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Wirrin Mindytch or 'Spirit Sickness' (lit trans.)

Boodjar - Country[edit | edit source]

Sacred Sites[edit | edit source]

Moort - People[edit | edit source]

Oral Accounts[edit | edit source]

Carol Innes[edit | edit source]

‘We know what things have happened in this place, and we know if we are allowed to be there or not. Sometimes, you don’t know they are special places, until you come across them. You may have heard about it, but you don’t know until you get there. It can be still and quiet, and then suddenly a wind comes across the water, circles a tree in the middle. How eery and powerful that is. And you know straight away it’s a special place.’

Kevin Fitzgerald Snr.[edit | edit source]

‘If you go camping enough, you come across ‘em. There’s plenty of sacred places. In the metro, there are so many traditional grounds where spirituality still lives. If you’re out in the bush at night; you might look across the river, and in a glance, see a bunch of full bloods around a fire having a corroboree. And then, just as quick, they’re gone.’

Joe Northover[edit | edit source]

‘We come here to this place, Minningup (the Collie River), to share the story of this area or what makes it so special. It is the resting place of the Ngangungudditj walgu (the hairy faced snake). Bardan ngang noyt (he is our spirit and this is where he rests). You have big bearded full moon at night time; you can see him, his spirit there, his beard resting on the water. And we come to this place here today to show respect to him plus also to meet our people because when they pass away, this is where we come to talk to them. Not to the cemetery where they are buried but here because their spirits are in this water. This is where all our spirits will end yira here. Karla koorliny, we call it – coming home. Ngany kurt, ngany karla – our heart, our home.’

Margaret Drayton[edit | edit source]

‘It was something taught to us by our ngarngk and our older sister; so, you knew the places you could go to that were safe, or that women were allowed to go. If we went to a swimming hole, we knew if it was all right. And even sometimes when you got there, you’d know it wasn’t safe. It was a feeling you had. It could be the time of day or the time of year. … My ngarngk always said to us to trust your inner feelings. If it wasn’t right, didn’t feel right, we should just quietly leave. Don’t ask me how I know. It’s not something that can really be defined. But it’s a connection. A connection to land, country; to nature. Like if you’re Catholic, you believe in one person (a god), but for Noongars it’s a connection to place or country. I call that spiritual – that feeling, following your intuition.’

Glen Colbung[edit | edit source]

‘You need to be careful I guess … Well sometimes you can sense it yourself with a feeling you know you get a feeling that it’s not safe here, that you’ve got to back off. That’s if you’re in tune with if you’re in tune with the environment and things around you – … You’ll basically you’ve got to be able to tune into the country. And you’re more-or-less, your senses will tell you then –. If you’re going into country that’s dangerous …Well it’s hard to explain where it comes from but in your mind in your mind – you start to get that feeling well this is not right, you know I shouldn’t be here. I’m getting into dangerous country. It’s something that’s, it’s like a sixth sense that’s coming into you, you know, and it’s like I said it’s a matter of being tuned into a thing, into the environment and into, into the environment around you … Well basically, … it’s just, just a sense. It’s a sense that that … you shouldn’t be there and you get very uncomfortable and if you stay there it sort of increases, and it’s like a voice saying to you; you’ve got to get out of here, you know you shouldn’t– you’ve got no right to be here.’

Margaret Gentle[edit | edit source]

‘There’s a lot of old people who have been through there [Wandering Mission] over the years and their spirits will come back to that place. Sometimes, we will talk about that ... we won’t talk about that in the night time though. Yes, it had everything. Wandering had everything and there was sadness there, too. … Yes, there was that too and there’s those old people who died who keep coming back to see their children. Their spirits keep coming back. A lot of children were there before I went there [with Joe Walley in the 1970s] … Yeah, God only knows what happened before me and Joe got there.’

Katitjin - Knowledge[edit | edit source]

Spirituality[edit | edit source]

Theory[edit | edit source]

Healing[edit | edit source]

Tom Bennell[edit | edit source]

‘There was always an old Witchdoctor in those days. What they call them they Dembart – Grandfather. Dembart noonook kaataminy koorl djeenaniny nguny djenark minditch – means he [grandfather] must come and have a look at him, he is sick with the debil-debil. This old Witchdoctor, he come and he said djeenaniny, barlung kaya noonook djenark minditch – look, yes he is sick with the bad spirit.

So, I directly got to noonook warbaliny – that means he got to doctor him up, but they only do it when the sun goes down… They could doctor him and all his chest and one another all around with their fingers, they clap their hands together and they draw that spirit that djenark spirit out of him. The Witchdoctor says, Nguny djenark Noonung barmaniny yeye – his bad spirit hit into his body yesterday, then he said, Noonook quop benang. Noonook quop– Well, … he would be yira walking around tomorrow morning, qwop as a gold.’''

Wangkiny - Language[edit | edit source]

Ngiyan waarnk - References[edit | edit source]