A Chapter In the Life of Vic Isaacs the Darlot / Wardandie -Man

               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.

                  Croydon Beaman.           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 Act 1972-1980.

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 went.

Willy Hill      Darlot Elder               (dec)

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 remained here.

Snowy Hill    Darlot Elder       (dec)

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 today.

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 to us.

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
government wells.

                                        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.

Internet http://www.wilja.asn.au      Email yebble@wilja.asn.au

                             © Copyright CORRINGIE SETTLEMENT, 1999
                                                          All Rights Reserved.

Email to Yebble

Return to Index