Geri Hayden

Place Names Katanning

“This is probably the most important story of the Noongar Nation and
it’s being told so that it can be handed down for our future generations.”
Julie Hayden, Katanning Noongar Leadership Group.

The story of the giant man Mulka, one of the oldest Noongar stories that gives Katanning its ‘placename’, has been explored through a Noongar led community arts project involving large and small scale puppets, visual art works, videos and a recorded narration.

This story of Mulka presented during the Place Names Katanning Puppet Parade and Art Installation is a version for the general public. We recognise that many people hold and look after parts of the full story.

Following extensive consultation and community engagement, the Katanning Noongar Leadership Group and the Place Names Project Working Group undertook a process of collating, recollecting and remembering cultural knowledge to put back together the story of Mulka. The story starts 26 kms south east of Wiluna and comes all the way down to Katanning. It is a story deeply embedded in boodja (country) and it holds the meaning behind Katanning and surrounding towns, teaching us that these place names are more than words but form part of a greater, significant Noongar story.

The morals of this story relate to the social organisation of the Noongar people including marriage laws, protection of koolangahs (children) and yorgkas (women) and caring for boodja (country); to preserve the continuity with land and people.

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