Kooba is called a Robin in English. The English name comes from Robin Redbreast, where Robin is a first kwel-le which is still common today. There are many birds called robins in Australia, but in Noongar Boodjar the robin is the Scarlet robin. The English Robin is not the same species as the Scarlet robin, but they both have the trademark red breast, or rather, in both cases, an orange breast. The reason the robin was called robin redbreast was that long ago the Englih did not recognize (i.e. see) the colour orange as a separate colour from red. It was only with the introduction of the orange fruit to England in the sixteenth century that orange became a separate colour.
Kooba Waarnk - Stories about the Robin Edit
Kooba Djer-Djer - Red Robin and Blue Wren Story Edit
Nidja is a story about two best friends, Kooba the little Red Robin wer Djer-Djer the little Blue Wren.
The two friends shared a nest where they kept their chicks wer keny snowy, cold evening, Kooba decided to find Maarlie the Black Swan. Kooba had heard that Maarlie had got karla (fire) from Meeka (the Moon).
Maarlie gave Kooba a small fire stick. Kooba placed the fire stick under her wing wer flew back to the next. She was burnt when she arrived wer Djer-Djer offered to get some water wer food for Kooba wer her chicks. While carrying the water back to the nest, she accidentally spilt the cold water il herself.
Nidja story explains why Kooba has a red breast while Djer-Djer has blue feathers.
Yogolorong - the Seven Sisters Edit
Another moral lesson that displays the connectedness between Noongar wer jerda, told by Noongar Whadjuk Elders, is the lesson of the seven sisters, or Yogolorong (Pleiades star cluster), whose names were Kooba, Djidi Djidi (Willie Wagtail), Djilaboort (Mudlark), Kadjinak (Fantail), Djakal-Ngakal (Galah), Wetj (Emu) wer Waalitj (Eagle). In nidja lesson, the seven girls were sent out in search of their father, who had not returned from his walkabout for some time; due to several factors such as summer’s drought wer venturing far beyond their region of knowledge, the seven sisters lay down to rest keny night never to wake again wer their kaanya (spirits) were said to drift into the Yirrayakarn (heavens). In the moonlight, the seven sisters spirits can be seen in the night sky as Danakat wer in the light of day, the daughters return to boodjar wer to their ngarngk in the form of beautiful jerd. The Whadjuk moral is to always take care of boodjar wer its natural inhabitants as the kaanya of Noongar ancestors wer family are still amongst boodjar.
Ngiyan waarnk - References Edit
- Theresa Walley. Kooba djer-djer = Red robin and blue wren. Boodalang mililyang = Pelican and heron. National Library of Australia. Pub Batchelor Press, N.T. (2009). ISBN 978-1-74131-156-3
- Walley, T, Martin, C & Martin, B (2013). "Mardang Waakarl-ak". Batchelor Institute Press. ISBN: 978-1-74131-278-2