This is an initiative of The `Muruku Art Group’ which is a community development programme of Mossman Support Services. The key members of the group have been involved for up to ten years and are the initiators of this project.
Funding was received from the Aboriginal Benefits Foundation, a not for profit involved in Indigenous Art and Culture, also the North Queensland Regional Aboriginal Corporation Languages Centre in Cairns, who provided costs towards the printing of the books and were very supportive of the project.
The set of four books was created for 2017 NAIDOC Week celebrating `Our Languages Matter’. The project aim was to retrieve, maintain, preserve and protect Indigenous language by ensuring young children have access to culturally appropriate material. The booklets contain simple and grammatically correct sentences in Kuku Yalanji with illustrations provided by talented local artists.
We now are pleased to share a recording of the books. The reader is Clare Ogilvie, a Yalanji Elder. We acknowledge, and thank Michael Kerr and Clare Hawse from the Clink Theatre, who donated their time and resources to enable the reading of the books in language to be recorded.
Book 1 – Wanyu Yinya? (What is it?) teaches children to ask this question and give or receive an answer. Adult speakers can use these sentences to teach their children other words besides those in the book.
Book 2 Budruji (Fishing) - is a cultural activity. This book teaches the names of family members as it tells a story of a family going fishing.
Book 3 Yalada (OK, Fine) - teaches how to greet / farewell people and ask how they are. In this book, children go for a walk and meet friends and relations. Many of the characters from Book 2 appear again in this book.
Book 4 Minya (Meat) - is about sizes, numbers and colours of animals you can eat.
Copies of the books are available for $20 (set of 4) and can be purchased from the Mossman Community Centre, 20 Mill Street, Mossman.