Monday, April 03, 2006


My name is Gayili Yunupingu Marika. I am a senior Yolngu custodian of the Gumatj clan of NE Arnhemland.We call this place Buku-Larrnygay Mulka.

Yolngu are the people who come from this place.

Everything that exists in the sea and on this land has a place in the sacred songs.
Nyadi the termite is a totem of my mother clan the Djapu Tribe from Wandawuy homeland.

Nyadi is Yolngu too.

We live with them and they help us clean and look after the land.

When we cook in the ground we break pieces Gundirr from the outside of the termite mound to heat them up in the cooking fire and provide even heat around the animal we are cooking
During the wet season when mosquitoes are around in the bush we break open the top of the mound and light a smoky fire inside them to keep the mosquitoes away.

When our children get bellyache we leave the waste near the termite mound Nyadi cleans up the mess and out children get better.

Nyadi eats the heart wood out of the tree which provides our Yidaki didgeridoo and Larrakitj burial logs.

Nyadi eats the fallen branches keeps the forest floor clear. She collects and stores grass seed during the wet so it can regerminate with the new season.
Nyadi creates the hollow trees that are the homes of birds, possums and other animals that we depend on.

Nyadi is my mother.

© Dictated by Gayili to Noel Wright of Birds, Bees Trees & Things - Jan 2003

Story is © N. Wright

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