Across Australia, Aboriginal hunting and food-gathering practices were dictated by the cycle of the seasons
(Berndt & Berndt 1999:11). The way in which the year was divided depended upon the region concerned.
In south-western Australia the year was generally separated into 6 seasons: Birak, Bunuru, Djerin, Makaru,
Djilba and Kambarang.
burnt to force animals into the open for easier hunting and to encourage new
plant growth. Banksias were in flower during Birak and the blossoms were
gathered in Mooro Country for their honey.
Bunuru was the hottest time of the year and during Bunuru, people gathered
around the lakes, including those in the Yellagonga Regional Park area. At
this time of year, food was plentiful with frogs and reptiles in abundance.
Zamia seeds were collected at this time and banksia and wattle flowers were
gathered for their honey.
As Djerin approached, the weather got cooler and people travelled down
the river. Scrubland was burnt to ensure food would be plentiful for the next
year. Shelters were built in Djerin and skin cloaks were sewn. At this time of
year, root vegetables were plentiful and various root tubers and bulbs were
During these wetter months, the people of the Swan River Plain moved
up towards the shelter of the hills where they would be protected from the
south-west winds. At this time of year, rains replenished the inland water
resources and large animals, such as kangaroos, emus and possums were
hunted for food. Smouldering banksia cones were kept under cloaks to keep
During Djilba, the days and nights were clear and cold. During this time, root
Swan River were dug in vast quantities. Large animals, such as kangaroos,
emus and possums continued to be hunted. Plants, such as milkmaids,
cottonhead, myrtle and spearwood would begin to flower.
As the weather become warmer in Kambarang, people camped around the
lakes, including those in the Yellagonga Regional Park area. Wetlands foods,
including frogs and reptiles were hunted. Birds, such as ducks, swans and
wild turkeys were also plentiful. Sweet gums and resins would exude from the
bark of Eucalypts.
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