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Place Names Walyalup

Place Names Walyalup

Community Arts Network

Professor Len Collard of Moodjar Consultancy and Elder Geri Hayden introduce Place Names Walyalup.

Explore this map of Walyalup and surrounds, and learn the ancient meanings embedded in each placename.

Len and Geri led workshops with Noongar Elders and community members decoding five prominent locations in Walyalup: Cantonment Hill, Bathers Beach, the Waterways, the Ocean and Rocky Bay. Learning the ancient meanings embedded in each placename.

Using a creative cultural mapping method led by arts practitioners, Natalie Scholtz, Elly Jones and Sandy McKendrick the Walyalup group explored the meanings and stories of the five placenames. Resulting in more than 40 individual artworks and a large-scale cultural map.

Working with videographers Peter Cheng and Drew Kendall this series of short films were produced to further capture the koort and kaartadjin of Place Names in Walyalup.

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Waugal Mia

Rocky Bay

Trevor Walley, a Whadjuk Noonar Elder, shares the meaning and memories of Waugal Mia | Rocky Bay.

The Rocky Bay area in North Fremantle is known as Waugal Mia, home of the Waugal or Rainbow Serpent.

The Waugal is the snake-like creature responsible for the creation of waterways and landforms in Noongar boodjar and is central to belief, lore and custom.

Noongars know the cave as Garrangup.

WAUGAL (waugaul, warkle) = Spirit water snake, Rainbow Serpent
MIA = Home, house, hut, shelter
“The home of the Rainbow Serpent”
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Manjaree

Bathers Beach

Freda Ogilvie, a Whadjuk Elder, shares the meaning and memories of Manjaree | Meeting Place.

For Whadjuk Noongar, Manjaree was the meeting or gathering place. Here, people would gather to trade. It is a place for collaboration, ceremony, culture, hunting and fishing.

Families would gather for kinship. Mothers, fathers and old people would come together with their young men and women, who have come of age, to meet their future husbands and wives.

MANJAREE (mandja) = Meeting place, to gather
“Meeting place”
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Dwertawirrinup

Cantonment Hill

Dr Gerarrd Shaw, a Nyoongar Yued Whadjuk man, shares the meaning and memories of Dwertawirrinup | Cantonment Hill.

Dwertawirrinup is the place where two dwerta (dingoes) were the keepers of the mouth of the river, the spirit guards of the Beeliar (waterways) and the Wattern (ocean).

The dwerta (dingo) stands guard, looking over the river and ocean, making sure the giant spirit yondock (crocodile) is not reunited with his tail.

The Waugal (Rainbow Serpent) knew that if the tail and the body of the spirit crocodile were ever reunited there would be trouble, so he asked the dwerta to watch over the coast to make sure this never happens again.

DWERTA (dwert,twerta) = Dingo
WIRRIN (wiring) = Spirit
UP = Locality, the site, the place of
“Location of the Dingo Spirit”
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Beeliar

Waterways

Sacha Ogilvie, a Noongar, Ballardong and Nanda woman, shares the meaning and memories of Beeliar | Waterways.

The Beeliar holds sacred and social significance for Noongar people. It is the giver of life.

It was a means of travel, trade and provision of resources. It is a place of ceremonial and cultural importance.

It is the track and resting place of the Waugal or Rainbow Serpent. The Waugal not only created the Beeliar, but also remains ever present in it.

BEELIAR (bilya, beelya) = Waterways, estuaries, river
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Wattern

Ocean

Christine Reich, a Goreng Elder, shares the meaning and memories of Wattern | Ocean.

For thousands of years, the Noongar people have maintained intimate cultural relationships with the land and sea. Over 13,000 years ago people could walk out to the surrounding islands before the sea rose to where it is today.

The Wattern has a strong connection to traditional dreaming narratives and ancestral beings.
From Walyalup, a person’s spirit leaves to travel across the Wattern towards their resting place.

WATTERN = Ocean
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