Prior to the wet season settling in, Eve Pawlik, Indigenous Traditional Dance Coordinator attended the final bush camp for 2019 with Ngalmi and Manggurra clan groups at Andanangki (Walker River) outstation, 3 hours north of the Numbulwar township. ‘Numburindi: Strengthening Culture and Country’ is a program that supports the inter-generational learning and exchange for young people in Numbulwar to travel to their surrounding homelands and learn on Country.
Andanangki has strong cultural links for Ngalmi and Manggurra, which enabled them to combine their bush camps. It was the first time many young people ranging from 2 – 17 years of age had had the opportunity to travel to this Country, including a couple of young girls who were also able to join and experience bush camp learnings.
You got to make sure you learn. You learn to read and write, and speak strong so you can be protecting your Country and keeping it safe.
Day trips to Harris Creek and Waldnarr were made for hunting and the collection of materials to make Lhambilbil (Didjeridoo / Yidaki) and clap sticks. The men showed the young boys how to collect the right timber and the process of making was demonstrated. Clap sticks were later used during the wungubal.
We have clap and didj as well, didj is from Numbulwar too, we call it, Lhambilbil. In our language, in Nunggubuyu. It’s made from the same tree as further north. When we go looking for that special tree, we hit it with the axe or machete or stick and when you feel that and you hear that sound go ‘clock’, you know it is ready. It grows out at Miwul. Use it for clap stick as well. My father used to tell me story that they made didj out of pandanus too. Would have a different sound, like a real high note.
Animals such as turtle, kangaroo and duck that had been hunted during the day were later prepared for dinners along with other bush foods. In the evening wungubal rehearsals and storytelling about both clan group songlines in Kreol and Wubuy took place.
This area here is a sacred area for my country. If we drive five minutes up the road it comes out into a big jungle. That area is my area, secret one. The biggest mob of pig, buffalo. Good hunting place. There are ghosts that way too. Women and men both can go there.
Artback NT receives multi-year funding from Tim Fairfax Family Foundation to coordinate, support and collaborate on this project with the community.
Photographer: Eve Pawlik