Wulde Waiirri was more than just a tourist destination – it was an important Cultural Meeting Place
While Wulde Waiirri (Eagle Heaven in Ramindjeri language) was an important tourist destination as well as Uncle Karno & Aunty Christine’s home. It was also an important cultural meeting place.
The first ever Ramindjeri Heritage Association Mum:mo:wee was held here in 2007.
The significance of ‘Karta’ – Kangaroo Island – to the Ramindjeri
The Ramindjeri belief is that the spirit of all departed persons followed Ngurunderi to ‘Karta’. Ngurunderi is a great ancestral Dreaming ‘hero’, law giver and shaper of the landscape.
Before Ngurunderi entered the spirit world he told the Ramindjeri that the spirits of their deceased would always follow along his track to Kangaroo Island, that they would stay on the island for a period in the bodies of seals, and eventually, after cleansing themselves in the western waters as he had done, would go up to ‘Wairri’ the Milky Way and reside there with him and other star spirits of “Nepelle”, “Wyungare” and the ‘Seven Sisters’: (“Mungungee”).
Karta (Kangaroo Island) has always been seen by the Ramindjeri people as the legendary Gateway to Star Heaven. “Waiirri”.
Uncle Karno’s Totem
Uncle Karno’s Totem (Nartji Ramindjeri word for Totem) the Eagle is combined with the Ramindjeri name for Star Heaven, Waiirri, to make the name of his home, Wulde Waiiri, (eagle in star heaven).
Mum:mo:wee – A gathering of the tribes
Our first Mum:mo:wee on Kangaroo Island was a big success attended by visitors from interstate and overseas, including representatives from a Canadian American Tribe.
The last Kangaroo Island Mum:mo:wee was held on October of 2015, subsequent Ramindjeri Heritage Association Mum:mo:wee’s are now being held annually at Kent Reserve (Muwerang – the last known camping grounds of the Ramindjeri) in Victor Harbour.
These Mum:mo:wee’s have a sacred fire as the central focus of the event, with participants taking turns to tend the sacred fire (which has rules for the attendees to follow).
Aunty Christine & Aunty Unbulara interview about Wulde Waiirri
In this video Aunty Christine (Uncle Karno’s wife) and Aunty Unbulara (Uncle Karno’s Aunt) talk about their memories of Wulde Waiirri and their time on Kangaroo island, as well as the importance of Kangaroo Island (Karta) to Ramindjeri culture.
Wulde Waiirri Bed & Breakfast and Cultural Tours
Below is an introduction and a sample of some of the cultural tours taken from Uncle Karno’s Wulde Waiirri website. These were the some of tours he did while he was still alive and running Wulde Waiirri on Karta (Kangaroo Island).
Introduction from Tours page of website
Karno Walker is a direct descendant of the Ramindjeri whose country includes Kangaroo Island, Karno is also a direct descendant of the earliest recorded aboriginal presence on Kangaroo Island, a famous aboriginal woman who is a well known local legend due to her ghost being manifest in a small local bird.
Karno is well versed in culture due to being part of a long unbroken lineage of Ramindjeri Traditional Owners. He has special knowledge and a unique prospective on the Island known in Ramindjeri culture as “gate way to star heaven in the milky way”.
Pt Ellen Tour:
Basic place with a number of dreaming characters enshrined in the land form.
Kangaroo and Echidna Dreaming Tour:
Kangaroo Island was so named by Europeans and coincidentally the Kangaroo dreaming place is located on property at Wulde Waiirri. The property itself has extensive Kangaroo dreaming trails network providing unparalleled view over Murray Lagoon and surrounding wilderness.
The property is elevated and directly adjoins and overlooks the lagoon and adjacent Cape Gantheaume, one of the largest wilderness zones on the Island.
All rooms have balcony views over the lagoon and there is walking trail access from the property.
Wulde Waiirri and Murray Lagoon is a haven for water birds, bush birds, Eagles, kangaroos and wallabies. One of the best bird watching places on Kangaroo Island and one of the major draw-cards on the Island.
Karno offers guests a warm welcome, comfortable accommodation and rich cultural experience unique to Kangaroo Island – the Ramindjeri people’s “Gateway to Star Heaven”.
Other Cultural Services/Tours offered by Karno on the island
The Federal Government’s “Caring for our Country” initiative
Uncle Karno has worked with Conservation Volunteers Australia on the Federal Govt’s “Caring for our Country” initiative to educate volunteers on Ramindjeri Culture while they worked to revegetate the land Wulde Waiirri is located on.
Binnanendi Boys Youth Camp
This Aboriginal youth camp was hosted by uncle Karno and was funded by Kurruru Indigenous Youth Performing Arts. The camps were part of the Binnanendi boys youth program – “Binnanendi” is a Kaurna word meaning “journey into manhood”. The Binnanendi Youth camps were run by staff from the Kururru Youth Program, the Youth in this program had been identified as at risk youth.
You can find out more about this camp on this page of our website .
SBS TV series – Custodians
Uncle Karno was featured in this episode of SBS Australia’s TV series Custodians which was filmed on Karta (Kangaroo Island). Custodians was a weekly show which toured around Australia talking to traditional owners about their culture and lore.