Traditional Kimberley Visions
The Lands Of The Wunambal
The lands of the Wunambal - well known and true - are travelled by people both old and new.
The spirits of long ago heroes prevail in hills and gullies which all tell their tale.
There are stories of epics from far distant lands of powerful spirits with death in their hands,
of songs and dances - danced on the grounds - with power and danger encased in their sounds.
Yet the places of meaning, where dreamings all meet,
where Wungurr and Gulingi hunt, rest and sleep,
are the places the people, both old and new,
must keep for the future, keep perfect and true.
Our grandchildren's children will then sing the praise
of the people of old who knew all the ways,
who passed on the stories that live in the land,
of wonders and mysteries, few understand.
The lands of the Wunambal - well known and true - have seen comings and goings of old and new,
of great and powerful people of old, whose stories remain - remembered and told.
The making of mountains and rivers and streams, the powers that doctor men hold in their dreams.
The waters where Wungurr and spirits abound, are places where life and power are found.
In darkness of night a sorcerer sings
to take away life that Wungurr brings,
but in the new day the country stands strong -
the children are happy - the sorcerer gone.
The power of country resounds through the lands,
and makes the men strong and steadies their hands.
It keeps them aware of the dangers of night,
of the constant battle between wrong and right.
The lands of the Wunambal - well known and true - where Gulingi travelled and fought and slew,
where mungari, kangaroo - food all around - where Wunambal peoples' homelands are found -
this is the true land of portents and dreams, of waters where Wungurr still watches the streams.
He looks to the people to guard and protect the lands and the histories - show them respect!
In future the children should think of the days
when Gardia came and changed all the ways.
How people adapted and changed for the new
and moved with the times, but stayed strong and true!
They kept to their country - the hills and the streams -
held on to the stories, the old people's dreams.
They looked to the future with strength anew,
to watch for their country, so well known and true.
C.W.E.B. July 2001.
Dedicated to Wilfred Goonack, who's knowledge, vision and wisdom, and that of his generation, for these lands and waters, are greatly missed by all of us.
Poem written & supplied by Chris Brown (Browney). Kandiwal community photo generously supplied by Chris Brown. Copyright Chris Brown & Kandiwal community