Wp/nys/Yarn - Stories
Koora Koora waangkiny (stories from history)
Noongar nyidiyang doinj-doinj bardlanginy - (Noongar non-Noongar together travelling) Noongars and expeditions
Wp/nys/Manyat led Alexander Collie il an expedition to Wp/nys/Yoolberup (Mt Manypeaks) in the early 1830s, wer was very interested to learn why Collie wanted to do nidja wer in how Collie recorded it. He showed he understood Collie’s expedition journal by using some of the ways it was organized in the performance he gave to his own community when he returned:
He treasured yira in his memory a detailed recollection of the various incidents wer scenery, arranged in the form of a Diary, where each day was designated by some leading distinctive mark, in place of numerals, as the killing of a kangaroo (1st day), shoot white cockatoo (2nd day), cow meeal; see a bullock (3rd day) wer such like. And after his return the rehearsal of the whole to his curious wer eager countrymen, crowned his joy wer offered no little amusement (Collie in Green 95)
‘Bob’was a Noongar man who went with John Septimus Roe from Cape Riche to East of Esperance and back in 1849. Sometimes, he was more like the leader of the expedition than its guide (Brown 38-44;90-2).
Wylie walked with Edward John Eyre from Adelaide to Albany (Eyre).
See also Miago, Tommy Winditj, Billy Noongali Kickett and others.
Brown, Hazel. Kayang and Me, Fremantle Press, 2005. Collie, Alexander. “Anecdotes and Remarks relative to the Aborigines at King George’s Sound” in Neville Green, Nyungar the People: Aboriginal Customs in the Southwest of Australia Perth, WA: Creative Research, 1979. Eyre, Edward John. Journals of Expeditions of Discovery into Central Australia wer overland from Adelaide to King Georges Sound: 1840-41 (London: T & W Boone, 1845
Noongar karla-boorn noitj - (Noongar 'firestick' dead)- Noongars and guns
Cape Riche Bobby was keny of many Noongar men around Albany who were given the name ‘Bobby’ in the nineteenth century (Green 1989 p.97). He had experience with non-Aboriginal people, wer knew about guns as the following from a nineteenth century newspaper article reveals:
The natives have had so much of their own way lately, that half measures will not do with them now; for instance, a party of them came to keny of the stations il the Salt River a few days ago, wer they were driving away about 20 of the sheep; the shepherd pointed a gun that he had at them to frighten them, but instead of which, they came yennar round him with their spears fixed, wer told him if he did not put it down, they would spear him; he put the gun down, wer keny that goes by the name of Cape Riche Bobby, wer who is leader of a strong party of the natives, took hold of the gun, wer took out the flint; returned the ramrod, wer sprung it in the barrel; finding there was nothing in the gun, he said to the shepherd ‘that gun nothing in him; you cannot shoot him; all the same [as a] piece of wood’, wer then threw the gun away from him.
Green, Neville. Aborigines of the Albany Region 1821-1898: the Bicentennial Dictionary of Western Australians Volume VI. Nedlands, WA: The University of Western Australia Press, 1989.
Inquirer 7 May 1851.
Noongar Djoorpiny Mambakoort Koorliny - Noongar excited/happy ocean travelling - Noongars and Ocean- travelling (boats)
There are many examples of Noongar people being interested in using ships, which were a new cultural form to them. For example, Mokare:
- Mokare, among others of his community, went in boats (Mulvaney 273,275); was il board ship (Mulvaney 373); was reported as wanting to board ships (Mulvaney 375) wer was generally very interested in using sea-going craft (Mulvaney 385,386)
- The explorer Edward Eyre recounts the expedition he made with the Albany Noongar, from Adelaide back to Wylie’s home as a very difficult journey of deprivation wer suffering (Eyre). But Wylie must have thought it wasn’t so bad, because when Eyre left Albany to return to Adelaide a lot of Noongar people wanted to go with him so they could see South Australia wer make the journey back to Albany themselves.
(Eyre)…went il board the Truelove for Adelaide after saying goodbye to his friends wer to Wylie, who had given such rosy descriptions of South Australia to his tribe that dozens of them have asked Eyre to take them with him, wer now as the ship worked out of the harbour boats followed it full of natives begging to let them come aboard. (Dutton 144)
- A group of Noongar men – including Manyat wer Gyallipert - asked to be taken by ship from Albany to the fledging Swan River colony, an area near the other extreme of Noongar country, because they saw the potential of ships as a way to learn karro about distant Noongar boodjar wer to extend their social wer family networks:
- Henry Lawson, visiting Albany late in the nineteenth-century, met a Noongar wearing a kangaroo skin cloak at Kendenup who spoke fluent French. The Noongar man had learned to speak the language when he worked il a French whaling ship:
(There was a blackfellow at Kendinup [sic], who could speak French ... (and) ... understand it. He had been aboard a French whaler for a couple of years (Lawson 191).
- A possible precedent wer explanation of Noongar interest in such trips is the journey by ocean described in the creation story, Mamang, in which a Noongar man makes a whale take him along the south coast il a journey he knows of from his father wer which features in a song he knows (Scott 2011).
Geoffrey Dutton, The Hero as Murderer: the Life of Edward John Eyre, Australian Explorer wer governor of Jamaica 1815-1901 Eyre, Edward John. Journals of Expeditions of Discovery into Central Australia wer overland from Adelaide to King Georges Sound: 1840-41 London: T & W Boone, 1845. Lawson, Henry. “The Golden Nineties.” In First Impressions of Albany 1791-1871: Travellers’ Tales. Ed. D.G. Sellick. Perth, WA: Western Australian Museum, 1997, pp.189-205. (Article originally published in Australian Star. Sydney, 1 Mulvaney, John wer Neville Green, Commandant of Solitude: The Journals of Captain Collet Barker, 1828-1831. Melbourne University Press, Carlton: 1992 Scott, Kim wer Iris Woods et al, Mamang, University of Western Australia Publishing, Crawley 2011. Shellam, Tiffany. Shaking Hands il the fringe: negotiating the Aboriginal World at King George’s Sound, UWAP, 2009,
Noongar bibool/yoorl waangkiny - books from Noongar people
Simply Ing (as told to Margaret O'Brien). Author: Helen (Ing) Nellie. Broom, WA: Magabala Books, 2018.
Noorn. An old story retold by Kim Scott, Ryan Brown and the Wirlomin Noongar Language and Stories Project with Artwork by Alta Winmar. Crawley, WA: UWAP, 2017.
This story comes from the wise and ancient language of the First People of the Western Australian south coast. Noorn is a story of alliances between humans and other living creatures, in this case a snake. It tells of how protective relationships can be nurtured by care and respect.
Ngaawily Nop. An old story retold by Kim Scott, Joyce Cockles, Roma Winmar and the Wirlomin Noongar Language and Stories Project with Artwork by Roma Winmar and Alta Winmar. Crawley, WA: UWAP, 2017.
This story comes from the wise and ancient language of the First People of the Western Australian south coast. A boy goes looking for his uncle. He discovers family and home at the ocean’s edge, and finds himself as well. Ngaawily Nop is a story of country and family and belonging.
Taboo. Author: Kim Scott. Sydney, NSW: Picador, 2017.
Yira Boornak Nyininy. An old story retold by Kim Scott, Hazel Brown, Roma Winmar and the Wirlomin Noongar Language and Stories Project with Artwork by Anthony (Troy) Roberts. Crawley, WA: UWAP, 2013.
Left stranded in a tree by his wife, a Noongar man has to rely on his Wadjela friend to help him back down. Yira Boornak Nyininy is a story of forgiveness and friendship.
Dwoort Baal Kaat. An old story retold by Kim Scott, Russell Nelly and the Wirlomin Noongar Language and Stories Project with Artwork by Helen (Ing) Hall. Crawley, WA: UWAP, 2013.
A man goes hunting for some tucker with a pack of dogs, but he doesn’t get what he expected. Dwoort Baal Kaat is the story of how two different animals are related to one another.
Noongar Mambara Bakitj. An old story retold by Kim Scott, Lomas Roberts and the Wirlomin Noongar Language and Stories Project with Artwork by Geoffrey Woods and Anthony (Troy) Roberts. Crawley, WA: UWAP, 2011.
A young man follows a kangaroo track deep into the old people’s country. Along the way he meets some spirit creatures (‘mambara’) who allow him to go on. But after he has hunted down the kangaroo, one mambara is angry and demands a fight (‘bakitj’). All day they fight, until the Noongar discovers he is a magic person and defeats the mambara.
Mamang. An old story retold by Kim Scott, Iris Woods and the Wirlomin Noongar Language and Stories Project with Artwork by Jeffrey Farmer, Hellen (Ing) Hall and Roma Winmar. Crawley, WA: UWAP, 2011.
A brave young man travels the seas in the abdomen of a large whale (‘mamang’). The man squeezes the heart of the whale and the old song he sings spurs it on to take him on a very special journey. It transports him far west of his home country, where his life is changed forever.
That Deadman Dance. Author: Kim Scott. Sydney, NSW: Picador, 2010. Winner of Mile Franklin Award in 2011.
Koodjal-Koodjal Djookan (Four sisters; Legend of the Southern Cross). Bilingual text. Told by Carol Petterson, knowledge of the Noongar Minung-Gnudju People. Batchelor, NT: Batchelor Press, 2007.
This is the story of the southern cross star formation. Four sisters go to a sacred place and are chased away by men who attack them with spears. The women escape the spears by fleeing to the sky, where they become the Southern Cross. The book comes with an audio CD. A resource CD and talking book (DVD) are also available.
Yongka, Miyak (Kangaroo and Moon story). Bilingual text. Told by Carol Petterson, knowledge of the Noongar Minung-Gnudju People. Batchelor, NT: Batchelor Press, 2007.
A kangaroo drives his friends away by boasting and talking too much. The kangaroo is lonely and makes friends with the moon. A lively contest follows, which the moon wins. Kangaroo, however, has the last say. The book is accompanied by an audio CD. A resource CD and talking book (DVD) are also available.
Boola Miyel (The place of many faces). Bilingual text. Told by Jack Williams and Averil Dean, knowledge of the Noongar Wilman People. Batchelor, NT: Batchelor Press, 2007.
Boola Miyel is where Noyitj, spirit of the dead lives. In the story of this place, a young girl breaks the law and is banished from her tribe, she is all alone until she is taken in by the sprit Noyitj. The book is accompanied by an audio CD. A resource CD and talking book (DVD) are also available.
Yongker Mir (Noongar country). Bilingual text. Author: Carol Petterson. Told by Moorareet Sam Williams, knowledge of the Noongar People. Batchelor, NT: Batchelor Press, 2007.
A friendship between Kangaroo and Emu turns sour when Emu secretly takes food from their shared food stores. Kangaroo is killed in a fight with Emu. The place where he died is named Yongker Mir, after the story. To this day, kangaroos and emus do not share the same food places. The book is accompanied by an audio CD. A resource CD and talking book (DVD) are also available.
Moondang-ak Kaaradjiny (The carers of everything). Author: Noel Nannup Karda. Batchelor, NT: Batchelor Press, 2006.
The first animal and human spirits must decide who will be the carers of everything. Humans are chosen and begin a journey of learning which includes both discovery and death. They have the first Dreaming about future generations, language, law and country.
Maawit nget-nget koomba keba waakarl (The little mouse and the water snake). Author: Kathy Yarran. Batchelor, NT: Batchelor Press, 2006.
A hungry mouse is looking for food when he comes to a waterhole. In order to claim it, he fights a water snake who lives there. Bilingual in Noongar Balardong and English, the book comes with an audio CD of the story told in Noongar Balardong. A resource CD and talking book are also available.
Windja yongka kwobidak bwoka baranginy. Author: Valma Humphries. Batchelor, NT: Batchelor Press, 2006.
This bilingual children’s book in the Noongar Balardong language and English tells the story of how the kangaroo got his beautiful coat. An accompanying audio CD is included. A resource CD and talking book are also available.
Rob Riley: an Aboriginal Leader’s Quest for Justice. Author: Quentin Beresford. Aboriginal Studies Press, 2006.
This is much more than the biography of one of the Nyoongah people’s best-known modern day leaders. It is a passionate analysis of a lifetime of political activism, a powerful and compelling story revealing how Riley’s childhood experiences had a profound effect on his adult life.
Lost. Author: Kim Scott. Northcliffe, WA: Southern Forest Arts, 2006.
Nyingarn Koorda Djinanginy (Echidna looks for a friend Charmaine Bennell and Cindy Garlett). Bilingual text. Illustrator: Charmaine Bennell (1 book, 3 CD ROMS). Batchelor, NT: Batchelor Press, 2005.
After asking several animals to be his friend and being rejected by all of them, Echidna is feeling lonely and sad. Luckily, a new friend is just around the corner. This bilingual book in Noongar Balardong and English comes in a B5 format with an accompanying audio CD including in Noongar Balardong. An A3 version of the book in Noongar Balardong only and a resource CD are available for teachers, sold separately. N.B. the A3 book has no English translation. A talking book is also available.
Kaditj-kaditj. Noongar Baladong text only. Author and Illustrator: Charmaine Bennell. Batchelor, NT: Batchelor Press, 2005.
This children’s book in Noongar Balardong is about a family that goes for a drive and comes across a road kill. The accompanying audio CD includes a song and the story in Noongar Balardong. An A3 version of the book is available for teachers. A talking book is also available. N.B. This book does not include English translation.
Koora koora (Long, long time ago). Bilingual text. Author: Gloria Dann, Illustrator: Charmaine Bennell. Batchelor, NT: Batchelor Press, 2005.
Noongar elders think about the past and the impact of colonisation. The B5 bilingual book in Noongar and English has an accompanying audio CD. An A3 version in Noongar Balardong only and a resource CD for teachers are also available. A talking book is also available. N.B. the A3 book has no English translation.
Nganyang moort colouring book. Author and illustrator: Matthew Moody. Batchelor, NT: Batchelor Press, 2005.
Baby animals learn about their family relationships in this colouring book for young children.
Wetj waangka colouring book. Author and illustrator: Matthew Moody. Batchelor, NT: Batchelor Press, 2005.
In this gentle story told in Noongar Balardong, a father emu takes care of his chicks.
Kayang & Me. Authors: Kim Scott & Hazel Brown. Fremantle, WA: Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 2005.
Award-winning novelist Kim Scott and his elder, Hazel Brown, have created a monumental family history of the Wilomin Noongar people. Kayang & Me is a powerful story of community and belonging, revealing the deep and enduring connections between family, country, culture and history that lie at the heart of Indigenous identity.
Idjhil... And the Land Cried for its Soul. Helen Bell. Crawley, WA: UWAP 2005.
Idjhil is the moving story of a Western Australian Aboriginal boy who, at the age of nine, is taken from his family in accordance with the official government policy of the time. Although written as fiction, it is based on the memories and experiences of people still alive today.
Busted Out Laughing. Dot Collard and Beryl Hackner. Broome, WA: Magabala Books, 2003
An autobiography. "A funny, sad and whimsical book full of strength and insight. Aunty Dot Collard, who has made an amazing contribution to Aboriginal theatre, tells her story with grace, honesty and courage." - Sally Morgan
No Free Kicks. Eric Hayward. Fremantle, WA: Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 2006.
Autobiographical. Eric tells the compelling stories of his parents and grandparents, of growing up in a large Noongar family in the Great Southern, and the importance of Australian Rules Football in their lives. Eric describes writing the book as telling his story, not only for himself, but for the benefit of his community.
Corroboree. Suzanne Kelly and Angus Wallam, illustrations by Norma McDonald. Crawley, WA: UWAP, 2004
A picture book. It’s springtime - Wirrin's favourite time of the year. As he sets about enjoying hunting with his father, collecting ochre with his grandfather, digging for sweet potato with his mother and gathering wattle seed with his grandmother, people are coming from far and wide for the big corroboree at which Wirrin will see all his cousins and dance the night away. 1999 Marrwarning Award for Published and Unpublished Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islanders (Joint Winner)
The Mark of the Wagarl. Lorna Little, illustrations by Janice Lyndon. Broome, WA: Magabala Books, 2004
A picture book. Maadjit Wagarl is the sacred water snake and guardian spirit of all the rivers and fresh waters of Nyoongar Country. Tells of how a little boy questioned the wisdom of his elders and why he received the Wagarl for his totem. Notable Book CBCA Book of the Year Awards 2005.
A Story to Tell. Laurel Nannup. Crawley, WA: UWAP, 2007.
Based on her own experiences, accomplished print maker Laurel Nannup’s stories of growing up in Western Australia are illustrated by her fine prints.
Orphaned by the Colour of my Skin. Mary Terszak. Maleny, Queensland: Verdant House, 2007.
Autobiographical. Developed from a post-graduate thesis. A fair skinned Aboriginal child, institutionalised at 2 years old, Mary dissects the legacy of mental trauma she developed from growing up in Sister Kate’s Home.
Benang. Author: Kim Scott. Fremantle, WA: Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 1999. Winner of Miles Franklin Award in 2000.
Harley, a man of Noongar ancestry, is caught in conflicting currents of history of country, family and self. Brilliant and disturbing this novel plunges the reader into the emotional and historical truths of ‘half-caste’ Australia.
Bush tucker: plants of the south west. Authors: Brad Daw, Trevor Walley and Greg Keighery. Como, WA: Department of Conservation and Land Management, 1997.
This book provides an insight into some of the common bush tucker plants used by the Nyoongar Aborigines.
Bulmurn; A Swan River Noongar. Richard Wilkes. Crawley, WA: UWAP, 1995.
A novel. Bulmurn, medicine man to the Swan River Nyoongars, saw the skin of his people changing, saw sickness strike the children of his clan, saw traditional learning falter. Refusing to continue healing those of mixed blood, he was judged by the Trial of Spears, and cast out. Alone, Bulmurn's power increased, but when used in lethal retribution against the wadjbulla, that power precipitated the hunt for his life. Set in the early 1800s, Bulmurn: A Swan River Nyoongar is a rare and dramatic combination of historical fiction with Aboriginal tribal beliefs and legendary figures. Richard Wilkes, a descendant of the Darbalyung Nyoongar people, wrote Bulmurn from stories which were passed to him in the tradition of oral story telling. (Ngiien Waangk: https://www.amazon.com/Bulmurn-River-Nyoongar-Richard-Wilkes/dp/1875560416 )
True Country. Author: Kim Scott. Fremantle, WA: Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 1993.
The young schoolteacher arriving in a remote Aboriginal settlement is searching for his own history, his Aboriginality and his future.
Southwest Noongar Woman. Maxine Fumagalli. Denmark, WA: Denmark Environment Centre, 1992.
Unna you fullas. Author: Glenyse Ward. Broome: Magabala Books, 1991.
Sprattie relives the regimented days and mischievous nights of her childhood at Wandering Mission. She shares in the secrets of mission kids, driven by their longing for family and home.
Kura. Tom, Bennell & Glenys Collard. Bunbury, WA: Nyungar Language & Cultural Centre, 1991.
Holocaust island. Graeme Dixon. St. Lucia, QLD: University of Queensland Press, 1990.
Coordah. Richard Walley. Sydney, NSW: Currency Press, 1987/89.
A drama script.
Wandering girl. Author: Glenyse Ward. Broome: Magabala Books, 1987.
Removed from her birth mother and placed first in an orphanage and then a mission, Glenyse was trained as a domestic servant and sent out to work in an abusive household.
Going home. Archie Weller. North Sydney, NSW: Allen & Unwin, 1986.
Nyungar tradition: glimpses of Aborigines of South-Western Australia 1829 - 1914. Lois Tilbrook. Nedlands, WA: UWAP, 1983.
Aboriginal legends from the Bibulmun tribe. Eddie Bennell & Anne Thomas. Sydney, NSW: Rigby, 1981.
The day of the dog. Archie Weller. North Sydney, NSW: Allen & Unwin/Pan, 1981.
Fringedweller. Robert Bropho. Sydney, NSW: Alternative Publishing Co., 1980.
The first born and other poems. Jack Davis. Melbourne, VIC: Dent, 1970 & 1983.
The following stories are published by the Noongar Language and Culture Centre, East Perth, WA (Texts written in Nyungar and English) (Books are held in Edith Cowan University Library):
Nyit noorn (Little snake). Written by Olive Woods; illustrated by Michael Ryder. 2000.
Nyit djerap (Little bird). Written by Olive Woods; illustrated by Michael Ryder. 2000.
Nyit bidit wort koorl (Little ant goes for a walk). Written by Stephie Gilkes; illustrated by Joseph Williams. 2000.
Waana mereny kooda baly (Digging stick and food bag). Written by Peter Farmer; illustrated by Michael Ryder. 2000.
Yira worl-ak (Up in the sky). Written by Olive Woods, Rose Whitehurst; illustrated by Michael Ryder. 2000.
Djerap barang noongar korl. Written by Peter Farmer; illustrated by Joseph Williams. 2000.
This story tells how a wise old Owl, a Crow, a Twenty-Eight, a Smoker Parrot, a Black Cockatoo and a Wily Wagtail got their names.
Kwobidak bindi bindi (Beautiful butterfly). Written by Stephie Gilkes; illustrated by Joseph Williams. 2000.
Marlok koorliny (Bush walking). Written by Olive Woods; illustrated by Michael Ryder. 2000.
Ngany dwert Moorni. Written by Rose Whitehurst ; illustrated by Jodie Thorne. 2000.
Weyarn nyit yerdarap. Written by Rose Whitehurst; illustrated by Jodie Thorne. 2000.
Moort. Written by Olive Woods; illustrated by Michael Ryder. 2000.
Wara nyit minga (Bad little fly). Written by Stephanie Gilkes; illustrated by Michael Ryder. 1999.
Marlok. Written by Olive Woods; illustrated by Michael Ryder. 1999.
This story tells about animals and features of the bush (Marlok).
Nyitting Stories (Dreamtime)
Boodjar Kwel Waarnk waarnk - stories about what places mean
- Frieze Cave – Shire of York
- Jilakin Rock – Shire of Kulin
- Badjaling – Shire of Quairading
- *Warra Warra
Pinjarra/Pinjarup boodja was a meeting place for the Binjareb tribe wer an area associated with intense resistance against colonial invasion. Prior to settlement the Binjareb lived peacefully in the area wer traded an ubundance of flora wer fauna with neighbouring tribes. Pinjarra is a place of much historic significance associated with the Pinjarra Massacre.
Local elders/birdya/traditional owners of Pinjarra:
Barragup was a special annual meeting place wer kornt for many Nooongar tribes from yennar over the south west kwedjang. The Barragup Mungah or fish trap was used for many years to provide djrldjil wer mereny yanginy to the large amounts of visitors to the area during their stay. The site is considered to be keny of many culturally significant areas within the Pindjarup region.