In 2019, First Languages Australia will be hosting the Marrin Gamu Indigenous Language Song Competition.
The rules are fairly straightforward:
- Sing a song in the traditional language of your area!
First Languages Australia are inviting schools to work with their local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community to translate the Marrin Gamu song into the first language of their area. Community members include Elders, language speakers, custodians as well as community groups who may be working with language in you school-community.
The title Marrin Gamu combines the word for body in two of the languages in the film clip:
Marrin – Wiradjuri (NSW)
Gamu – Kalaw Kawaw Ya (Torres Strait)
There are two ways for students to participate in Marrin Gamu, either as part of an existing Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander language program, or as mainstream classroom activities. This simple yet effective idea explores the concept of ‘many languages, one song’ through local language words for parts of the body. The Marrin Gamu competition is also a great way for schools to connect with their local Indigenous community
The Marrin Gamu website provides ideas and resources for teachers and schools to get them working with their local community; including lots of ideas around creating your song and making a video clip to enter the competition.
The State Library has a range of wordlists that can assist school-communities in developing their local song. These lists of words include parts of the body for a number of Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages.
For further details on Marrin Gamu and how to enter:
Entries close 30 August, so have fun making your video and good luck with your entry!
Indigenous Languages Coordinator, kuril dhagun
State Library of Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages webpages
State Library of Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages – Body Part wordlists
Jarjum stories: A kuril dhagun showcase focusing on children’s books and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages. Opens 19 October 2019.
Spoken: celebrating Queensland languages: A major exhibition exploring the survival and revival of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages throughout Queensland. Join in the many talks and events to celebrate the rich and diverse languages spoken today. Opens 21 November 2019.
References and Further Reading
The following is a selection of language references, vocabularies, dictionaries, etc. from the State Library collections – explore One Search Catalogue for other items that may contain vocabularies or words for the different parts of the body from your local language.
Allan, J. and Lane, J. (2001) The language of the Wangerriburra and neighbouring groups in the Yugambeh region. P 499.15 all
Babia, M. and Day, E. (1989) Torres Strait Picture Dictionary. JUVQ 499.1503 tor
Breen, J. G. and Blake, B. (2007) The grammar of Yalarnnga: a language of western Queensland. J 499.152 BRE
Cape Treasures: Children from Cape York share stories. Online access via SLQ
Curr, E. M. (1887) The Australian Race: its origins, languages, customs, place of landing in Australia and the routes by which it spread itself over that continent. RBF 572.994 cur
Dixon, R. M. W. (1972) The Dyirbal language of north Queensland. G 499.15 1972
Dixon, R. M. W. (1977) A grammar of Yidin. G 499.155 1977
Edwards, R. (Ed) (2001) Dictionary of Torres Strait languages. Q 499.1503 RAY
Helon, G. (1994) The English-Goreng Goreng-English dictionary. G 499.15 1994
Minjerribah Moorgumpin Elders-in-Council Aboriginal Corporation (2011) Jandai language dictionary: a dictionary of language spoken on Stradbroke and Moreton Islands based on words remembered by all Elders and recorded by interested visitors to our shores. HKT 499.153 JAN
Patz, E. (2002) A grammar of the Kuku Yalanji language of North Queensland. J 499.15 PAT
Quinn, M. (1992) Djabugay: A Djabugay-English Dictionary. P499.15 qui
Sharpe, M. (1998) Dictionary of Yugambeh, including neighbouring dialects, compiled by Margaret Sharpe from various sources. G 499.15 1998
Sutton, P. (1995) Wik-Ngathan dictionary. Q 499.15 SUT
Terrill, A. (1998) Biri. J 499.15 TER
Terrill, A. (2002) Dharumbal: the language of Rockhampton, Australia. Pacific Linguistics 525. J 499.15 TER
Thancoupie (2007) Thanakupi’s guide to language and culture: a Thaynakwith dictionary. Q 305.899 THA
Walker, D. and Griffiths, L. (2011) Island treasures : Torres Strait children share stories. Collected by Dot Walker and Lynnette Griffiths for the State Library of Queensland. JUV A828.4 ISL
Watson, F. J. (1944) “Vocabularies of four representative tribes of South Eastern Queensland”; supplement to the Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of Australasia (Queensland), No. 34, Vol XLVIII. REFJ 499.15 wat