Karli Jalangu: Boomerang Today - Dogwood Tree

Karli Jalangu: Boomerang Today - Dogwood Tree
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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Senior men prepare the dogwood – or mulga – tree. The Elder chops at the tree, carving away the excess. Eventually the shape of the number seven boomerang begins to emerge.

Summary by Romaine Moreton

The visceral nature of the preparation of the number seven boomerang is captured in the documentary simply by having the audience share moments of observing the elder carve the tree with an axe, giving us an understanding of the muscular energy that making such an artefact would require. The group of men shown at the beginning of the film, and the physical exertion it takes to make the number seven boomerang, is in direct contradiction to something that is mechanically created. This is communicated in the film through deliberate, plotted moments where we are just watching; and in this watching, we too are feeling the heat of the day where the elders are situated.

Karli Jalangu: Boomerang Today Synopsis

An observational-style documentary about the making of a number seven boomerang by four senior traditional men from Central Australia.

Karli Jalangu – Boomerang Today is part of the Nganampa Anwernekenhe series produced by Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA) Productions. Nganampa Anwernekenhe means 'ours’ in the Pitjantjatjara and Arrernte lanuages, and the series aims to contribute to the preservation of Indigenous languages and cultures.

Curator's Notes

Karli Jalangu – Boomerang Today is an important documentary that is intended to pass on the traditional skill of making a number seven boomerang. The selection of the perfect tree, the harvesting and the carving of it to roughly shape the tree root into the number seven boomerang, is filmed at an observational pace. Choosing to film the senior men who carefully and slowly make their decisions during the process of producing the number seven boomerang allows the audience to get a feel for the energy, skill and collaboration on the creation of the weapon. It is a time-consuming process, and by the documentary’s end, we have no doubt of this.

Production company:
CAAMA Productions
Rachel Clements
Executive producer:
Citt Williams
Allan Collins and David Tranter
David Tranter
Teddy Egan, Jangala Alby, Morris Jampijinpa, Johnny Possum Japaljarri and Franky Japanangka