A multi-media project created by the children of Wujal Wujal, that featured local language, Kuku Yalanji, was screened publicly last week for the first time. Few would consider rap music an effective tool for practicing traditional Aboriginal language and bringing communities together but that is exactly what it has done in the Wujal Wujal last week.
With the support of the charities Dot Com Mob and the ING Foundation, school kids aged 8-12 from Bloomfield River State School, have written, performed and recorded a rap song and accompanying video clip in the local language, Kuku Yalanji. The project’s multi‐media trainer, Wade MacKinnon and the children’s teacher, Jacqui Levy, helped the young kids identify the aspects of their local community that they were the most proud of and developed a rap song that described their life in Wujal Wujal community. This song was then translated into the local language.
Norman Tayley, the local language specialist who assisted the kids with the translations, highlights how important the project was for their community, “We have to show our kids how important language is to keep our culture alive, because if the kids aren’t speaking the language then their children won’t be speaking it and it will be lost forever.” The accompanying video clip created by the children and the technical support crew, featured local sacred sites from the Bloomfield area including the Weary Bay beach and the Wujal Wujal Falls. The children also learnt how to make clay figurines of themselves and local wildlife particular to the area, that were animated into the film.
Kathleen Walker, Traditional Owner of the Wujal Wujal area, who accompanied the children on the filming trips to the sacred sites, describes her joy at seeing the children perform their rap song, “Hearing kids singing and dancing in language makes me so happy, I was so proud.”
The finished rap song and video clip was screened for the entire Wujal Wujal community last Thursday night. Local residents of all ages enjoyed seeing the special parts of their community highlighted in the video and the creativity and expressiveness of the children.
Mayor Desmond Tayley and Personal Development Officer, Garry Ashworth begin_of_the_skype_highlighting end_of_the_skype_highlighting share their thoughts about the recently upgraded Indigenous Knowledge and Technology Centre at Wujal Wujal and discuss the positive benefits it has had on their community.
Watch the short interview below.
Mayor Desmond Tayley and Deputy Mayor Talita Nandy welcomed several international dignitaries this week, including visitors from the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indians.
Amongst the visitors were the Dot Com Mob, who is seeking corporate partners to help the Wujal Wujal council to upgrade the computer room in the Indigenous Knowledge Centre.
The State Library of Qld already supports the community with books and training events as well as supporting the centre co-ordinator Carol Toby but currently the community only has access to one public computer.
The Mayor presented the Dot Com Mob with a copy of the book "Yalanji, Warranga Kaban", which details the history of the Yalanji people.
The children and youths of Wujal Wujal treated the visitors to a wonderful display of traditional dancing.
Many thanks to the whole community for such a warm welcome!