The Wawilak Sisters

The Wawilak Sisters
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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Bakamumu Marika from the Rirratjingu explains that the Wawilak Sisters are the creators of the Law, which in turn gives the Yolngu their Djungguwan ceremony. The sisters came from Wawilak country.

The ceremony connects them to their land which they believe they have occupied since time immemorial.

In eastern and central Arnhem Land two creator women, the Djan'kawu Sisters, gave birth to the first children of the Dhuwa moiety. Another pair of ancestral sisters, the Wawilak, laid down much of the law and ceremony for those children to follow.

As they travelled through Arnhem Land the Wawilak Sisters hunted, gathered food and made camp like the Yolngu of today. But like all ancestral beings their actions took on a creative and land-transforming nature; and as they travelled they sang, naming and thereby giving meaning to the country and everything upon it.

They created great ceremonies like the Djungguwan through which they taught the first ancestral people of this country, the Djuwany, the sacred and moral Law which has been handed down to this day.

Anthropologist Professor Howard Morphy is also 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.