Vitality and Change in Warlpiri Songs

Juju-ngaliyarlu karnalu-jana pina-pina-mani kurdu-warnu-patu jujuku

Georgia Curran, Linda Barwick, Valerie Napaljarri Martin, Simon Japangardi Fisher and Nicolas Peterson

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Format: paperback
382 pages
ISBN: 9781743329061
Publication: 01 Mar 2024
Series: Indigenous Music, Language and Performing Arts
Publisher: Sydney University Press

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Warlpiri songs hold together the ceremonies that structure and bind social relationships, and encode detailed information about Warlpiri country, cosmology and kinship. Today, only a small group of the oldest generations has full knowledge of ceremonial songs and their associated meanings, and there is widespread concern about the transmission of these songs to future generations.

While musical and cultural change is normal, threats to attrition driven by large-scale external forces including sedentarisation and modernisation put strain on the systems of social relationships that have sustained Warlpiri cultures for millennia. Despite these concerns, songs remain key to Warlpiri identity and cultural heritage.

Vitality and Change in Warlpiri Songs draws together insights from senior Warlpiri singers and custodians of these song traditions, profiling a number of senior singers and their views of the changes that they have witnessed over their lifetimes. The chapters in this book are written by Warlpiri custodians in collaboration with researchers who have worked in Warlpiri communities over the last five decades.

Spanning interdisciplinary perspectives including musicology, linguistics, anthropology, cultural studies, dance ethnography and gender studies, chapters range from documentation of well-known and large-scale Warlpiri ceremonies, to detailed analysis of smaller-scale public rituals and the motivations behind newer innovative forms of ceremonial expression.

Vitality and Change in Warlpiri Songs ultimately uncovers the complexity entailed in maintaining the vital components of classical Warlpiri singing practices and the deep desires that Warlpiri people have to maintain this important element of their cultural identity into the future.

Nicolas Peterson is emeritus professor of anthropology at the Australia National University. In conjunction with others he has written three land claims for the Warlpiri and two native title claims including for the heartland of Ngaliya Warlpiri people, Mt Doreen Station.

Georgia Curran is an anthropologist who has undertaken collaborative projects in Warlpiri communities since 2005. She is currently a research fellow at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney.

Linda Barwick is a musicologist collaborating with First Nations communities in Australia since 1985 and Italian communities since 1979. She is currently Emeritus Professor at the University of Sydney, Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

Simon Japangardi Fisher is a Director and Archives Researcher at PAW Media and Communications housed at Warlpiri Media Aboriginal Corporation, based in Yuendumu, Central Australia.

Valerie Napaljarri Martin is a Director of PAW Media and Communications, based in Yuendumu, Central Australia. She has a Lifetime Achievement award for her contributions in the First Nations media sector.

  • List of tables
  • List of images and figures
  • Foreword
  • Editors’ preface
  • Juju-ngaliya-patu
  • Chapter authors
  • Glossary of Warlpiri words
  • List of Warlpiri Jukurrpa

  • Chapter 1. Vitality and change in Warlpiri songs and ceremonies

  • Georgia Curran, Linda Barwick, Valerie Napaljarri Martin, Simon Japangardi Fisher and Nicolas Peterson

  • Rex Japanangka Granites
  • Harry Jakamarra Nelson
  • Otto Jungarrayi Sims

  • Chapter 2. Archiving documentation of Warlpiri songs and ceremonies on-Country at the Warlpiri Media Archive

  • Georgia Curran, Valerie Napaljarri Martin, Simon Japangardi Fisher, Elizabeth Napaljarri Katakarinja and Linda Barwick

  • Alice Nampijinpa Henwood
  • Paddy Japaljarri Sims

  • Chapter 3. A Warlpiri winter solstice ceremony: Performance, succession and the jural public

  • Nicolas Peterson

  • Tommy Jangala Watson
  • Thomas Jangala Rice
  • Barbara Nakamarra Gibson

  • Chapter 4. Dreaming to sing: Learning and dream creation in the Australian desert

  • Barbara Glowczewski and Barbara Nakamarra Gibson (translated by Georgia Curran and Nicolas Peterson from the original French)

  • Peggy Nampijinpa Brown
  • Ruth Napaljarri Oldfield
  • Coral Napangardi Gallagher

  • Chapter 5. Minamina yawulyu: Musical change from the 1970s through to the 2010s

  • Georgia Curran, Barbara Napanangka Martin and Linda Barwick

  • Fanny Napurrurla Walker
  • Nellie Nangala Wayne
  • Maisie Napurrurla Wayne

  • Chapter 6. Expert domains of knowledge in Ngurlu yawulyu songs from Jipiranpa

  • Fanny Walker Napurrurla, Linda Barwick and Mary Laughren, with contributions from Sarah Holmes Napangardi, Jessie Simpson Napangardi, Judith Robertson Napangardi and Theresa Ross Napurrurla

  • Peggy Nampijinpa Martin
  • Lucy Nampijinpa Martin

  • Chapter 7. Warnajarra: Innovation and continuity in design and lyrics in a Warlpiri women’s song set

  • Myfany Turpin, Megan Morais, Mary Laughren, Peggy Nampijinpa Brown and Helen Napurrurla Morton

  • Lorraine Nungarrayi Granites
  • Cowboy George Jungarrayi Ryder

  • Chapter 8. Reanimating Ngajakula: Lander Warlpiri songs of connection and transformation

  • Petronella Vaarzon-Morel, George Jungarrayi Ryder†, Teddy Jupurrurla Long, Jim Wafer and Luke Kelly

  • Dolly Nampijinpa (Daniels) Granites
  • Judy Nampijinpa Granites
  • Lynette Nampijinpa Granites

  • Chapter 9. To perform or not to perform the Ancestral Fire Dreaming from the Warlukurlangu ranges (Central Australia)

  • Françoise Dussart

  • Jerry Jangala Patrick

  • Chapter 10. Milpirri: A revitalisation movement, a purlapa or a festival?

  • Stephen Wild, Steven Wanta Jampijinpa Patrick and Yukihiro Doi


Format: paperback
Size: 254 × 178 × 15 mm
382 pages
maps, family tree, photographs, musical notation
Copyright: © 2024
ISBN: 9781743329061
Publication: 01 Mar 2024
Series: Indigenous Music, Language and Performing Arts