2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages: Word of the Week – Week Thirty-One.

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: Week 31.

This week’s word is wawurra-darra [pronounced wah-woo-rrah – dah-rra with rolled ‘r’], from the Waanyi language of the Gulf Region. This week’s word means ‘all of the children’ and coincides with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day which is celebrated on held on 4 August.
Children’s Day is a time for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families to celebrate the strengths and culture of their children.

Three young children  each holding a kitten, Doomadgee, Queensland, ca. 2008-2014. Image number: 30818-0003-0007

Waanyi also known as wanyi, wanji, wanyee, etc. is spoken along the Nicholson River and Lawn Hill Creek catchments and includes the community of Doomadgee.

Wanyi and Garrwa comparative table, Breen (2003).

As highlighted in the table above, it is closely related to Garrwa which is its’ northern neighbour along the Gulf coast towards Borroloola on the NT Border. There are community members with language knowledge, particularly in Doomadgee Community; however, Waanyi is classed as endangered and community revival efforts are supported by the North Queensland Regional Aboriginal Corporation Language Centre.

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day banner.

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!

Week Thirty-One 30 July – 5 August 2019.

#IYIL2019 #IYIL #IY2019WordoftheWeek #SLQIndigenousLanguages

Desmond Crump

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

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.

UN IY2019 Links

UN International Year of Indigenous Languages webpages

UN International Year of Indigenous Languages Resources

References

The word of the week has been sourced from the following historical item in the State Library collections.

Source: Breen, J.G. (2003) ‘Wanyi and Garrwa comparative data’ in N Evans (ed.) The non-Pama-Nyungan languages of northern Australia. J 499.15 NON

Image:

Three young children  each holding a kitten, Doomadgee, Queensland, ca. 2008-2014. Image number: 30818-0003-0007

Further Reading

Other materials in the State Library collections relating to Waanyi and neighbouring languages include the following:

Breen, J.G. (2003) ‘Wanyi and Garrwa comparative data’ in N Evans (ed.) The non-Pama-Nyungan languages of northern Australia. J 499.15 NON

Holmer, N. Notes on Some Queensland Languages. J 499.15 HOL

Mushin, I. (2012) A Grammar of (Western) Garrwa. J 499.15 MUS

Roth, W. E. (1898-1903) “Reports to the Commissioner of Police and others, on Queensland aboriginal peoples 1898-1903.” FILM 0714

Websites

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day website

North Queensland Regional Aboriginal Corporation Language Centre.