The role of the Djungguwan

The role of the Djungguwan
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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The Djungguwan is a ceremony of the Rirratjingu and the Marrakulu clans of the Yolngu people. It is a ceremony of transition, teaching and remembering. It is an initiation ceremony that aims to teach young boys about discipline, law and respect for the traditions of their people.

Through song, dance and art, the ceremony tells a narrative about two ancestral beings, the Wawilak Sisters, as they journey through country creating each tribe and clan and giving them their law.

The Djungguwan is also sometimes used as a circumcision ceremony, linked to ideas and images of fertility and growth.

Anthropologist Professor Howard Morphy is interviewed in this clip.

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.

It includes footage from the Film Australia documentary The Djungguwan of Gurka'wuy of the Djungguwan ceremony filmed in 1976.