Yolŋu Studies Livestream Lecture Series

Lecture 25: Land - essence of healthy living

Lecture link: http://new.livestream.com/accounts/2047566/events/1840804/videos/50195229

[Watched in the Ethel Tory Centre, ANU, 6pm Wednesday, July 9th 2014]

In this lecture Ṉärrkama describes how being close to and living on the land is the basis of a healthy Yolŋu life.

DISCLAIMER: at the present time these quotes may not be completely accurate, they are reminders of what we felt were important points in the lecture. In time we hope that we can correct them and more fully complete the transcription. If you have any issues or corrections that you would like to offer, please contact us at bookings@allianceaustrale.org

"... in everything we need... an equal share, in equality, in life, business ... in identity, in culture, in who you are... I don't want to become any higher than you ... having a power that overlooks people, no... through that gurrul we have an equal understanding of each other"
"The land... we both need each other [the land and the people] ... without land... that belongs to me... I feel lonely, I feel weak, I feel powerless... and the land also feels lonely... it feels its got no power, well the power is there, but it needs someone to adapt, to make it happen, and that's why I need to be on that land, to feed off the land, to walk on country, to let the breeze, to let the trees, the water, the environment, the bush-tucker help me grow strong and healthy in my life and spirit"
"...Remember we are born to be hunter and gatherer... we were not born to be farmers..."
"... The land provides for us and thats how we live everyday of our lives ..."
"... Our children needs to live off a fresh nutrition, fresh seafood, fresh bush tucker, oysters... young kids, young people, when they learn, learn how to survive, learn how to live, they also have the environment, because the environment want to hug you, want to be with you, it is somewhere where you and the land communicate in a special way, treating it in a manner, behind the, in the waters there are spirits like I've said before, spirits of our fathers providing you with bush-tucker, in the mangroves there are shells, there are longbaums, mudcrabs - through them spirits of our fathers giving you a healthy feed, giving you a healthy living in an environment, there's no pollution, ..."
"...Living in a community like Ramingining or Maningrida there are fears... the Government has brought us in to a community where we are bound by fear... Living here you don't trust people... the galka... "
"Sometimes the place you need to go is the place that recognises your sent... on your own country there's no fear in the back of your head..."
"...I like to sit down and drink beer... but they are not healthy for your spirit and your mind..."
"... Hardly anyone living in the bushes has been sick from heart, from flu..."
"... People call it as a mother [the land], they provide everything for you... "
"Every now and again... the government... just barge in and walk all over everyone..."
"... Always Balanda wants to do things for us... no, here we are learning, here we are taking those steps..."
"...They're not living in a brick house that's been there for 25 years... painted with paints that fumes and harms minds... "
"... Nowadays young people 45-50 years old... everbody's on wheelchairs, everyone's unhealthy..."
"... The food in there [in the shop] never changes... "
"... This is what we want people to support us in. Help us to move back out on country... "
"... When we die our bodies become sacred, we have left the knowledge on the land... back where our mother and father were thinking about having us... "
"... living in an area that is influenced by another dominant culture... "
"... so in the end we are taken on a spiritual journey back to the waterhole... "
"... this is where we need to bring back that way of life, to bring back our land... "
"... our body is being rested on the ground, on the soil where we belong... "
"... this is what happens with the new law that's coming in... "
"... You want to make an economy from land, we want to use those resources too... "
"... we can warmly hug one another... when we are buried our spirits go back to the resting place... because my totem is a dolphin... and I journey back... "
"...of course we want to take up other education... "
"... Our young people are being torn apart... suicide... where some people don't make it to... "
"... That's what... the land... the essence of Yolŋu healthy living... "
"... Through intervention we have been brough in... we just need to go back and clear our minds... "
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