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Ngartji System

Updated: Oct 17, 2023

We would like to introduce you to the term Ngartji.

The term Ngartji describes the totems that are given to Ngarrindjeri to connect our family, clans, Tribes, and the world around us. Our Ngartji is a friend, our protector, and that which we must serve.

This Ngarrindjeri cultural system is to show our connection to Country, our identity of belonging and the responsibilities we have to each other and our Ngartji.

Ngartji refers to our individual totems which include animals, plants, insects, fish and other marine life, mammals, and birds, as well as how our totems or Ngartjis connect to protect and serve our land, waters, and cosmology – the connecting of a complete system to look after our world.

The Koolmatrie family Ngartji is the wild dog or keli and the fish called mulloway. My Mother’s Ngartji was the seagull or throkeri with my dad being the wattle tree.

Not only do Ngarrindjeri have a family responsibility we have a responsibility which sits deep within what we call our Mewi or a guiding inner self.

Each person has this guiding responsibility and is the thing that resonates deep within self and telling each and every one of us how to care for a mammal, reptile, water way, insect, bird, plant, and the list continues until each and every species is cared for in the world. It is this ancient tradition that has allowed Ngarrindjeri to care for Country through actions.

A simplified way of looking at the concept of Ngartji is if we all look after and serve the needs of our Ngartji – ensuring they have fresh clean waters, plant life and other microorganisms to survive, food and protection, and their needs for survival are met – then the whole system is taken care of and the whole environment, cosmology and other Ngartji survive and thrive”.

Our rich wisdom reflects belonging and togetherness, safety and security and the nurture and nourishment of all life forms of Ngarrindjeri culture and history. Preserving this with raw authenticity and through mediums typological of such is imperative to future generations engagement carrying this forward in practise, through deep understanding and in being.

Today this is just not an ancient Ngarrindjeri wisdom as we at Kool Tours share this so that everyone regardless of life experiences can adopt this old way in a new world.

By looking deep within Ngarrindjeri culture the world can plan for a more sustainable future that allows you to care for your Ngartji and in turn care for everything within the system.

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