As part of State Library’s commitment to the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages, we will be promoting a ‘word of the week’ from one of the 125+ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages and dialects from across Queensland.
State Library’s Word of the Week for Week Two is warup which is from the Torres Strait Islander languages of Kalaw Lagaw Ya and Meriam Mir – it refers to the large drum which is integral to the culture and celebrations of Torres Strait Islanders.
The image above is from the Margaret Lawrie Collection of Torres Straits Materials and features schoolboys carrying warup drums as part of a parade on Boigu Island in 1968. The hour-glass shaped drum is part of traditional trade between Torres Strait and New Guinea and is constructed of wood with a reptile skin covering at the end which creates the drumming sound.
State Library of Queensland invites you to celebrate the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages as we raise awareness of the rich diversity of Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages.
Join the conversation as we post a new word for each week!
IKCs, Public Libraries, Indigenous Language Centres and community groups are invited to nominate a word for each week and provide details on the language, origin and meaning as well as pronunciation.
Indigenous Languages Coordinator, State Library of Queensland
State Library of Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages Webpages
State Library of Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages Map
UN International Year of Indigenous Languages webpages
This week’s “Word of the Week” has been sourced from the following reference in the State Library collections.
Haddon, A. (1971) Reports of the Cambridge Anthropological Expedition to Torres Strait. Q 994.38 CAM
Image: ‘Schoolboys carrying drums at a parade on Boigu Island’. Margaret Lawrie Collection, Image No. TR1791-0173-0196.
Other materials relating to Kala Lagaw Ya, Meriam Mir and related languages and dialects of the Torres Strait Islands include the following:
Aragu, B. Moegina Pawlaw Ya (Little Hen Story). P398.2 ara
Babia, M. and Day, E. Torres Strait Picture Dictionary. JUVQ 499.1503 tor
Bani, E. and Nona, D. Dabu: the baby dugong = Dabu : kazi dhangal. CLP SOL 1992
Davies, A. Notes 1924-1925. OM66-02/3
Edwards, R. Some songs from the Torres Strait. Q 782.5162 SOM
Edwards, R. (ed) Dictionary of Torres Strait languages. Q 499.1503 RAY
Eseli, P. Eseli’s Notebook. S 306.089 001
Ford, K. Ober, D. “A sketch of Kalaw Kawaw Ya”. In Language in Australia, ed. Romaine, S. 118-142. G 409.94 1991
Gisu, S. Meriba Mir Erwerem: a book on reading and writing Meriam Mir for people who already read English. Q 499.15 MER
Holmer, N. Notes on Some Queensland Languages. J 499.15 HOL
Jukes, J. Narrative of the surveying voyage of the HMS Fly. J 919.43 JUK
Lawrie, M. Myths and legends of the Torres Strait. Q 398.2099438 MYT
Lawrie, M. The Margaret Lawrie Collection of Torres Straits Materials. TR2082
MacGillivray, J. Narrative of the Voyage of the HMS Rattlesnake. G 994.02 1967
Moore, D. Islanders and aborigines at Cape York: an ethnographic reconstruction based on the 1848-1850 ‘Rattlesnake’ journals of O.W. Brierly and the information he obtained from Barbara Thompson. CHG 572.99438 1979
Mosby, L. Stephens, N and Teske, T. D is for dari : a Torres Strait picture dictionary. P 994.38 MOS
Piper, N. A sketch grammar of Meryam Mir. Q 499.15 pip
Ray, S. Dictionary of Torres Strait Languages. Q 499.1503 RAY
Scragg, S. Retold: A retelling of stories and songs from Myths and Legends of the Torres Strait by Margaret Lawrie. DVD 27464
Sharp, N. Stars of Tagai: the Torres Strait Islanders. G 994.38 1993
Shnukal, A. A Dictionary of Torres Strait Creole. Q 427.99438 SHN
Shnukal, A. Broken, an introduction to the Creole language of Torres Strait. J 427 shn
Singe, J. The Torres Strait: people and history. G 994.38 1989
Vocabulary of the Murray Island dialect [microform]. FILM 0713
For further information on the languages of the Torres Strait Islands, contact the Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA) which has administrative responsibility for the region and is working towards a language centre for the Torres Strait.