Ma-Yawa Wangga

Archival recordings by Allan Marett, with supplementary recordings by Sally Treloyn and Mark Crocombe; curated and annotated by Allan Marett and Linda Barwick, with transcriptions and translations by Lysbeth Ford.

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Format: cd

ISBN: 9781743325308

Publication: 22 Nov 2016
Series: Indigenous Music, Language and Performing Arts
Publisher: Sydney University Press

The Ma-yawa wangga repertory was given to songmen by the Marri Ammu ancestral ghosts known as Ma-yawa. Before the late 1960s, it seems that this repertory was frequently performed at Wadeye, but nowadays Marri Ammu people join their Marri Tjavin neighbours in performing the Walakandha wangga repertory (CD6) for ceremony. All but one of the Ma-yawa wangga songs were composed by the senior Marri Ammu lawman and artist Charlie Niwilhi Brinken (c. 1910–1993), but so far as we know, no recording was ever made of him singing. Maurice Tjakurl Ngulkur (Nyilco) (1940–2001), the Marri Ammu songman, inherited the repertory and added one of his own songs to it. Since his passing in 2001, the songs have rarely been performed. With its strong focus on the Dreamings (ngirrwat) and Dreaming sites (kigatiya) of the owning group, the Ma-yawa wangga repertory holds a unique place within the corpus.

Tags: CD, Music

Allan Marett is professor emeritus of musicology at the 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.

Lysbeth Ford is an honorary research associate in the linguistics department at the University of Sydney.


  1. Song 1: walakandha ngindji
  2. Song 1: walakandha ngindji
  3. Song 1: walakandha ngindji
  4. Song 2: wulumen kimi-gimi
  5. Song 2: wulumen kimi-gimi
  6. Song 3: rtadi-wunbirri
  7. Song 3: rtadi-wunbirri
  8. Song 3: rtadi-wunbirri
  9. Song 3: rtadi-wunbirri
  10. Song 4: menggani
  11. Song 4: menggani
  12. Song 5: tjerri
  13. Song 5: tjerri
  14. Song 6: watjen-danggi
  15. Song 6: watjen-danggi
  16. Song 7: malhimanyirr
  17. Song 7: malhimanyirr
  18. Song 8: ma-vindivindi
  19. Song 8: ma-vindivindi
  20. Song 9: karri-ngindji
  21. Song 9: karri-ngindji
  22. Song 10: thalhi-ngatjpirr
  23. Song 10: thalhi-ngatjpirr
  24. Song 10: thalhi-ngatjpirr
  25. Song 11: na-pebel
  26. Song 11: na-pebel
  27. Song 11: na-pebel
  28. Song 12: wulumen tulh
  29. Song 12: wulumen tulh

Ma-yawa wangga
Transcription and translation of tracks
Works cited

"I am not aware of any compilation of recordings as comprehensive as this one on any other song genre of Aboriginal Australia. Marett, Barwick and Ford's deep involvement with the people of the Daly River area and their intimate knowledge of the songs, exemplified by Marett's becoming an accomplished performer of wangga, present us with a true labour of love and a great contribution towards interdisciplinary research."
Grace Koch   2018 Yearbook for Traditional Music

Format: cd
1 b&w table and 7 colour illustrations
Copyright: © 2016
ISBN: 9781743325308
Publication: 22 Nov 2016
Series: Indigenous Music, Language and Performing Arts