Noongar Tribe

1683 Words7 Pages
Define and explain the notion of Katatjin (Knowledge), Boodjar (country) and Moort (family) and explain how the relationship between land, people and knowledge in the shared space of the South-west of Australia can be utilised. It is important to understand the Noongar trilogy of belief. The boodjar (land), is considered the mother and caregiver, moort is family and relations and katijin is knowledge and cosmological stories. Together these form a symbiotic relationship which is considered the "web of life" by Noongars (Collard 2007). In the south-west the term Noongar is the name given to aboriginal people who were the original inhabitants of the land (Collard et al. 2004). It is important to understand that Noongar people are the traditional…show more content…
With any culture, knowing where you come from and your family is a critical aspect when defining identity. The word ‘family’ has a range of uses among Noongar people. Family can denote to the children of the person speaking. Family can even refer to a large kin group from which the kin network is enlisted to as ‘our lot’, or ‘mob’ or ‘that part of the family’. Noongar families are different from the Western ‘nuclear family’ so commonly perceived in our western episteme. Noongar families in comparison are generally quite large and simultaneously very closely tied together. In Noongar family relationships, people have more than one parent, brothers and sisters, extending further than biological associations. In a sense Noongar affiliations are equally distributed throughout a ‘mob’ (Birdsall, C. L. 1987. Family History and Social Network Among Noongar People. Aboriginal History. Volume Eleven. Pp 129-142). Equality is extremely valued in Noongar culture. Noongar parents often reverse roles when talking to their children. This shows that parent and child, grandparent and grandchild are equal, connected by a reciprocal relationship. For example: “Father – “here dad” to child”. Women play a major role in Noongar hierarchy. Woman are the caregivers and are responsible for the economic, social and political situations of the family. Moort relationships are considered very socially advanced in terms of equality and…show more content…
Generally speaking, if an emotional and spiritual connection to place is valued by a person, then that person will do anything to care and maintain that sense of belonging, to conserve it. The second major idea is "caring for sea country". The notion is that humans are not separate from the natural world but part of it. In terms of moort and utilisation this is an important concept. It can be defined as the practice of relational sustainability and is premised on shared sociality and engagement (Langdon 2006). An example of this is demonstrated through "putting your hand up". Through volunteering and trying to undertake a cultural practice without having all the knowledge. This knowledge and experience required to complete the practice can be acquired in the process. The power of story or katijin is a very important concept when understanding knowledge. Thinking in relation to boodjar means that knowledge can be derived directly from the boodjar itself, rather than from abstract assumptions. Thinking in relation to moort means that knowledge can be socially constructed; truths and ideas emerge through yarning (telling stories) and sharing perspectives. Thinking relationally requires inclusivity, participation and cooperation in creating knowledge and pathways forwards. A relational approach to
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