Tuesday, May 10, 2011

New England Aboriginal life - Cultural connections, Bundjalung

Note to readers: This is the seventh in a continuing series introducing readers to past and present Aboriginal life in New England. Those who are interested can find a full list of posts by either clicking New England Aboriginal life or, if you want, to read in date order from one up, click on Introducing New England Aboriginal life.

In my last post I mentioned how Aboriginal sounds and music have had a great influence on the broader Australian ear. As an example, I used music inspired by the Bundjalung people from New England's Northern Rivers.

The following very short clip called cultural connections deals with the links between the Bundjalung people and their land. It starts with spoken Bundjalung. In New England Aboriginal life - sounds of Gamilaraay, I said in part:

To the untrained ear, Australia's Aboriginal languages sound much the same. It's a bit like French, Spanish and Italian and their myriad dialects.

If you listen to this and then Gamilaraay, you will see what I mean.

The clip was prepared for primary schools. The NSW Education Department actually does a a pretty good job in presenting Aboriginal material.

My complaint, call it prejudice if you like, is that too much Aboriginal material is jammed down kids' throats without context beyond that of the injustices done to the Aborigines. The Aborigines as people vanish.


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