The Djarlgarro Beelier (Canning River) was created by the spiritual ancestor of the Noongar, the Waugal, a serpent-like spirit who was responsible for the creation of Djarlgarro and all the rivers, waterholes, lakes, valleys and landforms on its journey from inland Western Australia to the ocean.

Audio spoken by Ingrid Cumming.

After creation, the Waugal left the Noongar people with the responsibility of custodianship including continuing the beliefs associated with these creations. The Noongar people and culture have, and continue to, identify with the beelier as being of spiritual significance, giving a sense of ownership and identity with their surroundings. The connection to the places along the beelier is so strong, that sustaining the health of Noongar culture depends on its maintenance.

Noongar believe that the Waugal shed its skin, which turned into Biboolboorn (Paperbark). That is why you always see the paperbark along the rivers.


Hello Good Spirits (Kaya Kwop Wiern)

The Noongar advise that if you go into the river ways, you need to rub the sand under your armpits so it knows your smell then throw the sand into the water. As you do this you can say nguny kwell (I am) your name and say hello to the spirit (kaya kwop wiern), asking permission to enter the water. When you leave you say boordawhan wiern (goodbye spirit).

Learn more

Did you know that the City's Libraries has an extensive Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Collection? Click here to find our more about the beautiful and inspiring stories available to borrow and reserve across all four of our locations, that celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
extraMile by Integranet