DOBES Archive

The informants talk about their countries on the adjacent mainland of Croker Island, in North-Western Arnhemland.
Musicians meet in the yard of Mamurruni School in Minjilang to perform Ldalha ("Sea Songs") to accompany a dance practice for boys and girls. Archie Brown: Song owner, lead singer, clap stick lead Jimmy Cooper: Didjeridoo David Minyimak: Clap sticks Ian Yarmirr: Backup, Didjeridoo
During WW II the Japanese airforce flew air raids not only over the mainland of the Northern Territory of Australia , but also over the sparsely populated islands off the coast. The informants describe the changes in their everyday life on Croker Island during the war time, and name several hunting and camping places where their parents and other family members used to stay and take refuge. They also retell the locally famous story of how Dick Malwagu and Lazarus Lamilami found a Japanese soldier on Croker and delivered him as prisoner of war to the authorities in Darwin.
The informants demonstrate the cooking of mud crabs (Scylla serrata), called 'kurrurtalk' in Iwaidja. (Part 1 of 2)
The informant demonstrates the cracking open of black-lip oysters.
Singing practice at the Minjilang church.
The informants demonstrate sign language.
The informants simulate animal tracks using handprints and fingerprints in the sand.
The informants identify some saltwater and freshwater fish species from the area.
The informant demontrates and describes the preparation process and the application of a plant medicine made of a green ant's nest (Oecophylla smaragdina). The green ants nest, including eggs, larvae, and adult ants, built with the leaves of the paperbark tree (Melaleuca leucadendra) are used for the treatment of coughs and sore throats. Procedure: The branch on which the nest is built is broken off. The nest is then placed in a container of water, rubbing and squeezing it between the palms until the nest is broken and the ants, eggs and larvae are floating in the fluid. The leaves are removed and the liquid is drunk.
The informant is shown a series of photos of historical objects, such as armbands and necklaces and other kinds of body decorations, bags, containers, spears, harpoons, woomeras, axes, and others. These objects are housed in the SA Museum and are said to have been found in the area of Cobourg Peninsula or North Western Arnhem Land. The informant is aked to identify the objects (Iwadja terms, manufacturing process, use).
Visiting Khaki Marralas country: Khaki Marrala, a knowledgable Iwaidja man who lives on Croker Island, was talking for decades about going back to his country on the mainland (Wilyi), to set up an outstation and live there with his family. In July 2006 the researchers Bruce Birch, Nicholas Evans, Murray Garde and Kim Akerman organized a field trip with Khaki Marrala and two other informants to Wilyi. It is the first time since 25 years that Khaki Marrala is back on his homeland.
This singing session was recorded on DV by Bruce Birch. A total of 11 Yanajanak song items were recorded. There was much noise from children dancing and playing.
Landscape recording of a controlled bush fire at Whitecliff. It was lit by permission of the traditional owners of that country. Demonstration only. (Part 1 of 2).
Jurtbirrk Transcriptions
Text files containing transcriptions of Jurtbirrk songs.
Ilijili Lamilami describes the preparation and cooking of yirrwaj, the Water Ribbon Yam (Triglochin procerum, or, Sowerbaea alliacea).
This recording documents the afternoon before Cyclone Ingrid hits Croker Island (13/03); people sheltering from the cyclone in the Church (14/03); views of the destruction shot during the eye of the cyclone, and after the cyclone has passed (14/03).
The informants perform Injalarrku, the Mermaid Songs. There is some conversation in between music breaks captured.
On a bush trip to the west coast of Croker Island, the informants locate and identify makula, the Rotten-cheese Fruit Tree (Morinda citrifolia). They dig up the yellow roots which they use as a yellow dye to color Pandanus fibres for basket making. (Part 1 of 2)
This recording documents the Jurtbirrk performance at the NT Traditional Music Awards night 2005 in Darwin, and the return of the musicians to Croker Island the next day.