Larrakia seasonal knowledge is now online.
Gulumoerrgin (Larrakia) people know it’s time to start collecting Magpie Goose eggs when the local Speargrass starts flowering. As the Speargrass turns brown the eggs hatch, marking the end of Mayilema – the goose egg season.
For the first time, this information and other detailed Aboriginal seasonal knowledge of the Darwin region in the Northern Territory has been converted into an interactive online educational resource www.larrakia.csiro.au.
Developed by CSIRO and Larrakia Traditional Owners as part of the Tropical Rivers and Coastal Knowledge Program, the new online calendar will be launched today (August 21), as part of National Science Week at Kormilda College in Darwin.
CSIRO’s Emma Woodward said many Aboriginal people are very concerned about the loss of their knowledge, while at the same time there is strong demand from schools for more traditional ecological information.
“We have met both these needs by working with Larrakia people to make their knowledge available through a new online interactive resource for students, teachers and the broader community,” she says.
“Students will be able to appreciate the depth of Aboriginal knowledge, while improving their understanding of the Top End environment.”
The online Gulumoerrgin (Larrakia) calendar shows seven seasons, in an annual cycle of climatic and ecological understanding : Balnba (rainy season); Dalay (monsoon season); Mayilema (speargrass, Magpie Goose egg and knock ‘em down season); Damibila (Barramundi and bush fruit time); Dinidjanggama (heavy dew time); Gurrulwa (big wind time), and Dalirrgang (build-up).
The online calendar was adapted from a Gulumoerrgin (Larrakia) seasons poster developed last year by CSIRO with Lorraine Williams, Judith Williams, Maureen Ogden, Keith Risk and Annie Risk.
Ms Woodward said the Larrakia calendar could also be used to monitor future environmental change.
“Aboriginal people have a deep understanding of complex connections in the environment. Their observations have revealed relationships and links between plants, animals, water and climate that we weren’t aware of before,” she says.
Emma Woodward, CSIRO: 0457 343 804
Lorraine Williams, Larrakia: 0448 350 596
Images of the calendar launch are available from Barbara.McKaige@csiro.au
Projects Coordinator | Darwin
E Barbara.McKaige@csiro.au T +61 8 8944 8411 M 0407 611 846
Postal: PMB 44, Winnellie NT 0822
Street: 564 Vanderlin Drive, Berrimah NT 0828