fred_mouse over on Dreamwidth has requested 'family' as the theme to today's 5words.

Family is deeply important to the Noongar people - and this has only deepened after the impact of the removal of children from their families as a result of horribly flawed actions in the past and the resultant intergenerational trauma that is still with us today. But even before that, the complex weave of familial relationships made sure that everyone was looked after and knew how they stood in the scheme of things, and even who they would be able to marry. And who they shouldn't! A lot of Noongar stories involve star-crossed lovers.

The other thing that centres a lot of Noongar is knowing the line of ancestry - where you came from is seen as integral part of your identity and your obligations. Grandparents would look after the children as if they were parents (this wasn't understood as a thing by past government departments and children were removed as it was thought 'neglect'!) and you were expected to care for your brothers and sisters children as if they were your own. There is a lot of detail in 'family' and it's probably beyond the scope of this #5words entry to get into wardong and manaitch moeity groups and booraanggaa but they are things you can look at for yourself or talk about in comments if you're interested.

This is something I'll revisit, five words is certainly not enough for this topic.

Let's look at the word for family -

Moort - this is your family, your mob, but it is more than that. You know how they say you can't choose your family? Well in this culture you can - your moort includes the people you are close to, your heart-friends, the people you'd choose to be with, as well as your blood relatives.

Ngaank - we have covered this before. This is the word for mother, the sun, and the thumb. The one who brings life, and who brings everything together.

Maaman - Father.

Kongk - Uncle. This is also used as a sign of respect for older, not necessarily related male persons.

Maamyok - Aunty, as with Uncle, can be used as a respectful title.

Koolangka - Children

Thank you fred_mouse, for requesting this topic.

Yesterday Mum and I went to the City of Stirling's reconciliation event. We got to sing a modified Advance Australia Fair with Noongar words, and participated in a sand painting, listened to the Elders and to the children from Balga High School sing and dance. There were traditional dances and a whole heap of community engagement. It's the second one they've had and they had a good couple of hundred people there, which is not bad for a weekday when people are working.

It's kind of NAIDOC week so check out events in your area with your council. And there's the big event on Friday in Perth.