How the Noongar Came to be the Bulia

Pre-primary - Bilbies and Joeys

In the dreaming, plants, animals and people spoke with each other. It was the time when all things were created. The trees, rivers, mountains were all made. There was no law or order. Everything was chaos.  The creatures decided that they had had enough. It was a horrible place to live and they didn’t want to live like that anymore.  From the heavens came the call for somebody to come out of the dreaming to create law and order on earth. 

The spirits decided they would have a big meeting, a corroboree, where everybody would be given the chance to stand up and talk and say why they think they should be boss. 

At the gathering five Dreaming spirits attended: Wagyl, the snake, Karrda, the racehorse goanna, Yonga, the kangaroo, Weitch, the emu, and Noongar, the human.  

After some discussion, Wagyl the snake said “ I’ve had enough of talk. No one will listen to me.” As he left, his movement pushed up the sand to form hills and valleys. Rain fell along the paths to become rivers. Tunnels and holes filled with water. 

 Karrada the racehorse goanna thought about the call to create law and order and for there to be a boss. “I do not want such a duty”, he said.  He left to wander the land. 

 Yonga the kangaroo bounded in.  “I don’t want to be the Bulia”, he said.  “I’ve got a big battle with the emu down in Albany”.

Yonga left immediately for the place we now call the Stirling Ranges. From the Stirling Range, all the kangaroo family spread out. 

Next to speak was Weitch the Emu.  “I will come out of the Dreaming, take on the flesh form and give law and order”, he said. “Look at my powerful legs. They can carry me everywhere and my tracks can be seen all over the ground”. 

Last to speak was Nyoognar the human.  “Look at my hand”, he said. With my print I can represent all of you.  My wriggling thumb is Wagyl the snake.  With my next finger I can make Yonga the Kangaroo. With the next three fingers I can make Karrda the goanna’s print, and my middle three fingers represent the emu print.

They all agreed that with that hand he could represent them all. All the Dreaming spirits looked at each other. They agreed that the human should be the Bulia, give law and order and be responsible for everything. The humans put their handprints onto the mountain caves and ledges for all to see.  This symbolizes how we have to care for all the plants, animals, land and water.