Kurtjar ... Ian Waldron PDF Print E-mail
Kurtjar Ian Waldron
Ian Waldron
My mother speaks Kurtjar. Her name is Clarine. She was born near Normanton, in the Gulf country between Currumbin and Mitchell River. We don’t speak about it much, but I know that it was hard for her when she was growing up. Language was forbidden back then, and you could be beaten for speaking lingo.

We spoke English at home. We knew some Kurtjar words though and I reckon I can understand even more. But I can’t speak my language properly. And that hurts. It was supposed to be mine. It unlocks the Kurtjar world and connects us to the stars and the rivers and everything. It came out of that country near Normanton. Just like we did.

 
Now we live on the Atherton Tablelands. Mum comes around and looks at my paintings and we talk about the language words I’ve painted on the canvass. She says, ‘this is the word in our language’, and then she says the word out loud. But I can see it already, and I paint it. Yuaarr, Bloodwood Tree, totem of the Kurtjar. It stands tall and upright and strong. Just like mum, and just like me.
Kurtjar Ian Waldron
Clarine Waldron
Kurtjar Ian Waldron
The Promised Land
Kurtjar Ian Waldron
'The Promised Land'
Kurtjar Ian Waldron
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Kurtjar Ian Waldron
'The Promised Land'