Noongar Civilization – by Jethro

The Noongar are an aboriginal people who live in the south-west corner of australia. They have lived in the area for at least 45 000 years and had a hunter and gatherer based society with a complex code of lore. They also had certain taboos, like it was considered bad luck to hunt rare animals. The Noongar spoke 14 dialects and traveled within australia to trade, some times they traveled hundreds of kilometers at a time. All in all the noongar are a very old and traditional people that lived close to the earth but not very governmentally powerful civilization.


Noongar believed in spirits but did not worship them.There was both good spirits and bad spirits and they believed everything is connected to the land. They honor their ancestral creators with painting, music and dance. They know the time of creation as the Dreaming it was when spirits made all living things. The main spirit is the Waugal a rainbow serpent that is recognised as the giver of life as the Waugal created the rivers where it went.


Among the Noongar there are 14 clans and each speaks its own dialect. A man could have several wives and could inherit them from older brother if they died. Men hunted with spears and boomerangs and women gather plants with digging sticks, some plants could be only be gathered by women also the tools used for these jobs could only be used by men and women doing these jobs. They did not harvest vegetables in seed or eat rare animals. Each family had its own piece of land which they hunted and gathered on. It was considered trespassing to go on someones land without permission. They used quarts instead of fint for knifes.


The Noongar had six months in a year, each one represented a change in weather. Other than weather the months signified what the Noongar would do, in Kambarang (Early Spring) the Noongar moved towards the coast where frogs and tortoises were caught. In Birak (Late Spring) the Noongar burned scrubland to force animal into the open for easier hunt. In Bunuru (Summer) the Noongar fished in the estuaries. In Djeran (Fall) the Noongar collected seeds for food. In Makuru (Early Winter) the Noongar move inland to hunt. In Djilba (Late Winter) the hunted kangaroos and emus. The Noongar ate a wide range of plants and animals some of which are kangaroo, emu, possum, snake, lizard, turtle, bardi grubs and some kinds of bird, also they ate a variety of tubers, nuts and berries.


Noongar paintings always have a story behind them and one or many water holes which is the center of life in the painting also there is usually rivers in between the water holes. There is usually people and animal around the water hole. The water holes and rivers are painted by make dots. Didgeridoos were sacred and often had paintings on them or were marked by hand prints. Didgeridoos could only be used by men and were used for healing.

The Noongar now today are still a thriving culture and there are more Noongar today than there ever has been in the past, but unfortunately a lot of their culture has been lost and out of 14 languages only 5 are now spoken. The Noongar today also have troubles with drugs and alcohol like many other first nation cultures, but have a strong community today.