Yeye Nyungars Katitjin Yarns Koorling - Today the People’s Knowledge Moves On

click to play sound bidier

click to play sound boodjar

click to play sound derbal nara

click to play sound katitjin

click to play sound maaman

click to play sound yok

Click the sound files to hear the Nyungar words on this page.

Since Wadjela (Europeans) arrived here, the coastscape of Derbal Nara or Cockburn Sound has changed dramatically due to industrial and urban development. Land has been claimed from the sea, changing the shape of the shoreline. Seawalls and harbours have been built. Buildings and roads have replaced dunes, trees and bush.

Today’s Nyungar culture is continuous with the ancestors’ culture but also impacted by colonisation. For many Nyungar, it is important to rebuild the deep meanings and knowledge of the culture and to pass it on to the next generations. This means a lot of yarning with old men and women, to put the stories back together and then tell them to the kullingas (children).

Nyungar have always yarned about katitjin and boodjar with the whole community. Nyungar have shared knowledge of country and place names with Wadjela. This means that Nyungar have also had an impact on Wadjela who now use Nyungar knowledge and place names everyday. This means that we all share a ‘third space’ - a hybrid of Nyungar and Wadjela cultures.

Here, Bidier Yok Karen Jacobs, Bidier Maaman Trevor Walley and Bidier Maaman Len Collard otherwise known today as Traditional Owners, share some yarns about reclaiming katitjin and boodjar and sharing it with Wadjela.