For the sake of a song

Rtadi-wunbirri

TRACK 6 (Mar98-16-s02)Song 3: Rtadi-wunbirri

   
Sung text  Free Translation 
wulumen vindivindi kavulh-a-guwulumen vindivindi kavulh-a-gurtadi-wunbirri-wunbirri kisjikisji-gisji kavulh-a-guwulumen vindivindi kavulh-a-gu(repeated)  This is what the Old Man [Ma-yawa] has always doneThis is what the Old Man [Ma-yawa] has always doneAt Rtadi-wunbirri, like thisHe has always done it like thisThis is what the Old Man [Ma-yawa] has always done 

Like ‘Wulumen Kimi-gimi,’ this song asserts that ceremonial performance rests on the precedent laid down by the Ma-yawa ancestors, here referred to by both the Aboriginal English term wulumen (old man) and the Marri Ammu word vindivindi (old man). The verb kimi-gimi (do) is understood but not sung. The place where the ancestors performed, and continue to perform, is at the dance ground at Rtadi-wunbirri, a flat area on the top of the cliffs at Karri-ngindji, near Tjindi in Marri Ammu country.

This song uses a melody that it shares with only one other Ma-yawa wangga song, ‘Wulumen Tulh’ (tracks 28 and 29). Ngulkur performed this song at the Peppimenarti bravery award ceremony.

Wangga Image

Maurice Ngulkur performing Ma-yawa wangga at Peppimenarti, 7 October 1998, during the period before the ceremony when dancers were still painting up. The didjeridu player is out of the frame to the right. (Photo by Allan Marett, Peppimenarti98-16)