For the sake of a song

Walakandha Ngindji

TRACK 2 (Mar98-14-s02) Song 1: Walakandha Ngindji

Sung text  Free Translation 
ngata devin bugim rtadi-nanga kuwamana nidin-ngin-a kubuwemi manawalakandha ngindji kiny warri kurzingata devin bugim rtadi kuwa  All he has is a solitary house with a white roofBrother! My dear country! Kubuwemi! Brother!A certain Walakandha is living here for a whole year.A solitary house with a white roof is here 

In his second rendition of ‘Walakandha Ngindji’, Ngulkur rearranges the text of vocal section 1 from the previous version, adding new material—a series of calls to Walakandha and to country—in text phrase 2. Marett has argued that textual instability of this sort occurs most frequently in songs, such as these, that are not regularly sung in ceremony (Marett, 2005, p 200). Because of the linguistic closeness of Marri Ammu and Marri Tjavin (see chapter 3), and perhaps also because of his long familiarity with the Walakandha wangga repertory as a dancer, Ngulkur has no difficulty in improvising on the text. Indeed, the song demonstrates Ngulkur’s especially close relationship to Marri Tjavin people and country.

Wangga Image

Maurice Tjakurl Ngulkur (right) dances to the Walakandha wangga at a circumcision ceremony in Wadeye in 1988. Other dancers include Les Kundjil and Ambrose Piarlum (with spear). The singer is Martin Warrigal Kungiung. (Photo by Mark Crocombe, 1988, C009_2)