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Kwilena Noongar moort koorda. Kwilena woort koorl djildit noongar djooroot wardan beeliar. Koomba herring barruniny wer Kwilina wer Noongar moort. Noongar moort ngarda Kinjarliny koomba wongi wer kwilina.

Dolphin close to shore, at Shark Bay Marine Park, Western Australia, 2007
In English

Kwilena, the dolphin is a kwop friend of the Noongar families. Dolphin would bring forward fish into Noongar tracks/traps. The Noongar families and Dolphins would get lots of herring. [1] Noongar families down Albany way have lots of Dolphin dreaming.

Kwilena is an important wardan barna (sea animal). Other spellings for kwilena include kwillena. There are many Nyittiny yarns involving kwilenas. They are fundamental in the spiritual connection with Noongar. It is a part of a strong connection to the boodja. [2]

Kaartdijin and the understanding of Noongar boodja reflect a deep spiritual and physical connection to the country, which includes Wardan and the rivers.

For each Noongar group, there are places of significance. The spiritual connection to country guides the way Noongar people understand and use the land. It also influences traditional practices like fishing. The coast is a very spiritual and cultural place for all Indigenous people who live close to Wardan, especially for Noongar within the Swan Region. Walyalup has significant places connected with Wardan and kwilenas. [3][4]

KwilenaEdit

Kwilena swimming in Fremantle

Noongar connection to WardanEdit

Nyitting and oral histories demonstrate the importance of the coast, the sea and the islands to the local Whadjuk people. "When the sea level rose” it is the story told by Dr Noel Nannup about Nyingarn. The echidna and Kaarda, the goanna, who were given the special role of representing the spirit of those who passed on. There is a story of Mamong, the whale, Kieler and kwilena, which has a special connection to the country. [5] Wardan has great spiritual significance to the coastal Noongar.[6]

Walyalup and WardanEdit

 
Manjaree in Walyalup

Walyalup (Fremantle) is the region of Whadjuk Nyoongar. Walyalup includes Wardan, ocean foreshores, river mouth, river and the land. There are many significant places around Walyapup connected with Warden Boodja. It is a birthplace of many Noongar Nyitting associated with significant Nyitting yarn including the Seven Sisters, Walyalup and Dingo Nyitting and ancestral beings including the Waugal, Yondock, Dwerda and the Wardan Dwerda which are fundamental to Whadjuk Nyoongar sense of self, identity and culture. Kwilenas very often are seeing around Walaylup harbour, especially Manjaree (Bathers Beach).

This Dingo Nyitting referred to the connection between the dingo and the sea dogs (kwilenas/porpoise) in the Wardan: “one of the dogs guards the river, and the other guards the sea” and that Walyalup was manda place between the land dogs and the Dwerda is the land dogs and Wardan Dwerda. There are the words of Whadjuk Elder: “When the wind blows the sea dogs howl”.[7]

Nyitting and KwilenaEdit

Kwilena Nyitting YarnEdit

There are many Noongar nyitting yarns about the relationship with kwilenas, and they help in catching the fish. In the stories, Kwilena and Noongar used to fish together. Djeran is traditionally a rich season for seafood and fish. It was a time when Noongar 'employed' the services of kwilenas.

According to Larry Blight, the last account of using kwilenas to herd fish was from the Salmon Holes, near Albany around 1920s.

"It used to happen quite often when the salmon were running, and they were chasing the herring, and then kwilenas were there as well. So what would happen was singing, chanting and communicating with the kwilenas and the smacking of the water with branches would call kwilenas. And the kwilena would bring the herring and the salmon". [8]

Mineng Southern Noongar and the WardanEdit

Noongar of Southern West Australia have always lived close to the Wardan. They have lived in this part of boodja since the Nyittiny, which is the creation times. The Mineng Noongar used to live in the coastline region during the Summer months and then used to move to shelters in the Winter. The traditional foods from the Wardan include different fish, for example, salmon. The Mineng Noongar people, who live close to the mouth of the Kalgan River used to make the fish traps from stone. “Usually, the fish were trapped in the harbour during the summertime when the tide went out”.

Avril Dean shared her brother Jack Williams’ yarn about how used to go and catch salmon to feed all the family. The connection between fishing and the kwilenas is significant for Noongar culture.

"Now I want to tell this yarn as a tribute to my brother, Jack, who’s passed away, he was our historian. And he told this yarn about the traditional people and how they used to go and catch salmon to feed the whole tribe. So long ago, it happened right up until our parents were young people; it was still happening. And it’s happened very, very recently were the same thing has happened. But this time the kwilenas brought the salmon in because there was Noongars on the beach. And they said they just went crazy because they were catching the salmon with their hands. A long time ago, the people used to come down to the coast when the salmon were running. It was a special man, and only this man had permission to do this. It was tribal lore. They used to have this special man that had a beard, and the wind had to be blowing in a certain direction. And he would have to light a fire on the beach. And he’d have to have a fire and make it a smoky fire so that the smoke could blow out. And he used to sit on the beach with his legs crossed and he used to tap his sticks together. And he would sing, djock, djock, djock. And then all of a sudden he would see the kwilenas and start to work with them. And they would go around a big school of salmon and they’d go round and round and round and work with them as working with a sheepdog. And they used to bring them right into the beach and then the whole tribe; even children could come in and catch them". [9]

Noongar and Kwillena Koondarm - Kwilena Nyitting yarnEdit

Ngolak Wardan – A short Noongar yarn about the Wardan and the koolungarsEdit

Ngolak Wardan - Short Noongar yarn about the Wardan, kwilenas and the koolongurs.

It is a Noongar Yarn about spirit children or koolongurs which were caught by the rising sea.

To save themselves they joined themselves to young mimang (or mamang') or kwilena.

From this time whenever a mimang or kwilena beaches itself, it is believed to be keny of the koolongurs returning home. [10]

Kwilena maambakoort-ak songEdit

Maambakoort Song it 12 bar blues pattern/rock.

Ngalak djoorabiny maambakoort-ngat koorliny

Ngany djoorabiny maambakoort-ak djibadjobaliny

Aliwa! kwilena djiba-djobaliny

Aliwa! karil marabadiny

Aliwa! booyi ngarda-k koorliny Ngarda-k maambakoort-ngat hey!

Ngalak djoorabiny maambakoort-ngat koorliny

Ngany djoorabiny maambakoort-ak djibadjobaliny. [11]

Ngiyan waarnkEdit

  1. Djeran. The Noongar season of dolphins herding herring has arrived. https://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2015/03/25/4204526.htm Retrieved 26.09.2019
  2. Spirituality.Kaartdijin Noongar - Noongar Knowledge website. https://www.noongarculture.org.au/spirituality/ Retrieved 15.09.2019
  3. Karla Arnall. "The second summer arrives in South West Noongar calendar". ABC Great Southern WA. publisher Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 26 September 2019
  4. South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Culture. 2018. Kaartdijin Noongar – Noongar Knowledge: Connection to Country. https://www.noongarculture.org.au/connection-to-country/
  5. Nyungar Wardan Katitjin Bidi-Derbal Nara. When the Sea Levels Rose - Dr Noel Nannup. https://www.derbalnara.org.au/when-the-sea-levels-rose. Retrieved 10 October 2019
  6. Wardan Boodjar – Sea Country. https://www.derbalnara.org.au/wardan-boodjar. Retrieved 21 October 2019
  7. Statements of Significance for the Walyalup Area and Registered Aboriginal Sites – Cantonment Hill, Rocky Bay and Swan River: Statement of Significance for DAA 3419 Walyalup: Cantonment Hill. Retrieved 10 October 2019 from City of Walyalup website
  8. Larry Blight, interviewed in Collins, A. 25 March 2015, 'Djeran: The Noongar Season of Kwilenas Herding Salmon has Arrived', ABC News, http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2015/03/25/4204526.htm?site=greatsouthern Retrieved 26/9/2019
  9. Minang Noongar.The Southern Noongar. https://www.noongarculture.org.au/wagyl-kaip-timeline/ Retrieved 20 September 2019
  10. Paul Amyes (2010). "Perth's Best Bush, Coast and City Walks". Pub Woodslane
  11. Noongar Maambakoort Ocean activity pack. http://noongarboodjar.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Ocean-Pack.pdf Retrieved 22.09.2019