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Gurindji People Unveil Their Stories in New Book



Their iconic Wave Hill Walk Off that marked the birth of the Aboriginal Land Rights movement is well-known, but until now little of their traditional culture and history has been published for a wider audience.

The latest release from Batchelor Press tells the story of the Gurindji people of Northern Australia.  Their iconic Wave Hill Walk Off that marked the birth of the Aboriginal Land Rights movement is well-known, but until now little of their traditional culture and history has been published for a wider audience.


The book, titled Mayarni-kari Yurrk (literally, ‘More Stories’), was produced by the same collaborative team that compiled Yijarni: True Stories from Gurindji country (Aboriginal Studies Press, 2016). This volume contains stories from the early station days, Puwarraja (Dreamtime) stories, local accounts of regional legends, personal tales about Walk Off identities, and a series of anecdotes from a police tracker at Wave Hill (Kalkaringi) Police Station.


Historical accounts from Dandy Danbayarri, Ronnie Wavehill, Blanche Bulngari, Pincher Nyurrmiari, Banjo Ryan, Violet Wadrill, Biddy Wavehill Yamawurr, Connie Ngarmeiye and Topsy Dodd Ngarnjal are illustrated with historical and modern photos as well as artwork from one story-teller.


Gurindji culture has a strong oral storytelling tradition that fulfils many purposes: ceremonial, entertainment and the transmission of knowledge vital to survival. Mayarni-kari Yurrk details ancient and modern tales. It provides a captivating insight into the Gurindji perspective on history and some very personal stories of Aboriginal life in the Victoria River region before the modern era.


You can order a copy of the book here. Batchelor Press is the publishing arm of Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education and produces teaching and learning resources primarily for Indigenous Australian students living in remote communities, the majority of whom have English as a second or third language.