Issue 10
Monday, 07 December 2020
Charles Darwin University
E-news
Brenda Muthamuluwuy and Waymamba Gaykamaŋu at the launch of the book, with Yasunori Hayashi on their computer screen
Brenda Muthamuluwuy and Waymamba Gaykamaŋu at the launch of the book, with Yasunori Hayashi on their computer screen

Indigenous language resource launched

By Carl Pfeiffer

A book exploring the connection of Yolngu Indigenous language with a range of body parts has been launched by Charles Darwin University researchers.

Titled “Gupapuyngu Gongu-Mayali’mirri Dhäruk ga Dhäwu Mala”, the book was written by Yolngu Indigenous elder Waymamba Gaykamangu and Yasunori Hayashi, who is a coordinator of the Yolngu Studies Centre at CDU’s College of Indigenous Futures, Arts and Society.

The book was also illustrated by Brenda Muthamuluwuy, who is a Yolngu Indigenous lecturer/researcher at CDU.

Accompanied with narratives and illustrations, the language resource comprises of more than two hundred idioms, in particular body parts related to Gupapuyngu Dhuwala, one of the Yolngu languages from East Arnhem Land.

Mr Hayashi said the book was filled with Dr Waymamba’s generousity and love for sharing the knowledge from her country, Djiliwirri, where Gupapuyngu knowledge emerges from.

"Yolngu people have many ways of connecting their bodies, and parts of their bodies to things and places in East Arnhem Land,” he said. 

“This book explores the inner meanings of many Gupapuyngu language compound words and opens up insights into different Yolngu ways of knowing and speaking their world.”

The book is availabile to buy at the CDU bookshop in store and online by visiting W: bookshop.cdu.edu.au/products/9781925800531