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The Yirrkala Film Project
Documenting the Lives of Aboroginal Australians

The Yirrkala Film Project - Documenting the Lives of Aboroginal Australians
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20 videos in this collection

Madarrpa Funeral at Gurka’wuy
In 1976, Ian Dunlop was invited by Dundiwuy Wanambi, a leader of the Marrakulu clan, to Gurka'wuy on Trial Bay in the Gulf of Carpentaria. He wanted Film Australia to…
Narritjin at Djarrakpi
In 1974, Narritjin Maymuru and his family are establishing a small settlement at Djarrakpi, an important Manggalili clan site on the northern head of Blue Mud Bay in the Northern…
My Country, Djarrakpi
Paintings, together with their related songs, dances and ritual events, form an integral part of the religious life of the Yolngu people of Northeast Arnhem Land. Every painting or design…
Narritjin in Canberra
In 1978 Narritjin Maymuru and his son Banapana were awarded fellowships as Visiting Artists to the Faculty of Arts at the Australian National University in Canberra. For three months they…
At the Canoe Camp
Narritjin Maymuru is leader of the Manggalili clan of northeast Arnhem Land. Filmed in 1971, this documentary shows the daily life of Narritjin and his family at a camp in…
In Memory of Mawalan
In 1971 Wandjuk Marika organised a Djang'kawu ceremony at Yirrkala. It was to be a memorial for his father, Mawalan, who died in 1967. Mawalan had been the highly respected…
We are the Landowner...That’s Why We’re Here
One of the most positive aspects of traditional Aboriginal Australia today is the outstation or clan homeland movement. Throughout central and northern Australia, groups have left the large centralised government…
We Believe in It...We Know It’s True
When built in the 1960s, the mining town of Nhulunbuy had an instant population of about 4000, making it one of the largest towns in the Northern Territory. With the…
One Man’s Response
This film records the reaction of one clan leader, Narritjin Maymuru, to the coming of the Gove bauxite mine. In mid-1971 Narritjin held a mortuary ceremony at Yirrkala in memory…
Pain for This Land
In 1970 Ian Dunlop began a long-term film project with the Yolngu of Yirrkala for Film Australia. Pain for This Land is a general introduction to the Yirrkala Film Project.…
This Is My Thinking
Daymbalipu Mununggurr was one of the most respected and influential leaders of the Yirrkala Aboriginal community. This film deals with his concerns during the tumultuous years when the Nabalco bauxite…
Conversations with Dundiwuy Wanambi
This is a personal film about Dundiwuy Wanambi over the years that Ian Dunlop knew and worked with him. It is made up mainly of interviews filmed with Dundiwuy at…
Dundiwuy’s House Opening
For several months in 1971 Dundiwuy Wanambi and his wife, Gunapa, were living in a temporary shade at Yirrkala. They were awaiting the ritual cleansing and opening of their house.…
Purification Ceremony - Caledon Bay 1971
The Djapu clan has always had strong links with Caledon Bay, some 70 kilometres south of Yirrkala. In 1971 they gathered here to plan the building of a major homeland…
From A Long Time Ago - Hollow Log Painting
Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, Macassan traders visited the north coast of Australia. They came to collect and process trepang, or sea cucumber, which they traded mainly to China.…
Marrakulu Funeral - Yirrkala 1974
This film is a record of the funeral ceremony for a Marrakulu clan leader at Yirrkala in 1974. Through Marrakulu, Rirratjingu and Djapu clan songs and dances the body of…
Singing in the Rain - Yirrkala in 1974
1974 was a troubled time for the Yirrkala community. The Gove bauxite mine, on its doorstep, had been operating for four years. The effects of alcohol, from the newly built…
Hard Time Now...For the Children
Narritjin Maymuru, leader of the Manggalili clan, was one of the people Ian Dunlop worked with most closely during his long term film project at Yirrkala. This is a personal…
Dhapi Ceremony at Yirrkala - 1972
This is an archival record film of a circumcision ceremony at Yirrkala in 1972. On many occasions over the three weeks prior to the main ceremony the boys to be…
Baniyala
An archival record film of life at the small Madarrpa clan settlement of Baniyala on Blue Mud Bay, some 200 kilometres south of Yirrkala. The film is in two parts.…

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