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Indigenous seasonal calendars

Gooniyandi seasons calendar


Members of Muludja community from the Kimberley region in Western Australia worked with CSIRO to create a seasonal calendar.

The seasonal cycle recorded on the Gooniyandi calendar follows four main seasons: Barranga, Yidirla, Ngamari and Girlinggoowa.

Gooniyandi people closely follow meteorological events, including wind speed and direction, clouds and rain types, as each event is linked to different behaviours of animals. Gooniyandi people can therefore look to the weather to tell them when it is the best time for hunting and collecting different plants and animals.

Gulumoerrgin (Larrakia) seasons calendar

Gulumoerrgin (Larrakia) seasons calendar

Members of the Gulumoerrgin (Larrakia) language group, from the Darwin region in the Northern Territory, worked with CSIRO to create a calendar using their seasonal knowledge.

The Gulumoerrgin seasonal year is divided into seven main seasons.

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Kunwinjku seasons calendar

Kunwinjku seasons calendar

Traditional Owners from Kunbarlanja (Gunbalanya) in western Arnhem Land have documented Kunwinjku knowledge of the seasons and the environment in a calendar.

The development of the calendar is part of the National Environmental Research Program and is a valuable cultural learning aid to help share Aboriginal knowledge with the next generation, while also providing relevant entry points for students into the science curriculum.

MalakMalak and Matngala calendar

MalakMalak and Matngala plant knowledge calendar

MalakMalak traditional owners from the Daly River region in the Northern Territory worked with CSIRO to create a seasonal calendar of plant knowledge.

The calendar highlights important food and medicine plants and the MalakMalak seasons when they are available in the Daly River catchment.

Ngadju seasons calendar

Ngadju seasons calendar

The Ngadju (also known as the Marlpa) people of Western Australia retain a detailed knowledge about their Indigenous ‘calendar’ of times, seasons and indicators as it pertains to Ngadju country.

CSIRO worked with the Ngadju community to develop a summary of elements of their seasonal ecological knowledge.


Ngan’gi seasons calendar

Ngan’gikurunggurr (Ngan’gi) calendar

Ngan'gi knowledge holders from the Nauiyu Nambiyu community in the Daly River region of Northern Territory worked with CSIRO to create a seasonal calendar.

The Ngan'gi seasons calendar represents a wealth of Indigenous ecological knowledge.

The seasonal cycle recorded on the calendar closely follows the cycle of native annual speargrass (Sarga intrans), with many of the 13 seasons identified and named according to speargrass life stages.

Ngurrungurrudjba (Yellow Water) seasons calendar

Ngurrungurrudjba (Yellow Water) seasons calendar

Kakadu Traditional Owner, Violet Lawson, worked with CSIRO to create a calendar of Ngurrungurrudjba (Yellow Water) seasons.

The calendar documents ecological knowledge about Ngurrungurrudjba that has been passed down to Ms Lawson from her mother, preserving it for future generations.

The Ngurrungurrudjba calendar also means that important cultural knowledge is now accessible to the tens of thousands of people who visit Kakadu each year.

Tiwi calendars

Tiwi seasons and plants and animals calendars

Traditional Owners from the Tiwi Islands, north of Darwin in the Northern Territory, worked with CSIRO to create two calendars representing Tiwi seasonal ecological knowledge.

The calendar covers the three major Tiwi seasons and thirteen minor overlapping seasons.

Development of the calendars came from a desire to document seasonal-specific knowledge and ecological knowledge of the Tiwi Islands for students and the broader community, as well as a strong concern about loss of knowledge as older people pass away.

Walmajarri seasons calendar

Walmajarri seasons calendar

Members of the Walmajarri language group from the Kimberley region of Western Australia worked with CSIRO to create a calendar using their seasonal knowledge.

The calendar combines Walmajarri seasonal names with the Walmajarri people's knowledge of both desert and river country and documents detailed knowledge of fishing – of species' behaviour, fishing techniques and seasonality.

Three main seasons identified by Walmajarri speakers are: Parranga, Yitilal and Makurra.