Elder Doolann Leisha Eatts talks about Noongar ways of knowing
Elder Doolan Leisha Eatts
And my people used to show us about – when we get up in the morning and course in the Winter time there was always a heavy fog but in the Summer time if we got up and there was a mist around our camp, my mum and dad used to say “Oh there’s going to be a death today.” And there always was. They taught us about the birds, how the birds come and tell us that someone’s gonna die, and what birds they were, they was the wheelo, what they call ’em, the curlew, you know, yeah. And they taught us about the djoowi bird, the mopoke was another one.
And Jidy-Jidy, when ‘e came they said ‘e always bring someone, someone would come. And the Koobardie, when they come and sit on in yard, and someone would turn up. And things that we believed in at that time, it was just happening, it happened straight away, you know? Almost, and they used to tell the time by the sun, and the time to get up, course they used to be up with the birds anyway. But they knew the time to have lunch by the sun. That was one of the main times, you know. In the evening of course you ate when you knocked off work and was all home. But they would try to eat, you know, before it gets too dark or on sundown. ‘Cause we didn’t have electric lights, we only had tin lanterns. Actually we only had tin lanterns, me and my sister we’d make ’em out of milk tins, the little milk tins, Sunshine milk tins. We’d put kerosene in it and put a hole in it and cut the ol’ felt hat around. We used to go down to the, dump tip, and pick up ol’ hats and bring ’em home and pack ’em up and store ’em away.
Notice variation in spelling for Koobardie-Kulbardi and also jidy-jidy – or djidi djidi
From: Doolann Leisha Eatts interview for South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council, 17 January 2007
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Permission to use this audio recording kindly granted by Elder Doolann Leisha Eatts