A Chapter In the Life of Vic Isaacs the Darlot /
And The Elders Of The Darlot People And Others.
We are Aborigines
25th July 1999
The house that (Yebble) built with material salvaged from town tips
and mine dumps back in the early 1980s in a remote area. Mulga timber was
cut by hand and carted from a site that was 80 kms away. The transport
we had then was early model Holdens, Falcons or Valiants which we travelled
through this country in, repairing them as we went on our way.
Firstly the Darlot must be considered as a part of
the” Western Desert Cultural Bloc” We identify ourselves as Wongi. With
them we have much in common including the same language and cultural beliefs.
Our area of land falls into the boundaries of a linguistic group
recorded as “Koara”,our group is a collection of individuals most of whom
have an association with this country either through birth or marriage
and or long term association.
Darlot Elder (dec)
We take our name from Lake Darlot. The real name for
Lake Darlot is Kunapulanka Nabberu, Kunapulanka is also the name for Mt
Von Mueller which is a very important place and is designated as a site
of significance by the Western Australian Museum under the Aboriginal Heritage
Like much of our traditional culture the name Kunapulanka has all
but died out since the first incursions of the white man here.
The history of these white incursions and of the genocide of our
people and the destruction of our traditional culture has yet to be written.
The memory of it is nevertheless alive and well in our minds and is recorded
in the song of the Darlot people “The Dalgarl”. The Dalgarl also records
for us the importance of Weebo
(Religous / Ceremonial ) as the origin of our people and of how
our people lived long ago. As our Tribal Elder Mr Scotty Lewis has said:
“As the Christian faith has the book of Genesis recording the origin of
life so we have the Dalgarl to record our origins”. The Weebo ground is
this place the origin of our people, so therefore it is
very sacred to us, and our Tribal Elders and others are responsible
for looking after it for all the Wongi people.
Maisie Beaman (Leonora Hospital)
Weebo is not the only sacred site in this area as there are many
other places which are important to us. Through discussions with our Tribal
Elders and others we have also found out that other sites listed are important
to us for the continuation of our traditional culture.
Nobby Nixon Darlot Elder (dec)
Many of these sites are waterholes and derive their importance from
the legend of the watersnake which wound its way down from the north leaving
a trail of water behind it wherever it went. Gnamma holes are where it
came up out of the ground or went down to travel underground for a time.
Somewhere along the way the snake became two snakes and was pursued
by a man. Where this mans territory ended and another began the snake was
chased by the next man until eventually it was caught and eaten on a hill.
Kunapulanka Nabberu or Lake Darlot is itself the result of the journey
of the snake.
Karluwintun (mythological ) and Burrel Well (Gnama holes artifacts).
As dreaming tracks connect up significant sites often over hundreds
of kilometeres distance, Sullivans Creek, Narmoola Pool, Wilsons Creek,
Station Creek and Lake Raeside are also important places where the snake
Willy Hill Darlot Elder
Rolly, Johny, Snowy, Willy and Maisie Hill travelled down from Mungli
Claypan on the Gunbarrell Hwy when they were young, and started working
on stations in the Darlot area they married people from this area, and
Snowy Hill Darlot Elder
At a place called Flowers Well on Banjawarn Station lived Ruby Hennesy,(
Withawara) she was Reg ( Ningi ) Johnsons Grandmother, old Billy Campbell
lived there to, he had a camel. There was many happy days spent with these
old people, my Mother used to come up with us and spend time out there
on Banjawarn Station.
Reg (Ningi) Johnson and Vic Isaacs in (Leonora)
South from the campsite there is a site named ( Kuri-Mi Protected
area No 5 ) Banjawarn Station it is another very important place.
Mary Lewis (Leonora Hospital)
We are very concerned about the desecration of sacred sites which
has taken place over the years particularly Weebo. In the course of conducting
research over these sites we discovered that Mineral claims had been pegged
on the sacred ground of Weebo.
In the early 1970s local prospectors pegged and attempted to mine
the sacred stone. One of the men who pegged the land and exploited the
stone by sending it to Perth was a local Policeman. He was latter transfered
to the South-West and was shot dead by a farmer about 10 years after the
Weebo dispute. In 1991 there have been reports of 2 other people who had
tried to exploit the stone had also died suddenly.
The Weebo stones became well known and have been said
to carry a curse.
The scars and the rape of our land are still visible
The area was registered as a Protected Area No1 by the WA Museum.
By the time this was achieved,much of the stone had been removed,
so you can appreciate our lack of faith in the protection afforded our
sites under this legislation. We feel that what has happened at Weebo demonstrates
the totally inadequate protection afforded sacred
sites under the current legislation. We researched all 22 sites the Museum
have told us of and in all cases bar two they have been pegged by Mineral
claims. This lack of inadequate protection is a matter of serious concern
This traditional activity is an essential aspect of the Wongi culture
and needs to be protected from the interference of pastoralists and miners
who have evicted and are still evicting Aboriginal people from their traditional
and sometimes sacred ground and are denying them access to water, from
station windmills and in some cases
Mrs Nelson from Warburton
The traditional culture of the Darlot people is a semi-nomadic
culture which consisted of the tribe moving from place to place, most likely
in search of food and water, and at a later date seeking work.
The period of time for which the Darlot have been associated with
this land needs to be accurately ascertained however there is no reason
to suppose that it would not be comparable with other Aboriginal groups
in Australia and be therefore 40,000 years or more.
The Aboriginal culture which developed over this time was a culture
connected to the land. This culture encompasses a view of humankind
as being a manifestation of the spirit of Wanjina, the spirit of the earth,
entwined with this cultural view are numerous
legends which go to explain geological formations such as mountains,
lakes, streams and water holes etc.
The Darlot Elders made Vic Isaacs and others, Custodians and Keepers
to look after and care for the sites, this knowledge has been handed down
to us from our Elders who have gone before us.
I hope you have enjoyed my story, also lets have some feedback.
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