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Wanyubi Marika (Rirritjinggu Clan) at the Djungguwan "Law Ceremony", Yirrkala 2002.


The accelerating impact of outside forces that came with bauxite mining and the new mining town of Nhulunbuy, has made it more and more difficult for the Yolngu to instruct their young people in traditional ways.

Since the 1960s, film and video have become increasingly important for preserving Yolngu ceremony and law. While the richness of the culture has stimulated filmmakers and anthropologists, the Yolngu themselves have been instrumental in organising the making of various film and video programs. Clan elder Roy Dadaynga Marika made his intentions very clear to Ian Dunlop in 1970 when he said:

This is our chance to record our history for our children, for our children and our grandchildren. We should do this while we are still alive. Before we die we should make a true picture - our own Yolngu picture that will teach our children our dances and law and everything, our singing - our own Yolngu culture.
- Pain For This Land, Film Australia, 1970

And, as Marrakulu clan elder Dundiwuy Wanambi says at the end of Djungguwan at Gurka'wuy, 'This is a history for new generation and new generation...'

In 2002 Wanyubi Marika was concerned about the many young men who were drinking in the community, and the number of alcohol-related deaths. Wanyubi wanted to use the Djungguwan as a ceremony to instil discipline and respect for traditional law in those who participated. He also wanted to record the ceremony to 'speak to the future' just as his fathers had done all those years ago in the Djungguwan at Gurka'wuy.

The 2002 Djungguwan was performed in honour of those fathers and recorded in the documentary Djungguwan - Speaking to the Future.


Film and mini documentary excerpts from the Ceremony DVD

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