Season's Eatings from Warddeken

It's Kunumeleng season (first rains, spelt Gunumeleng in Gundjeihmi). It's also the summer holiday season.. Here is a festive season greeting card from our friends at Warddeken Land Management Ltd.

The card features two bush foods which are abundant in kunumeleng.

Man-dudjmi (Kunwinjku), An-dudjmi (Gundjeihmi and Kundedjnjenghmi dialects), man-moyi (Kune dialect). Scientific name Buchanania obovata. A short variety of the tree is known as an-wodberr. The photo below is an example of an-wodberr, a favourite food for both bininj dja ngurrurdu (people and emus, or in Gundjeihmi bininj dja alwanjdjuk).

As for the bush red apple, man-djarduk (or an-djarduk in Gundjeihmi and Kundedjnjenghmi), you can hear a song about this fruit here. The scientific name is Syzygium suborbiculare.

Bonj, that is all.

Konda Kabard

Konda Kabard

Here it stands (literally 'here it-knee/node')

(W) = Kunwinjku (Gdj) = Gundjeihmi

For those who have been learning their body part vocabulary and playing the Kunwinjku body part game you will have learnt the word for knee kunbard (W) gunbard (Gdj). The word also refers to nodes on the stem of plants such as bamboo mankole (W) an.gole (Gdj) and sorghum spear grass manbedje (W) anbedje (Gdj). In this sense (plants), the word will take a vegetal noun class prefix man-bard (W) an-bard (Gdj).

You might also come across another kind of construction where the noun stem -bard has a pronoun prefix ka- (W) ga- (Gdj) on it:  kabard (W) gabard (Gdj). This means 'it [the plant] is standing [by virtue of its 'knees/nodes']. An illustration of this 'predicate noun' usage is in a couple of songs of the Wurrurrumi song set of the kunborrk musical genre sung by Kevin Djimarr. In these songs Djimarr sings about wayarra 'spirit beings' from whom he receives his music. Djimarr talks about seeing wayarra holding the stems of manbedje 'Sorghum spear grass' in the wet season and they point out each of the nodes towards the seed head at the top. They say "here is a node, here is a node, here further up it is coming into seed'.

Konda kabard manbedje, kudjewk. Here the spear grass is standing, in the wet season.

You can hear Kevin Djimarr singing about wayarra spirits and their obsession with spear grass nodes here:

The song text is:

Konda kabard konda kabard here it stands here it stands [the spear grass]

konda kabard konda kabard here it stands here it stands [the spear grass]

kumekke kumekke kabard there and there it stands

kumekke kumekke kabard there and there it stands

konda kabard konda kabard here it stands here it stands


In the next audio file, you can hear Djimarr chanting the final coda sequence when he performs the last song of the evening at Mamurrng ceremonies. Here he imitates the wayarra spirit beings chanting the spear grass nodes or 'knees'. The text is below the audio.

konda kabard konda kabard konda kabard here it stands here it stands [the spear grass]

konda kabard konda kabard konda kaba... here it stands here it stands [the spear grass]

konda yungki kanganjboke here further up it is coming into seed



That is all.



Anbinik dja Kukodjdubbe Ankabo

Anbinik dja Kukodjdubbe Ankabo

(Allosyncarpia ternata trees and headwater wetlands)

The Bininj Gunwok Language Project has been working together with Warddeken Land Management Ltd, ecologist Jeremy Freeman from Charles Darwin University, and the Nature Conservancy to produce two new resources. One is a poster about anbinik trees and the other is about kukodjdubbe mankabo 'headwater wetlands' on the Arnhem Land Plateau. The anbinik poster is featured here in this post. Kunwinjku extracts from the poster are followed by the English translations. At the end of the images, there is a link to several files where you can download copies for your classrooms and offices. If you would like full size copies of these posters, use the contact tab on the main menu strip to get in touch with us.

Ngad nawu ngarridurrkmirri Bininj Kunwokken, ngarrbenbidyikarrmeng bedda nawu Warddeken kabirridurrkmirri kabirribolknahnan manbinik manngarre. Wanjh ngarridjarrkmarnbom bokenh djurra nawu manbinik dja kukodjdubbe mankabo.


The 'old people' (dabbarrabbolk) on the Arnhem Land plateau in the rock country used to speak Kundedjnjenghmi, one of the dialects of Bininj Gunwok. It has some similarities with Gundjeihmi spoken to the west. One of these similarities is that it uses an- as the vegetal noun class prefix, as does Gundjeihmi. In Kunwinjku this prefix is man-, so in Gundjeihmi and Kundedjnjenghmi the name for the Allosyncarpia ternata tree is anbinik and in Kunwinjku it is manbinik. The poster includes words from both Kundedjnjenghmi and Kunwinjku.

Files of the posters (pdf) are available here:

anbinik poster Kunwinjku

wetland poster Kunwinjku

anbinik poster English

wetland poster English

Thanks to our translation team:

Alfred Nayinggul, Andrew Manakgu, Donna Nadjamerrek and to 'the old people' who taught us about the importance of these trees.