NGAANYATJARRA STORIES FROM THE WESTERN DESERT OF CENTRAL AUSTRALIA
Edited by Inge Kral, Jennifer Green and Elizabeth Marrkilyi Ellis
Between 2012 and 2019 Elizabeth Marrkilyi Ellis, Inge Kral and Jennifer Green worked together to make an enduring record of endangered verbal arts in the Ngaanyatjarra Lands communities of Western Australia. They filmed traditional Ngaanyatjarra tjinytjatjunku or mirlpa (telling stories while drawing in the sand) with women and girls. They then loaded up some iPads with a drawing app and filmed younger women using this new technology to draw with as they told stories about everyday life in their desert communities.
The sixteen iPad stories are presented in i-Tjuma: Ngaanyatjarra stories from the Western Desert of Central Australia and readers can view the films with a linked QR codes. The stories burst with colour and originality, blending tradition and innovation and providing a unique window on the storytelling arts of an ancient culture.
Storytellers: Joella Butler; Katrina Giles; Bethany Cooke; Claudine Butler; Phillipa Butler; Kresna Cameron; Delisha Reid; Donisha Yunkett; Trisha Lewis; Susan Reid
The ten Ngaanyatjarra storytellers live in small desert communities in the Ngaanyatjarra Lands in the tri-state border region of Western Australia. These young women speak their Indigenous mother tongue – Ngaanyatjarra or Ngaatjatjarra – as a first language. The communities they live in have mobile phone connectivity, and other elements of modernity feature in their everyday lives. At the same time their lives resonate with the strong connection they maintain to their traditional country and the nomadic traditions of their grandparents.