The history of Noongar doll making goes back to when Elders recall improvised making and play while living on reserves and on country. Eclectic materials such as bush nuts, pegs and sauce bottles were refashioned to create unique dolls, fuelling the imagination and joy of Noongar children.
In 2010, CAN brought Nalda Searles and Cecile Williams to Narrogin and in doing so, brought back to life a growing tradition among Narrogin and Pingelly Noongar families.
Noongar dolls have become significant storytellers within the community as each handcrafted piece encapsulates a part of its creator, and in bringing this art form back to life for themselves and their children, each doll maker is capturing their history and creating their own tradition. Whether it depicts a traditional story, defines ‘freedom’ as taking your shoes off at the end of a hard day, or tells the strength of grandmothers, sisters, fathers, or self, a personal story is captured at heart of each doll and no two are the same.