Seasonal Calendar

Burarra Seasonal Calendar Diagram
Seasonal Calendar of the Burarra People
Diagram by Linda Cooper, Peter Danaja & Questacon.

One way that Indigenous knowledge of the natural world can be organised is in a circular map or ‘seasonal calendar’ that shows the sequences of events in nature and their relationships.

The Burarra calendar has four seasons, Lugurrma, Barra, Wilma and Jilicha which are related to the winds that blow at different times of the year.

Each season has its own patterns of winds and weather, plant growth and cycles of animal life and death.

Understanding these patterns helps to know the right times for activities such as hunting and gathering, burning and ceremonial life.

For example, when the leaves of the yam plant change colour it is time to burn the bush to clear the land for new growth and when the butterflies become active the monsoon rains will soon begin. The understanding that natural events can be predicted as part of a seasonal cycle enables people to make the best use of resources.

This understanding of the seasonal cycles is central to the lives of Burarra people.