The people of Wadandi Boodja (Saltwater People’s Country) are the traditional owners of the South West of Western Australia and follow an ancestral six season calendar which guides them to live in harmony with the land and environment.
The seasonal changes can be long or short and are represented not by dates in a calendar, but by the changes occurring in nature – such as the flowering of different plants, the hibernation of reptiles, and plant and animal fertility cycles.
“This six season calendar is extremely important to the Wadandi people, as it is a guide to what nature is doing at every stage of the year, as well as understanding respect for the land in relation to plant and animal fertility cycles and land and animal preservation” says Iszaac Webb, a Wadandi Cultural Custodian and Chairperson from the Undalup Association.
Conservationists by nature, these six bonars (seasons) tell the Wadandi people which animal and plant resources are plentiful at different times, and they recognise when it is time to harvest according to signs from the land. By following natures gentle guidance and only taking what is needed when it is abundant and in season, the natural resources they relied on for survival were not depleted and would be again available the following year.
The following is an overview of the six seasons of the Noongar calendar: Birak, Bunuru, Djeran, Makuru, Djilba and Kambarang.