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Ngumpan workshop, 2008

Location: Ngumpan

Date: 2008

Event Description: The late 2008 Ngumpan workshop revolved around the intergenerational transfer of cultural knowledge, and was one of the most transformative events of the project. Senior Ngurra artist Ned Cox, who had led the very first bush trip to Jilji Bore, was the instigator of this event. Coordinated by cultural advisor and senior translator Putuparri Tom Lawford, Ned and other senior men and women taught teenagers and children carving and ceremonial skills, and passed on the knowledge of important dances and body decoration to both young people and adults.
Four dances were performed by new generations at the Ngumpan workshop: little boys danced Kurtal, young men performed Majarrka and girls performed Mangamanga, all for the first time. One important ceremonial dance, Kaningarra, was revived for the first time in many years following the death of its custodian. The dance for Kaningarra, which is now Well 48 on the Canning Stock Route, was passed down to a new generation of Kaningarra people by elders from closely related areas.

Art Centre(s): Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre, Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency, Ngurra Artists

Provenance: This material is sourced from Ngurra Kuju Walyja — the Canning Stock Route Project, which was initiated in 2006 by FORM and developed in partnership with Birriliburu, Kayili, Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre, Mangkaja, Martumili, Ngurra, Papunya Tula, Paruku IPA, Warlayirti and Yulparija artists and art centres.

Yiwarra Kuju in Perth

Location: Perth, WA

Date: 2011

Event Description: The record-breaking exhibition of art and new media, Yiwarra Kuju: The Canning Stock Route returned to Western Australia as the cultural backdrop to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in October 2011. Produced by FORM and the National Museum of Australia, Yiwarra Kuju was then open to the public throughout November at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre supported by a rich calendar of public program events including tours, talks and film screenings. Aboriginal curators and filmmakers, mentored on the Canning Stock Route Project over five years, gathered for its public showing to offer visitors a unique insight into the stories of the exhibition.
During its showing of only a few weeks the exhibition attracted 32,977 visitors, over 45 school tours as well as substantial attention from the media

People: Claude Carter, Steven James

Art Centre(s): Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre

Media Description: Majarrka dancers painted up. One Road festival day, Yiwarra Kuju: the Canning Stock Route, Perth 2011.

Rights: Photo by Tim Acker

Provenance: This material is sourced from Ngurra Kuju Walyja — the Canning Stock Route Project, which was initiated in 2006 by FORM and developed in partnership with Birriliburu, Kayili, Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre, Mangkaja, Martumili, Ngurra, Papunya Tula, Paruku IPA, Warlayirti and Yulparija artists and art centres.

Yanpiyarti Ned Cox

Yanpiyarti Ned Cox - Majarrka [ORAL HISTORY]
Synopsis: Yanpiyarti Ned Cox talks about Majarrka juju, and he also speaks about the riymangurru tree, from which the sacred ceremonial totem is carved.

Art centre(s): Ngurra Artists
Catalogue number: CSROH_294_Yanpiyarti_Ned_Cox
Cultural Protocols: Public Access - Restrictions on Use
Access: Public
Full transcript: Yanpiyarti Ned Cox: I want to tell a story about this little stick, this one, kana [digging stick]. Long time ago kartiya [white people] been digging with [iron] bar, long way down, might be 200 feet [to make the Canning Stock Route wells]. Kana, kuturu [large hitting stick used for fighting] and makura [deep coolamon or wooden dish used for carrying water], all [we used] to get water in my language.
This tree and me we been born in the same Country, the one Country. He’s got a meaning this tree. This is the tree now, the meaning. He got the culture, Majarrka. Riymangurru tree from Lake Gregory. That’s the tree, that Majarrka.

[What follows is an explanation of Majarrka juju compiled by Monique La Fontaine in conversation with Putuparri Tom Lawford]

Majarrka is the name of a sacred ceremonial totem carved from the riymangurru tree. Riymangurru trees grows near Paruku (Lake Gregory) particularly around Yunpu and they are a hardwood used to make weapons. Majarrka is part of the law and Dreaming associated with the riymangurru tree and has its own song and ceremony.

The contemporary story performed in Majarrka juju (song and dance) has evolved out of the traditional ceremony, however, and is based on a true story. It tells the story of two bosses, Ned Cox’ father’s father, Wurtuwaya, and Tom Lawford’s mother’s grandfather, Wirrali, both of whom are deceased.

Wurtuwaya and Wirrali were travelling around near Paruku as wanya [featherfoot, sorcerer; wielding similar power as maparn but concerned with payback rather than healing] looking for their sacred Majarrka totem, which had been stolen from Jarrkurti, a place not far from Jalyirr and Yunpu, by a group of men. The men were dancing with the totem when Wurtuwaya and Wirrali found them. The two men were hiding as wanya as they watched them. When the men turned their backs the two bosses snuck in and stole the Majarrka totem back.

In Majarrka juju the dancers who wear the long headdresses (pukurti) represent the men who stole the Majarrka totem. The two dancers with the flat-topped headdresses (kumunungku) represent the bosses, Wurtuwaya and old Wirrali.

END
Source: CSROH_294_Yanpiyarti_Ned_Cox
Rights: Cultural Owner & Storyteller: Yanpiyarti Ned Cox; © FORM, transcript only

Provenance: This material is sourced from Ngurra Kuju Walyja — the Canning Stock Route Project, which was initiated in 2006 by FORM and developed in partnership with Birriliburu, Kayili, KALACC, Mangkaja, Martumili, Ngurra, Papunya Tula, Paruku IPA, Warlayirti and Yulparija artists and art centres.

Video Title: Ngumpan

Video Description: The Ngumpan workshop, which took place at Ngumpan Community east of Fitzroy Crossing in late 2008, revolved around the intergenerational transfer of cultural knowledge, and was one of the most transformative events of the project. Senior Ngurra artist Ned Cox, who had led the very first bush trip to Jilji Bore, was the instigator of this event. Coordinated by cultural advisor and senior translator Putuparri Tom Lawford, Ned and other senior men and women taught teenagers and children carving and ceremonial skills, and passed on the knowledge of important dances and body decoration to both young people and adults.
Four dances were performed by new generations at the Ngumpan workshop: little boys danced Kurtal, young men performed Majarrka and girls performed Mangamanga, all for the first time. One important ceremonial dance, Kaningarra, was revived for the first time in many years following the death of its custodian. The dance for Kaningarra, which is now Well 48 on the Canning Stock Route, was passed down to a new generation of Kaningarra people by elders from closely related areas.

Date created: 2009
People: Putuparri Tom Lawford, Pampirla Hansen Boxer, Ngilpirr Spider Snell, Hanson Pye, Lyle Carter, Yanpiyarti Ned Cox, Frank Clancy , Milkujung Jewess James, Wilfred Steele, Butcher Wise
Art Centre(s): CSR Project, Ngurra Artists, Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency, Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre
Place of creation: Ngumpan
Latitude/Longitude: -18.7713/126.03602

Director: Clint Dixon
Editor: Chris MyIrea
Camera: Clint Dixon, Nicole Ma
Executive Producer: FORM

Rights: © Clint Dixon
Clip length: 0:05:48
Protocols: PUBLIC ACCESS
Format: Video
Category: Video
Accession ID: 20131011_FORM_MIRA_B0053_0001

Provenance: This material is sourced from Ngurra Kuju Walyja — the Canning Stock Route Project, which was initiated in 2006 by FORM and developed in partnership with Birriliburu, Kayili, KALACC, Mangkaja, Martumili, Ngurra, Papunya Tula, Paruku IPA, Warlayirti and Yulparija artists and art centres.

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