#SolidScience – Seasons

Most calendars are based around a four season model – summer, autumn, winter and spring.

However, many Aboriginal communities use a six season model to base their yearly timeline around. These seasons are not defined by dates, rather by changes in nature such as temperature, winds, migration patterns, rain and food availability.

The Noongar people of the south-west region of Western Australia are one example of a group who use the six season model. The names of the seasons are as follows.

  • Birak
    • (First Summer)
    • December-January
  • Bunuru
    • (Second Summer)
    • February-March
  • Djeran
    • (Autumn)
    • April-May
  • Makuru
    • (Winter)
    • June-July
  • Djilba
    • (First Spring)
    • August-September
  • Kambarang
    • (Second Spring)
    • October-November

Each of the seasons represents the seasonal changes seen annually. The flowering of many different plants, the hibernation of reptiles and the moulting of swans are examples of natural indicators that the seasons are changing.

Seasonal changes are extremely important to Aboriginal peoples, as they provide a guide to what nature is doing at every stage of the year. It is also about respecting the land in relation to plant and animal fertility cycles and land and animal preservation.

Taj Mamid – Aboriginal Administration Trainee

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