LAW

The Law was passed onto the people from the Ancestors in Buwarraja. It is in the land, the rock art, the engravings, the songs, stories, plants, birds, animals, insects, the people. The Law does not change with a change of government. It is set for all time in the land. The Law teaches caring and custodianship for all the natural world.


Click on Read More & Resources for full video transcripts and further research.


Yingwana
: Water Clearance Ceremony

Water clearance ceremony for Yidumduma's nephew Jonas Doctor. Here Yidumduma talks to Jonas in Kriol and to the Ancestors in Wardaman Language asking permission to clear Jonas for entry to adulthood. This is part of initiation Law carried out at a sacred spring or waterhole where the Ancestors living under the water and in the surrounding trees and palms give clearance the young ones. Jonas must look at his shadow reflection in the water as the Elder wets his head.
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Ochre & Initiation

Yidumduma outlines part of the boys Initiation Ceremony and Law as it applies to teaching the boys to respect the girls/women. The women Elders dance in front of boys and they must look at them. The Elders are painted up in black and white ochre. The boys throw a firestick in the air and call out for clearance. Yidumduma shares the ceremonial Bandimi Song sung by all the Elders.
Yadjagurru janja warraban dunyu, bardugu badu
Old women foot stamping, dancing for the young boys, clapping legs together.
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Skin Relations & Kinship

Courtesy of the former Katherine Language Centre, here is a skin relations chart with neigbouring Ngarinyman names. Wardaman are related but different. This is a non-Indigenous representation of how the skin names are related to each other.  On this chart Js are male, Ns are female. Single lines are brother/sister. Double lines are husband/wife. Arrows are mother-to-daughter or father-to-son.
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Skinship_Ngarinyman.png


Yimulun
: Law Painting

Watch Yidumduma paint Wardaman Customary Law into a contemporary painting at Art Mob in Hobart, Tasmania. Yidumduma began these paintings in response to the Australian Government's Intervention policy, to teach the world of the vitality and sophistication of traditional Law. These paintings now hang in the Law Dept, University of Sydney, and Bond University on the Gold Coast.


Law Stone

Yidumduma explains the use of the engraved Law Stone for the education and initiation of the Wardaman boys. They must lay silent and still with the Law Stone on their chest. He discusses how Elders like himself work with the white man's legal system and take young one's from town in trouble and teach them the traditional Law in the bush.
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Burial Law: Ants

Yidumduma sharing funeral and burial rites with Wardaman youth Jonas Doctor, teaching how the Red Ant Doctors, Bilawa brought this law and designed the ceremony for the people in the Creation Time Buwarraja. Related Links: Black Soil Termite
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Burning Off: Fire Law

Aboriginal people throughout Australia intelligently used fire for thousands of years to regenerate the plants and soils, and keep the land and water clean. Contrary to popular opinions, they actively care for their land using "Firestick Farming", using a patchwork of cool burns at the right times to protect the land against the devastating hot burns. Yidumduma shares what the Elders taught him and he uses this Law on his Menngen Station today. The Law was given to the people in Creation Time by the ghost bat, warlang, macroderma gigas, and the insectivorous bat ngalamiynmiyn. They invented the firestick, jinggiyn, clerodendrum floribundum, and passed this onto Yagjagula, the Lightning Brother who creates the lightning fires by hitting his 2 stone axes together.
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