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Wardaman Location Map
Wardaman Calendar
Approximately 180km west of Katherine, showing four seasons
January February March April May June July August September October November December
Yijilg Wulujujun Wujerrijin Ngurruwun Yijilg

Wujerrijin - dry season April to September

This is the dry season when the weather is cold and no rain falls. The skies are generally clear of clouds. Jegban (bush turkey), Gangman (kangaroo) and Walanja (goanna) will be properly fat and good to eat. Gardi (Nymphaea macrosperma, N. viloacea), waterlilies seeds, are now ready for collection to eat raw or make into damper.

Fruits available in this season include Lerrwewen (Ficus opposita), Merdengdeng (Ficus scobina), Jamagarra (Nauclea orientalis), Buda (Vitex glabrata), Manamurran (Grewia retusifolia), Mardulg (Cucumis melo, small leaf), Ngarlwog (Cucumis melo, large leaf), Mardarrgu (Ziziphus quadrilocularis) and Julamarran (Briedelia tomentosa). The seeds of Bardigi (Terminalia arostrata) and the tubers of Ginyuwurru (Cyperus bulbosus) are also available to be eaten.

The fruit of the Ngarlwog is eaten when ripe and pale green to yellow in colour. The hairs should be washed or rubbed off the skin of the fruit before eating as they can irritate the lips and tongue. The fruit of the Mardulg is also eaten when the fruit is ripe, pale green to yellow. As for Ngarlwog, the fruit needs to be prepared before eating to avoid irritation. Bitter fruits can be cooked or softened in hot sand that has been heated under a fire.

The fruit of the Buda are eaten when they are black and ripe. They are sweet and very pleasant tasting. The fruits can be dried, mixed with red ochre and stored wrapped in paperbark envelope for later use. Fruit are available at the end of the Wujerrijin or early Yijilg seasons. The rain bird, Juwogban, calls out when it is time to collect the fruit and eat them. Dry, straight branches and stems are used as firesticks, Jinggiyn or bush matches, to light fires.

The small tubers of the Ginyuwurru are dug up and may be eaten raw or after cooking in hot coals and ashes. The tubers are collected in Wujerrijin season when they are properly formed after the wet.

In this season, the fruit of the Bardigi are cracked open between stones and the seed inside is taken out and eaten. The bark of the Bardigi is used as medicine for scabies and measles. It is boiled in water and the liquid is used as a wash. The bark is also boiled in water and used as a dye for dyeing.

Bureau of Meteorology Temperature and Rainfall Graphs for this region

Permission to use the Wardaman seasonal calendar is granted by Mr Bill Harney Snr, Chairman, Wardaman Aboriginal Corporation.