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Yolgnu Balandi-watanumirr (FOOTNOTES) | Song, Hunting, Ancestral, Clan, Wangurri, Dhuwa, Yirritja, Yolnu | FATSILC, Fed. Aboriginal Torres Strait Island Languages and Culture
Yolgnu Balandi-watanumirr (FOOTNOTES) PDF Print E-mail
1 mala-bunhamin from mala-buma (lit: group make/create) to procreate. Reflexive form mala-bunhamirr - procreating together within distinct groups.

2 mala-barrkuwatjkunhawuy (lit: groups constituted separately) - distinct, or differentiated

3 bungul - any Yolnu ceremonial, manikay - ancestral song, buku-lup - lit: head-wash - cleansing ceremony, milkarri - lit: tears - women’s ceremonial crying for the deceased.

4 ral - represents the hunting skills, environmental knowledge, confidence, and connections which are productive in the Yolnu economy.ral-gama (ral-carry) to go out hunting taking with you the knowledge, skills and confidence to be successful., ral-dumurru -(big ral) person who goes hunting and comes back with lots of fish, shellfish, etc., almiriw - someone with no luck hunting., ral-gurrupanmirr - sharing the bounty from hunting expeditions, ral-manapanminya - collaboration, sharing work together

5 Wurarr - a group of people going hunting - from Wangurri ancestral song. Djaltji, Watjpalala, Gawunu, Manurr - the beach when the tide is a long way out - from Wangurri ancestral song. I use these words as an example of how, when a Yolnu person sees even something ordinary in the environment, we properly describe it using words from our own ancestral song (in this case Wangurri tribe). We deliberately see and identify the world from our own particular clan perspective. Our song tells us that what we perceive is a function of our ancestral connections.

6 warrawuku - word for paperbark raft from Wangurri ancestral song – the hunters may be collecting cockles on to a paperbark raft. People see it and describe it using their own particular clan vocabulary from clan song.

7 godu-maypalmirr - ‘the deep inside containing shellfish’ - describing a dead tree in the mangroves full of mangrove worms. This is both an expression from the song and something which occurs in real life. We don’t speak straight out and say ‘a tree with mangrove worms’ - ‘dharpa latjin’mirr’ - we say ‘godu-maypalmirr’ because even though we find these trees in real life as we are hunting, they are also an important totem (to do with the funeral and body of deceased Wurarr people), so we speak of it respectfully, even when we find it out hunting.

8 nandi - mother - referring here to the mother clan for Wangurri, who are Djambarrpuynu clan, shark people and turtle hunters, who have their own ancestral songs which demonstrate their way of life.

9 dhunupayam - to make straight, to set on the correct path. When they sing, the song teaches all Yolnu how to read and act upon the world - the technology, the hunting grounds and reefs, the roles people play in the hunt, cutting and distributing, etc - not just for the owners of the song, but for their relations too. Some Dhuwa people might not sing the turtle hunt, but they may have a mari, or a gutharra clan who do, and who share their song and its knowledge.

10 Yirritja, Dhuwa: Everything in the world, people, places, languages, ceremonies, totems, species, mala-barkuwatjkunhawuy, (see note 2 above) - is either Dhuwa or Yirritja. Dhuwa things have a Yirritja mother clan (na]dipulu) and Yirritja things have a Dhuwa na]dipulu.

11 balyunmirr - to be committed to, or identify with as a spiritual/totemic relationship. Ias Wangurri am balyunmirr to dingu - the cycad nuts and sacred bread - because it is
part of my ancestral song and keening. When I die they will sing the cycad ceremonies for me.

12 birrka’yunara - testing, proving, thing of accusing, deciding, understanding, justifying.