Decorative armbands

Decorative armbands
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WARNING: This clip contains animal suffering or death
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Wanyubi Marika (Dhuwa moiety) makes decorative armbands and headbands from lorikeet feathers for the Djungguwan Ceremony in 2002.

He also uses lorikeet feathers to decorate poles representing his father Jacky Milirrpum (an elder or clan leader of the Rirratjingu mala), his father's younger brother Roy Dadaynga Marika, and their Law.

The substance of Yolngu ceremonies is the enactment of the events and actions of the ancestral beings who created the land and a restatement of the laws that they made. This is manifested through the songs, dances, paintings, objects and sequences of action that make up ceremonial performances.

To the Yolngu these are not only means of expression, but also part of the essence of ancestral beings themselves. They provide a connection with the world of the ancestral past.

Each clan possesses a set of songs, paintings and sacred objects that can be referred to collectively as the clan 'madayin' or sacred Law. The clan's sacred Law relates to the action and evidences of the major ancestral beings who created the clan's land.

The Law of each clan is linked to, and overlaps with, the comparable Law of several other clans of the same moiety. This is because the Law refers to the ancestral beings whose journeys always covered the territories of more than one clan.

This clip contains excerpts from the 2002 documentary Djungguwan – Speaking to the Future (Trevor Graham) and The Djungguwan of Gurka'wuy (Ian Dunlop, 1976).

This is an excerpt from the 2006 Film Australia National Interest Program DVD, Ceremony: The Djungguwan of Northeast Arnhem Land, produced in association with Denise Haslem Productions. It was made in collaboration with Yirrkala Dhanbul Community Association and the Rirratjingu Association.