FRAGILE FIRST IMPRESSIONS A Threatened Archive of Indigenous Reportage

Kun-yungki bu Kerrngehken Bininj Bindih-nang Balanda


A Threatened Archive of Indigenous Reportage

Trinity Grammar and Warddeken Land Management invite you to:

A Threatened Archive of Indigenous Reportage
Indigenous rock art images depicting early contact in Western Arnhem Land
Photographed by David Hancock
Show will also be exhibited at Photonet gallery
15a Railway Place Fairfield (upstairs from Beancounters coffee shop opposite Fairfield Railway station).
from 6 to 26 July 2014 and will be opened by Prof Marcia Langton.
The exhibition will move to Canberra on 6-13 September at the Canberra Grammar School Gallery 40 Monaro Crescent Red Hill ACT 2603. The opening will be at 4pm on 6 September.
Photographs of rock art © David Hancock and those of the exhibition opening thanks to © Michael Silver/Photonet. Radio National interview courtesy of Belinda Tromp and ABC RN Bush Telegraph. Thanks to all of you for permission to use copyright materials.
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that is all

Ngarridurndeng Djokay

Ngarridurndeng Djokay

Going back to Djokay

The Warddeken Land Management rangers work on the Arnhem Land Plateau looking after the Warddken Indigenous Protected Area. In 2013 they located a rock shelter in the Mann River district called Djokay. Some of those rangers remembered going there as children, accompanied by their parents or grandparents. Linguist Murray Garde went there in 1993 accompanied by Kodjok Nawurrbbarn and Wamud Namok. Both those old men have now passed away. When we were there in 1993 we made audio recordings of Kodjok and Wamud giving a commentary on the history of Djokay and the meaning of the many paintings on the walls and ceilings of the shelter. Murray told the Warddeken Rangers about those old recordings. With the assistance of the Indigenous Heritage Program we all went back to Djokay in October 2013, taking the 1993 recordings with us. When we located the shelter, we played the recordings of those two old men telling us about this important place.

Nawu ngad Warddeken Ranger, ngarri-durrkmirri kore kunred ngadberre, kuwarddewardde ngarri-bolknahnan. Boyen ngarri-bolkngalkeng kun-wardderurrk Djokay ka-bolkngeyyo. Kun-kare ngarri-wam kumekke bu ngarri-yahwurdni, korroko, kobohbanj bani-bokenh na-kudji na-mardku dja na-kudji na-ngarradjku ngandi-bolkbukkang. Bolkkime ngandi-bawong berrewoneng. Bulanj Murray 1993 nungka dorrengh ngarri-wam dja banbani-wokmey dja bani-yolyolmeng Djokay bu korroko barri-wam barri-yoy kumekke. Dja mak bim kumekke bedda bani-bokenh bani-yolyolmeng bim bu ka-bimdihbimdi kumekke Djokay. Ngarri-bekkang, recording nungkah Bulanj banbani-wokmey wanjh ngarri-djawam bu kam-re kan-wokbukkan ngadberre. Boyen ngarri-djarrkwam ngarri-durndi Djokay wanjh ngarri-wokbekkang recording nawu korroko Bulanj banbani-wokmey kore Djokay wanjh ngarri-borlbmeng kun-red. Bu ngarrban-bekkang, yiman barri-yawoyhdarrkidni kore ngad, Djokay. Worro.



Nabangardi Ka-yolyolme

Nabangardi Nabordoh ka-yolyolme

kun-wardderurrkken Enamaraway.

Djarrang kore Enamaraway, Wamud Namok ba-bimbom c1950s wanjh kum-durndi 1996 wanjh ba-yawoyhbimkerrngehwong djarrang.

Horse (and rider) at Enamaraway by Wamud Namok, painted c1950s and then again in 1996 he returned to renew the horse image again.

Story by Nabangardi Nabordoh about life in rock shelters.

Inspired by a visit to sites in Djordi clan country at Enamaraway and Dumebe

Recorded by Alys Stevens, photo by Peter Cooke



[00:00:08] mm manekke kunwardde

Yes, that rock [shelter]

[00:00:11] yiman kayime Enamaraway, Dumebe manwarddekuken dabbarrabbolk korroko barriyoy yiman

such as at Enamaraway and Dumebe which are important traditional camping places for our ancestors who lived there long ago

[00:00:20] dabbarrabbolk yiman kayime nawu kakkak, doydoyh

the ancestors such as my grandparents and great grandparents

[00:00:27] djongok and then nawu bewuh mak nawu birriyungki duninj nawu birriyoy

and my in-laws and then before them, there were other early ancestors who lived here

[00:00:35] bindiwaddabukkahbukkang nawu anwaddakuken korroko birriyoy

They passed on knowledge about these traditional camping places to the next generation

[00:00:38] like yiman ngad nawu bininj karrkakarrkad

like us, the people who live up on the higher country

[00:00:43] nawu kuwarddehwardde birriyoy

there where they lived in the rock country

[00:00:46] kunwardde wanjh manekke kurrambalk bedberreni yiman bolkkime ngarrkarrme kurrambalk

Our ancestors lived in these rock shelters which were their houses, but we live in other houses

[00:00:50] kunkukbelebeh bedda makkanj mane kurrambalk bedberreni

the houses introduced to us by white people, but these [rock shelters] were their houses [the ancestors]

[00:00:55] birribolkbodmerawoni yiman kayime njamed dolobbo birrikurrmi

They enclosed all along the side of the shelter with stringybark

[00:00:58] birriyoy

and camped there

[00:01:00] kume wurdurd bindibukkabukkani daluk bu birrikarungi bedman njamed

The women would teach their children how to dig whatsit

[00:01:03] kayawal birribuni njalenjale

long yams and other foods


[00:01:06] anburre mak ...[pause] manyong yiman kayime

such as bush radish (Decaschistia byrnesii) called anburre or manyong

[00:01:13] bedman bininj start birrimey kume borndok birrimangi

that was in the time when men walked around taking their spear throwers

[00:01:16] bedman daluk birrimey kume bedman kundjadj birrimangi, korroko

and the women would take with them their digging sticks, long ago

[00:01:19] wanjh manborndok birriwanawam bedman kundjadj birringolkani daluk

so that men went with spear throwers and women with their digging sticks

[00:01:25] kubebeh, start birriyimi birriyoy

from the time they started living there [in these rock shelters]

[00:01:30] (someone) kunlenj (inaudible)

[and they gave] gifts of meat to their in-laws

[00:01:30] lenjno

gifts to in-laws [affinal prestations]

[00:01:31] kunmurrng bindimarnemurrngkurrmi

and they laid out the bones of their dead for each other

[00:01:35] bindimarnemurrngbarungi kume yerre kuwardde

and they painted those bones with ochre there in the rock shelters

[00:01:45] mak bu ...

and also

[00:01:49] bu kundarrkid kumeke birriyoy manek... birriyoy manu bu birriyakwong wanjh bonj bindikurrmi wanjh bindidudjengi kunbuyika birridudjengi o bindiyawoyhkarungi

when they were alive, they lived there... they camped there and when they died, they would place them [in the rock shelter] and bury them at another place and later they might dig them up again [in a disinterment ceremony]

[00:01:57] yimarnek manek mandjewk ankudji bindihkarungi bindimurrngbebkeni

they might wait for a year and then disinter the bones, taking them out

[00:01:59] o yika bindikukkurrmi kore njamed kalawu

or sometimes they were placed up on a mortuary platform

[00:02:02] bindihmurrng... njamed wanjh bindiwelengmurrngbarungi bindikurrmi kore lorrkkon

they would then paint the bones with ochre and prepare them for a lorrkkon hollow log ossuary ceremony

[00:02:06] lorrkkon biwelengkarrmeng wanjh

they would finally rest in a hollow log coffin

[00:02:07] birriyikolungi birriwelengkani namud all the families

they would bring all the family together into the camp [to complete the lorrkkon ceremony]

[00:02:12] bindikokbokayinj wanjh

they would lead the people out as they called out 'kokbo kokbo'

[00:02:14] djabdi yimane birridjabnami djaldi wanjh manek kumek wanjh bidurndiweninj

then the hollow log was stood upright into its final resting place

[00:02:18] mane kumekke birrurrkmangi durndi wanjh kuwardde

and then they would return to the stone country

[00:02:21] wanjh yawoyhdurndi kuwardde bikodj ngad karriwarddewaken bininj wanjh kume'e kumeke ankarre kayime, that's our life and people of this warddeken birriyoy kunkare

they would go back to the stone country because we are people who belong to the stone country and that is our way of life, the people of the stone country who have have lived here since ancient times


That is all.