The Djungguwan of Gurka'wuy, 1976 – part 1

The Djungguwan of Gurka'wuy, 1976 – part 1
WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following program may contain images and/or audio of deceased persons
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This excerpt from the 2006 Film Australia National Interest Program DVD, Ceremony: The Djungguwan of Northeast Arnhem Land includes footage from the five-part Film Australia documentary The Djungguwan of Gurka'wuy filmed in 1976, of the Djungguwan ceremony.

This ceremony was held on Marrakulu land (Gurka'wuy, on Trial Bay) and was primarily initiated and organised by Dundiwuy and Mithili Wanambi, senior Marrakulu clansmen.

The original film, made by Ian Dunlop at Dundiwuy's invitation, is a study of this Marrakulu/Rirratjingu clan event. It shows the relationship between the Yolngu and their art, song, dance and land.

People of other clans also played an extremely important part. For example, Bokarra of the Manggalili clan was the senior son of the senior Marrakulu woman of her generation. As such he acted as manager, ensuring the proper performance of his mother's ritual.

Most importantly, leaders from the Rirratjingu clan – Wandjuk Marika, Roy Dadaynga Marika and Jacky Milirrpum Marika – played pivotal roles in the ceremony. (The 2002 Djungguwan was performed in honour of the latter two of these men.) This ceremony was a celebration of the Law of the two Wawilak Sisters, a memorial for the dead and an initiation for the living.

Djungguwan at Gurka'wuy is not just a film of a ceremony but much more: it tells us what the land means to Dundiwuy, and it shows the connection between people, clans, song, dance, art and land.

Ceremony: The Djungguwan of Northeast Arnhem Land, was produced in association with Denise Haslem Productions. It was made in collaboration with Yirrkala Dhanbul Community Association and the Rirratjingu Association.