Monday, May 23, 2011

New England Aboriginal life - Gumbaynggir Lady

Note to readers: This is the ninth 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.

My thanks to Lynne Sanders-Braithwaite for this story.

For many of us, to come from New England is to leave it. There just aren't the jobs. There might be if we had our own state, but that's another story.

Singer Emma Donovan was born and grew up in Sydney. However, her mother's family is from the Gumbaynggir language group that occupied the land south from the Clarence River to the Macleay Valley. I think that there are also family connections to the Dainggatti language group from the Macleay Valley.

In New England Aboriginal life - process of language destruction, I spoke of the process of language destruction that occurred to New England's Aboriginal languages. I have yet to talk in detail about either the recording or revival of language.

I mention this now because Emma Donovan, in a sense, rediscovered Gumbaynggir and her country. She was able to do so in part because of the Gumbaynggir language revival movement, something I will write about later.

The ABC Awaye program had a full interview with Emma, including some of her songs and her thoughts on rediscovery of language. Emma is a very good singer as you will see from the following clip.  

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