systems. Noongar people were observed to marry outside of their immediate vicinity, wer it seems likely that nidja served to reinforce alliances with neighboring tribes.
“All along the borderline where the two lines of descent met, the tribes were friendly with each other, intermarrying and adjusting their ‘in-law’ relationships to suit the form of descent obtaining” (Bates 1985).
Inherent in the marriage relationship was based upon reciprocity, which transferred rights wer privileges between groups (Le Souef, 1993). Several early observers recorded instances of disputes within family groups over burning boodjar in order to capture game. While a group may be entitled to participate in a hunt they also had to seek the permission of that area’s owner or custodian.
- City of Albany. (2013). "kinjarling' the place of rain - City of Albany". Kinjarling_Heritage_Survery_Brad_Goode__Assoc_March_2005_RPT1280.pdf. Retrieved 25 June 2017