Kombumerri Traditional Custodian Contributor: Uncle Graham Dillon OAM

This resource is related to the following Learning Area –

And responds to the following Enquiry Question –

Q33.How did the Kombumerri seasons differ from the European seasons?

Resource transcript –

Right, it is important to… when we reflect on how they reacted, they had no modern conditions, scientific, to help them predict. However, they had six to eight, according to our knowledge, six to eight seasons. Hot dry, wet dry, cold dry and then they had the English ways of summer, winter, autumn, spring and those other elements of nature were interspersed. And because lives depended upon preserving and ensuring the safety of their families. A single man can whizz away go into the central desert of Australia but when you have jarjumms it’s paramount that you know the weather and know how to cater for a change in the weather albeit not summer, winter, autumn, spring but the seasonal fluctuations in between. And, so, that’s exactly what they did. They catered and they managed and they ensured that it was okay and safe. Changes in the seasons determined, for example, hunting, fishing, gathering and ensuring that those families were protected. Kombumerri seasonal changes in between the standard English summer, winter, autumn, spring, we allowed or we were very, very careful to cater for the seasons in between. Remember we had no electricity and nothing like that and so… here we go. Hot, this in seasons, ngun, N-G-U-N, ngun, that’s for hot and storms, mugara, very important. Be ready for the storms. Wudaru wangara, repeat, wudaru wangara, that’s for the wet. Tea tree, wudjuru, tea tree flowering becoming cooler and heading for the winter we had… waringin. Waringin, winter, cold and dry. So, they knew from time to time, season to season, how to adapt because, remember, children, they had lots of jarjumms and they had to keep the children from freezing or getting overheated, heat exposures. And then we had thayi wangara, cold and windy, wattle flowering. Repeat, thayi wangara,thayi wangara. Waringin, I repeat, waringin, winter cold and dry, hibiscus, that’s tuwelpin, is the hibiscus in flower, yams, finger limes fruiting, very important to us. Thayi wangara, I’m repeating those old ones, cold and windy, wattle flowers, guruhman, that’s the kangaroos are fat, macadamia nuts ready to eat. Kumbalam wangara, cool getting warmer, silky oak flowering, silky oak in bloom, the turtles are fat, right? Kumbalam wangara wujari bingin, that’s the turtle, bees are active, important. Now, jalahn, warm and wet, I was going to name one of my daughters after that, jalahn, the rainbow. Warm and wet, walking stick palms fruiting, thunder, tamarind and raspberries are fruiting and finally possums are fat when the lillipilli is in bloom.