Kaurna Yerta

(Kaurna Country)

The Kaurna Aboriginal people were traditional owners of the land for at least 40,000 years before the arrival of Europeans. This map outlines their perception of the land, their relationship to it and some of the names they used.

Note: Kaurna Country extends further south to Cape Jervis and further north towards Crystal Brook.

Kaurna Yerta - history

For over 40 000 years indigenous people, the Kaurna, lived over the area called Ngangkiparringa (City of Onkaparinga ). Linked by spiritual and cultural bonds to the land, their knowledge has been handed from generation to generation in stories and memories. ‘The Dreaming’ contains many of these tales and describes the creation of the world by god-like, heroic beings. The Kaurna, see themselves as stewards of the environment – a world alive with social and spiritual meaning.

Before Europeans arrived, they moved through their land as the seasons and their tradition allowed, they traded in karko (ochre) and met together at significant places. Clothed in cured hides – often prepared at a site near Rekarung (the Aldinga Scrub) – they lived in a wodli which were simple summer housing of branch and leaf and more substantial winter structures moulded of grass and earth. Their diet was rich and diverse, built from the flora and fauna surrounding them.

Revering their ancestors and having virtually no contact with the world beyond their own, the Kaurna people were forced to meet head-on the culture of the first Europeans who arrived on their land in the early 1800s.