Batchelor Institute » Jardiwanpa Yawulyu book launch
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Date:February 17, 2015

Jardiwanpa Yawulyu book launch

Story by Coral Nangardia Gallagher and Peggy Nampijinpa Brown, with Georgia Curran and Barbara Napanangka Martin

Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education and Batchelor press staff, students, traditional owners and many other community members were thrilled to launch the new book Jardiwanpa Yawulyu Warlpiri Women’s songs from Yuendumu on Friday 12 December 2014, at Yuendumu. It was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the significant achievements of Warlpiri women for their efforts in recording their knowledge of traditional songs, and working to maintain this important cultural knowledge. This book is the culmination of many years of work by Jardiwanpa owners and managers, and anthropologist Georgia Curran.

The book presents 38 songs from the Jardiwanpa song line, which traverses Warlpiri country from south to north. It passes through three major dreamings, Yarripiri ‘Snake’, Yankirri “Emu’ and Ngurlu ‘Seed’. Owners from each of these ritual groups spoke at the launch, about the importance and value of the Jardiwanpa songs.

Linguist Mary Laughren, who lived and worked at Yuendumu for many decades, also contributed to the book. She spoke at the launch about her memories of women’s ceremonial performance, and remembered some of the dear women that she knew then.

Mary spoke of the book as a gift, from the elders to the younger generation. The Centre for Australian Languages and Linguistics (CALL) Project Linguist Margaret Carew said ‘Thank you to everyone who supported the launch at Yuendumu, especially: PAW Media (who hosted the launch as part of the PAW Media end of year concert), WYDAC and Batchelor Institute staff. Thank you to everyone who attended and supported.’

CALL is part of the Division of Higher Education and Research at Batchelor Institute.

The Jardiwanpa ceremony celebrates the journey of Yarripiri, an ancestral inland taipan snake, on a journey northwards through Warlpiri country. This book is about the song series sung by Warlpiri women from Yuendumu in preparation for this important ceremony. Two senior Warlpiri women, Peggy Nampijinpa Brown and Coral Napangardi Gallagher, tell the stories associated with these songs so that younger generations of Warlpiri people can learn about this important part of their cultural heritage. The book includes the rhythmic structures, words and interpretations for each song, and depicts their significance with accompanying photographs of women in performance and associated
images of animals, plants, artefacts and places.

This project has been produced by Batchelor Institute Northern Territory Language Centre Support Program with support from the Australian Government’s Indigenous Languages Support Program. The publication is proudly supported by the Northern Territory Government.

This publication is the second in our series of women’s traditional songs – see also Antarrengeny Awely: Alyawarr Women’s songs from Antarrengeny. Go to:

To order a copy of the book, contact Batchelor Press: | phone (08) 8939 7352 | email

The book is printed with the technology of sound printing – you can listen to the songs using a ‘speaking pen’. To learn more about this, visit:

Peggy Nampijinpa Brown, senior owner for the Yankirri ‘Emu’ dreaming part of the Jardiwanpa Yawulyu songline.