Walmajarri seasons calendar

Members of the Walmajarri language group from the Kimberley region of Western Australia worked with CSIRO to create a calendar using their seasonal knowledge.

The Walmajarri words from the riverside (Walmajarrijarti Wangki Martuwarra Kadaji) seasons calendar was compiled with members of the Walmajarri language group from the Fitzroy Valley in the Kimberley in Western Australia1.

Joy Nuggett, Amy Nuggett and Nancy Bangu were key contributors to the calendar, with linguistic assistance provided by Annette Kogolo and Marmingee Hand.

While not traditional owners of the Fitzroy River, the Walmajarri people have migrated into the area from southern desert locations over the last 50 years.

The Walmajarri research participants who worked on the calendar grew up with Gooniyandi people along the river, and became keen and proficient fishers, learning seasonal indicators and other resource harvesting cues.

The authors of the Walmajarri calendar were keen to document their detailed knowledge of fishing – of species' behaviour, fishing techniques and seasonality.

The calendar combines Walmajarri seasonal names with the Walmajarri people's knowledge of both desert and river country.

The three main seasons identified by Walmajarri speakers are:

  • Parranga (hot weather time)
  • Yitilal (raining time)
  • Makurra (cold weather time).

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Reference

  1. Nuggett J, Nuggett A, Bangu N and Woodward E. 2011. Walmajarrijarti Wangki Martuwarra Kadaji – Walmajarri words from the river side, Fitzroy Valley, Western Australia. CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences, Darwin.

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