DOBES Archive

Rachel Nimilga talks about the fact that children are missing out on learning what she considers to be key aspects of her culture. She points out the differences between her childhood, and the way children grow up today.
Andrew Yarmirr, David Minyimak and Archie Brown discuss the stages of the story of the 'shark's journey' at Jimurtbab. Then David Miniymak tells the whole epic. It follows a discussion about producing a book with the story for the kids in Minjilang. (Part 2 of 2)
The researcher draws the internal organs and genitals of a dugong on a sheet of brown packing paper, and asks the informant for the Iwaidja names.
The informant discusses several topics. He starts by giving some details about his life, his family, and his clan territory on Cobourg Peninsula. This is followed by a discussion about material culture (e.g. axes), winds and seasons. He also mentions a few Iwaidja words of Macassarese origin, and talks about how things were done before the introduction of steel and iron by the Macassans. The text is mostly in English with fragments of Iwaidja.
Background information about 'Marrwakani', 'Ldalha', and other songs. Recordings are played back to the informant. There is also some discussion about musical terms.
Joy Williams Malwagag talks about circumstances surrounding her marriage.
The informant is asked about yal, the conical sand hills which are made for each new born child. As the yal custom and its knowledge belongs exclusively to women, the informant gives here only some 'outsider' information, such as purifying the baby and the mother with the heated sand of the yal and smoking the baby [with ironwood leaves]. The ritual is conducted by certain female relatives of the child's mother over several days. The yal custom originates in the creator goddess Warramurrungunji who came from the north. She travelled through the country of North-Western Arnhem Land peopling the country and distributing languages to each group.
Ilijili Lamilami talks about travelling from Cape Don to Minjilang in the old days, mentioning favourite hunting places on the mainland which people used to go to in the past, to get ldungun (long yam), iminykal (stingray), manbiri (green sea turtle), mirrijbu kurlajuk (seagull eggs): Some places mentioned are Jamarldinki (Cape Don), Araru, Kamurraki (Black Point), Kurlkurl (Danger Point), Ajakurrang (island).
Brian Yambibik and Margie Cooper Malalbu name some places of significance on Murran country.
The informant mentions the djang, or dangerous site at Ngangkikurruk (White Cliffs). It is forbidden to use the white clay from there for any purpose. The result of doing so would be the unleashing of hordes of mosquitoes.
The informants give background information on several different song sets: Manbam, Jurtbirrk ('Love Songs'), Ldalha ('Sea Songs').
Recently recorded Jurtbirrk songs are played back to David Minyimak and Khaki Marrala who confirm or identify the composer of each song, explain the lyrics, and give detailed information on the context of the song texts. (Part 1 of 2)
Rae Giribuk and Joy Williams Malwagag point to some places in the distance, call their names and decribe how they were used as camping places in the past.
Ilijili Lamilami describes how people used to collect giant clams (Tridacna squamosa), called 'maminga' in Iwaidja, at low tide.
The informants give background information on the Sea Songs, called 'Ldalha' in Iwaidja.
The informant provides background information on the sea song set. (Part 1 of 2)
The two informants identify in Iwaidja sea shells which were either collected from or photographed at various beaches on Croker Island. They also give ethnographic information on whether a certain shell was used as a tool in everyday life (i.e. pipe, knife, water container, etc.), which shellfish are desirable as a food source, and which are classified as poisonous.
The informants tell part of the story behind Injalarrku, the Mermaid Song. It forms part of the Mardayin cultural complex, and is closely linked to the well-known story of Lumaluma. Lumaluma was a whale who was killed because he ate too much. His wives searched for him everyhwere in vain. One of Lumaluma's wives was pregnant, and the mermaids, from which Injalarrku takes its name, are her daughters. David Goodness tells the story first in Mawng. This is followed by an explanation in English by Ronald Lamilami and David Goodness.
An old knowledgeable informant identifies and gives the Iwaidja names for the internal organs of a green sea turtle. The organs are laid out on the ground after they have been removed from the body. In the background, David Minyimak confirms each of the identified parts.
The informants identify and give the Iwaidja names for some plants, including Beach hibiscus (Hibiscus tiliaceus), Red Flowered Kurrajong (Brachychiton megaphyllus) and Pemphis (Pemphis acidula), and give a brief explanation of their usages.