SONG

In the Creation Time Buwarraja, the land and all of life was sung into being. The Creation Story is how everything was sung into existence, the soils, plants, animals, insects, tools, food, medicine, the Law. All the languages were given to the people in song. The land was mapped by the Ancestors in Songlines connecting the people forever to their place. Song is the land title, the Law and the feeling. Song is the spiritual connecting the land with the sky, bringing the rain and the " happiness to the land" as Yidumduma repeatedly informs us.


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


Paint and Wangga Dance

Yidumduma paints up his grandchildren with his totemic grasshopper lidi footprint design for a Wangga Dance, 2004 NAILSMA conference on Menngen community. They are welcoming to Wardaman country Aboriginal land custodians from across the north of Australia. Wardaman boys dance to the didgeridoo with Yidumduma singing. The Wangga songs teach the children to pay attention to the land and the signals from the Bush University.
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Gujingga Songline

Yidumduma shares part of his Gujingga Songline as the Ancestors "zigzagged" through his country and naming everything as they travelled. The Songlines connected all the Wardaman clan estates. Bill's clan Yubulyawan is one of many clan estates, Wurrgleni, Wujarr, Geliji, Muy Muy, Giliyn Giliyn, Wu-Nuajawung, Giwining...Flora, Mamundadgani, Jiggaigarn, Barnanggaya…Mt Gregory, Wurrulula, Beregumaya, Dilinya.

The Songlines moved through the lands of all the neighbouring tribes and then across the entire continent linking all Aboriginal groups together in song and ceremony. Yidumduma offers a unique contribution to this amazing and sophisticated mapping of the land.
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The Sound of "Creation Time"

Yidumduma on Direct TV's Global Spirit , playing and talking about the power of the didgeridoo marlugbarr and the clapsticks ganbij. The marlugbarr was given to the people by the long-tail pheasant girribug and the clapsticks were invented by the butcher bird jorlborrman who is a great singer. Global Spirit
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Songs, Clapsticks, Boomerangs, Didgeridoo & Art

Yubulyawan clan Elder Yidumduma Bill Harney of the Wardaman people, sharing his culture, songs, stories and marlugbarr didgeridoo, 2008, University of Wyoming, Wyoming Public TV.
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Bullocky Song

A bullocky is an Australian word for bullock driver. For Bill Harney and the Wardaman people this Bullocky Song was also applied to droving as Bill reflects on in this clip.

The Europeans colonized the inland area of northern Australia by claiming vast areas of cheap pasture to raise cattle. The Aboriginal men and women who were forced to work this land were the backbone of the cattle industry. The Wardaman sang this Gujingga song to keep the cattle happy while and after droving the cattle great distances. They were sorry to see the cattle go and leave to be slaughtered. They sang this song for their regeneration after they were gone. This was the world Yidumduma grew up in as a little "cowboy" at 7 years of age in the 1930's.

The Wardaman received food rations in exchange for their labour and were free to go "Walkabout" and fulfill ceremonial obligations during the wet season, keeping their contact with their traditional land. These areas now form the largest cattle stations or ranches in the world.
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Night Herding Song

The cattle stations were highly dependent on their Aboriginal labour force. Aboriginal people with no prior experience proved themselves to be highly skilled in working with horses and cattle. Their knowledge of their traditional lands was invaluable. This is the world Yidumduma grew up in. He was breaking in horses at 7 years of age. Here are the Wardaman Warranggin songs he sang to keep the cattle happy at night while droving cattle great distances.
The Wardaman fought over many years and won part of their traditional lands back. In 2000 they reclaimed old Innesvale Station, now Menngen Aboriginal Land Trust where Bill and his family live and run the cattle station.
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Wiba
Song: WW ll Bomber First Sighting

Song created by an old Wardaman songman, possibly Paddy Mirin, who witnessed a WW ll  Japanese bomber arrive in the 1940s. Imagine witnessing and hearing this event from a distance.  He was witness also to the arrival of Dr Clyde Fenton, the first Flying Doctor.
Songmen and women rigidly passed on the traditional songs but also invented new ones. Yidumduma's encyclopaedic mind remembers this song learned when he was around 10 years of age.
Japan conducted many air raids on Darwin and northern Australia, 1942-3. This video reminds us of the sacrifices made by Aboriginal people during WW ll.
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