Emu and the Jabiru Story Explanation

G’day, my name’s Bangana Wunungmurra and I’m the translator for Gapuwiyak on the animation stories from Arnhem Land.

The stories that have been told by the storytellers from up here-Arnhem Land-actually talk about the land. Yolngu land, Yolngu culture, Yolngu tradition, Yolngu way of living.

What we mean by Yolngu is an Aboriginal. It can also mean as a person whether black or white. In this case when we talk about Yolngu we’re talking about the black people. The opposite we call Balanda. Balanda means the white people.

The reason why Clancy moved out here-one of the main reasons- is this is more like the main land for Gapuwiyak. The main country. Gapuwiyak is a part of this country.

So in other words, the sacred objects, the cultural stories for Gapuwiyak really come from here and Gapuwiyak is like a suburb of this land. That’s why he chose to come out here, because this is where his cultural background is, here. His culture, his sacred objects and everything. That’s why he chose to come out. Even though there’s no facilities here, he calls it home.

For Gapuwiyak this is more a public place. This is more his backyard, you know, because of the sacred objects here.

The story about the Emu and the Jabiru, as told by Clancy Guthijpuy Marrkula talks about sharing; greed; the country here, the land here. Talks about two different people; the Dhuwa people and the Yirritja people. The countries across Arnhem Land are all sort of connected. There’s always got to a be Dhuwa land and there’s always got to be a Yirritja land. They always come together and the people here come under these two categories. You can only be a Yirritja and you can only be a Dhuwa.

The main reason why we like to educate our own kids, because with stories like this, it also includes the tradition, they learn about particular clans. Clancy believes that they should be told to Yolngu and Balanda, so people can have more idea about him and his land and his stories and have respect for his people and his land.

And his culture.

Clancy said earlier that schools are important, a good learning place. So we believe that schools are places where kids learn a lot in the Balanda curriculum, the Yolngu way, Yolngu stories. So, yeah, imagine seeing this in schools today across Australia would be really manymak (great) for Clancy and his story. And his people and his country.

Clancy’s saying that it’s very important for the Western kids too, to learn about Aboriginal stories and their land and their involvement. Because they want to learn about these kinds of stories. The same way as we learnt about these stories. In other words, we’re educating our kids, but through modern technology, using videos, cameras and all that.

(Clancy Interjects)

What Clancy said is “everything’s alright.”

(Bangana Wunungmurra. Arnhem Land, Northern Territory 1997)

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