Ancient Well Memorial

The Rangers and Junior Rangers worked together with Power and Water to create a memorial sign and garden in remembrance of a well site that was a historically important water source.

Our ancestors used to get their water from “maŋutji gatjirri” (wells) – we call it “living water”.  This water was for everyone to share.  In the wet season the water was fresh and there was lots of it, but during the dry season it became increasing brackish.  Our ancestors used shells called “daruma” to dig out the water, and they made “raŋan” from paperbark to carry the water.

Ancient well signThere used to be a number of waterholes along Ŋamuyani in Milingimbi, but now most of them are buried. One of them could be found by the bright green pandanus that grew beside it – indicating there was water below. To remember this special waterhole, the rangers, with the support of Power and Water, made a small garden with a memorial sign, which was designed with the help of the Milingimbi Junior Rangers and school students, and written in Yan-nhangu, Djambarrpuyŋu and English. They also planted a new pandanus tree, to remember the story of our ancestors.

Rangers with the well memorial sign and garden


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The Crocodile Islands Rangers program is supported through funding from the Australian Government.

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CIR Manager