Fourteen Tribes

Sandra Hill

Balingup, Australia

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Artist's Description

Oil on Plywood Panel

The 14 Nyungar tribes or language groups are represented here. The Wardang (Crow) was my mothers moiety or ‘marriage’ group.

The circles represent each language group and they are symbolically connected by the song-lines. Song-lines are ancient tracks, travel or journey lines that have been etched into the psyche of the Aboriginal people from the beginning of time. In traditional times the land and special songs or ‘chants’ significant to that clan and boodja (land) would show you how to follow this invisible ‘road’ that guided you and took you through your traditional country.

The tribes or clans from the South-West of Western Australia are Nganda, Amangu, Yued, Ballardong, Whadjug, Bindjareb, Wilmen, Nyaginyagi, Wudjari, Goreng, Minang, Ganeang, Bibbulmun and Wardandi.

My mother’s ancestors are from the Ballardong and Wilmen language groups, which are geographically located in the North-eastern and Great Southern part of Nyungar country.

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