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Cape York and Gulf Region | Language, River, Laura, Lockhart, North, Kokoberrin, Project, Kuku | FATSILC, Fed. Aboriginal Torres Strait Island Languages and Culture
Cape York and Gulf Region PDF Print E-mail

Lockhart River Dancers performing at the Pacific Rim Conference.
Lockhart River Dancers performing at the Pacific Rim Conference.
Alberta Hornsby, Coordinator of the ATSILIP grant in North Queensland's Cape York and Gulf region, will be reporting for us in this and future issues on the progress of language programs in the far north. Here she gives us the news from Laura, Lockhart River and Kowanyama.

Laura: Revival and maintenance of Kuku Thiapan.

Laura is a small township on the Peninsula Development Road. It is the site of the famous Quinkan Caves and the Laura Dance Festival. Laura is situated in Kuku Yalanji country, but very few, if any Kuku Yalanji speakers live in Laura. Kuku Thiapan is not the traditional language of this country, however the community people are mainly Thiapan people.

There are only two fluent speakers left, community Elders George Musgrave and Tommy George. This school based project is supported by Ang Gnarra Corporation and community, and focuses on learning through cultural practices. The school supports this project by providing technology and expertise in developing teaching aides.

Lockhart River: Revival and Maintenance of Kuuku Yau, Wuthathi, Umpila and Uutaalnganu.

People from these language groups live at Lockhart River. The community of Lockhart River is surrounded by these language countries. A language cultural program has been included in the learning experience at the school for some time. However, this year financial support from ATSILIP has been given to Ryan Marriott, who has been working on a project, which aims to teach language through traditional dance and song. Ryan is also cataloging other linguistic tapes, from North Queensland, which were included in certain collections he has retrieved, and will advise language groups in due course.

Kowanyama: Revival and maintenance of Kokoberra.

The supervisor for this program, Shaun Kgalk Edwards, will be assisted by a linguist and the Kokoberrin Council of Elders. The project is to retrieve the language of the Kokoberrin people. The Kokoberrin are the people whose country is the area from the Stanten and Wyabba north, encompassing part of the Stanten River National Park and north to meet the Nassau River. Shaun Writes "Ko means true and Berrin meaning language of the people." He adds " We hope all Kokoberrin people will benefit from this work, and I know that Elders of the other Kowanyama groups will be very happy to see the old Kokoberrin chaps finally getting recognised and recorded for the younger generation."


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