NAIDOC Week July 11-21 2021

Wäŋa Ŋaraka Ŋayi Dhuwal Walŋakunhamirr
The Country is a Healer

Celebrating NAIDOC week by sharing voices of Yolŋu elders on healing, country and people.


 

Gawura Waṉambi and Joy Bulkanhawuy

Wäŋa Ŋaraka Ŋayi Dhuwal Walŋakunhamirr

The Country is a Healer

Yolŋuynydja dhu healing märram ŋunha wäŋaŋur ŋarakaŋur. Watay nhä ga wata biw’yun.  Ŋathay nhä ga ŋatha ŋorra ŋunhili wäŋaŋur. Rirrakayyu nhä ga rirrakay mala ŋunhili maŋ’thun ga nhakun gapu rirrakay, wata rirrakay, djikay mala rirrakay ga ŋula nhä mala ga’yunamirr mala warrakan mala rirrakay. Buŋgan wo warrpuru ga nhä nhuman dhu ga nhakun burwu wo wurrki dhu ga barr’yun, gapu raypiny yua garrkuk nhuman dhu ga, ga munatha wo garminyarr buŋgan dhu ga nhuman, yaka dhukunmirr. Healing-dja ŋunhilidhi wäŋaŋur ŋarakaŋur ga ŋorra. Yolŋuynydja healing dhu ga märram wäŋaŋur ŋarakaŋur yän. Wiripuny dhu ga rirrakay ŋäma ŋunhiydhi wäŋa ŋayipi yän dhu ga waŋa, dharpa dhu ga waŋa, gapu dhu ga waŋa, warrakan dhu ga waŋa, man’tjarr dhu ga waŋa, munatha dhu ga waŋa. Yaka ŋanapurr ga waaŋugum wäŋanhany ŋarakanhany, ŋayipi wäŋay ga ŋanapurrny waaŋugumany, wäwun’gumany.


Yolŋu receive healing from the country-land. We are healing with the seasonal wind blowing through the country and with the food growing in the country. We are healing with the sound making in the country, such as the stream of water, winds, birds and all sorts of living things there. We are healing with the scent of flowers blooming, the smell of fresh water streaming and the soil of the country, not with the spoilt one. Healing lies in the country-land. Yolŋu people receive healing only from the land. Yolŋu listen to the sound on the country where the land itself speaks, the tree itself speaks, the water itself speaks, so as animals, leaves and the soil. We don’t own the country-land, the land itself owns us. 


Waymamba Gaykamaŋu



Wäŋa Ŋaraka Ŋayi Dhuwala Walŋakunhamirri

The Country is a Healer 


Ŋunhi napurru ŋuli ga nhina wiripuŋura wäŋaŋura ga ŋunhi napurru dhu roŋiyirri yirralkalili wäŋalili, ŋunhilinydja napurru ŋuli dhu ayyuna rumbal birrimbirr bili ŋayi ŋuruŋi wäŋay napurru dhu buŋgathun bala aymarama napurrunha rumbal ga birrimbirr ŋunhi nhä yätjkurru napurru ga ŋayathama rumbalyu. Gumurr-waṉḏirri ŋunhi dhu wäŋa napurruŋgu ga walalaŋgu napurru dhu ŋäthi. Ŋunhili yirralkaŋura ŋayi ga ŋorra buŋgul, manikay, dhäruk, gamunuŋgu, alkarra. Ŋatha manymak napurru dhu uka ga marrtji wäŋakurru ga dhäkay-ŋäma wata ga rirrakay ŋäma bili dhuwala mala walala waŋa napurruŋgala ga napurru dhäkay-ŋäma walalanha.


When we Yolŋu people stay in a foreign place and come back to our country, our body-soul heals there because we feel happy and blessed with the country that heals our body-soul from whatever bad things our body holds. The country welcomes us and we cry for the country. In Yolŋu homelands, ceremony, songline, language, and sacred clan design and business are embedded. We eat good food on country, walk through the country, feel the wind and listen to the sound of trees and birds because they are talking to us and we are feeling them.

Brenda Muthamuluwuy

Wäŋa Ŋaraka Ŋayi Dhuwal Walŋakunhamirr

The Country is a Healer

'Nhä nhe ga rirrikthun ga warwuyun?' bitjan ŋayi ŋäpaki. Nhaliynha dhu ŋunhi warwuny dhawamaram? Yän dhu peaceful-na ŋayambalklil marrtji. Ŋunha ŋayi dhu wäŋay ŋunhi dhäkay-ŋäma ŋanya ga ŋanya guŋga’yun dhu. Ŋuruŋiy watay ga gapuy dhu ŋanya healing ŋunhi ŋayi dhu ga nhina wäŋaŋur munathaŋur. Wäyin dhu marŋgi-gurrupan walalany. Wäŋay ŋuli ga dhäkay-ŋäma ga nhäma yol marrtji räli ŋayambalklil ga yol marrtji roŋiyirr bala. Wäŋa ŋayi knowledge-mirr.

‘Are you feeling unwell and concerned?’ a non-Indigenous person might ask. How can such emotional concern be removed? Just go to a peaceful country. The country itself feels and supports us. The wind and water will heal us when we sit on the ground in the country. Animals teach us. The country feels and sees who’s coming and who’s leaving. It holds the knowledge. 


Ian Mongunu Gumbula

Wäŋa Ŋaraka Ŋayi Dhuwal Walŋakunhamirr

The Country is a Healer

Ŋäṉḏi limurruŋgu wäŋa dhuwala – The land is our mother. Healing ŋayi ga marrtji bukmakku limurruŋgu bukmakku yolŋuw. Yaka limurru dhu ŋäṉḏithirri nhanŋu wäŋawa. Ŋayi yäna buŋgawa ga wäŋay dhu aymarama ŋalimurrunha nhanukala romdhu, yaka yolŋuwala romdhu. Yaka ŋanya yolŋu dhu waŋa ‘biyaku biyaku biyaku’ yaka. Limurru dhu gärri nhanukala romlili ga nhina ŋunhilidhi mulkaŋura. Ŋunha ŋayi dhu mulkakuma limurrunha ga dhangi’yun limurrunha märr ga limurru dhu nhina ŋamathama nhanukala romdhu.

The land is our mother. It is healing all of us Yolŋu people. We shouldn’t act like a mother of our land. The land is our law provider and heals us with its ways of being and doing, not with the rule or law made by us humans. We should not ask the land ‘do this, do this, do this’, no way. We enter the law of our land and live in a space called mulka where everyone is treated with respect and feels safe. The land comforts us and embraces us, so we Yolŋu people live and feel safe with the law of the land.


Ellen Gapany







Wäŋa Ŋaraka Ŋayi Dhuwala Walŋakunhamirri

The Country is a Healer 

Nhä mala wäŋay muthathay ga ŋarakay ga ŋayathama ŋunhiyindja ukmaranhamirri ga walŋakunhamirrinydja mala. Gapu mayaŋŋura guun’ŋura ga iltjiŋura ŋuli ga nhä ŋayathama ŋunhinydja ukmaranhamirri mala warrpam'. Balanya nhakuna guya, borum mala, ganguri, räkay, ga warraga. Waŋarryu malaŋuy gana walŋakuŋala yolŋunha ga mel-gurrupara ga marŋgi-gurrupara balanya ŋatha mala. Ga gurruumirri mala warrpam’ ŋatha. Ga dhiyaŋunydja bala napurru bäyim wäyin mala shop-ŋura guyiŋarrmirri bala ŋunhi ŋuli rirrikthuna yolŋu. Ŋunhi nhe dhu marrtji yolŋu bala outstation-lili wo marrtji dhu gumurr-guwatjman wäŋa, ayyun nhe dhu nhänharay wäŋay. Ŋuruŋiydhi environment-thu nhuna healing. Yow.


What the soil of our country holds is life givers and healers. What is held in the water, river, billabong and bush are all healers, such as fish, fruits, yams, waterlily chestnuts and cycad nuts. Ancestral beings were healing people and showing and teaching us about these foods. All these foods have kinship. These days people buy frozen meat at shop, then become sick. When we go to an outstation or come close to our home country, we become healed by watching the land. That environment heals you. Yes.

 

© of Gawura Waambi, Joy Bulkanhawuy, Waymamba Gaykamaŋu, Brenda Muthamuluwuy, Ian Mongunu Gumbula, Ellen Gapany & Northern Institute.


PROUDLY CELEBRATING NAIDOC WEEK 2021