Watch the video ‘Walk with the Waugal’ to experience Noongar cultural education about the Waugal spirit and the meaning of water on Whadjuk Country.
Discuss, contemplate and answer the following questions:
1. What does the Nyitting mean in Noongar language?
A: Ancestral times, the creation time, when Spirits came out of hiding and created the Earth to shape the physical, spiritual and moral land we live in.
2. What is the Spirit of Water?
A: The Waugal, the Rainbow Serpent, who is the Spirit of Water and giver of life. Waugal looks after fresh water.
3. What is water connected to?
A: Water is connected to things we cannot see: spirituality, identity, survival, life, all living things.
4. What does clear water mean, and what does muddy water mean?
A: Clear water means it’s okay to take water or swim in it, but when it’s muddy or murky, it means the Waugal is swimming in it, and you shouldn’t swim in it or drink it.
5. How did Noongar people attain water in the Birak (dry season)?
A: Dig holes, tunnels and reservoirs. Read the landscape – follow the birds, animals and plants to rock pools. The Noongar people would purify water with leaves and reeds.
Students can also complete this comprehension sheet, suitable for years 6-10.