Birak (Dec & Jan)

The First Summer. Season of the Young. Reptiles emerge from hibernation.

Click the sound file to hear the Nyungar word:

Hot and dry with easterly winds blow during the day and south-west sea breezes in the afternoon. Banskia flowers were gathered for the honey. A sweet party mead called Mangite was made by steeping Poolgaria flowers (Bull Banksia, Banksia grandis) in water till they fermented. The sweet, salty fruit of the Bain (pigface, Carpobrotus viriscens) were collected. Nyungar people burnt sections of scrubland up until Bunuru. The fires reduced undergrowth and encouraged the lush growth of grasses and young plants in Djilba. The fires also forced Yonga (kangaroo), karda (goanna) and small marsupials into the open where they could be hunted. As summer advanced Nyungars gathered in greater numbers.

Photo Len Collard