When I was a child I had very limited interaction with indigenous people. As I have aged I have spent considerable time meeting with and reading about indigenous people and their culture. For me it’s the relational side that really helps enlighten, but I never discount reading, or watching documentaries.
The story board in the photo is part of an indigenous story trail above Windy Harbour. This board shows the six Noongar seasons. They are quite different to the four Euro seasons I have grown up with. The six Noongar seasons are: Beruc, Meertillook, Pourner, Meerningal, and Maunbernan.
Beruc is Decemebr – January; Meertillook is February – March; Pourner is April – May; Mancur is June – July; Meerningal is August – September; Maunbernan is October – November. When you live here for a time this understanding of seasons makes perfect sense. The Euro four seasons is not clear here, but, and it goes without saying, the indigenous seasonal calendar fits my experience. The six seasons also relate to different wind cycles, which is also my experience. The pictures on the story board tell the story of the seasons well.
I’d love to have these as our official seasonal guide, but they are specific to Western Australia, and only in the south, so it would only relate to people in our southern districts. Even so, it would be a positive step, because it would enlighten us to the great variety in the seasons, and would also explain our weather patterns.