Archive for Aboriginal

My Version of a Sonnet: One Legal Fiction Still Remains

Posted in My Writings, Poems with tags , , , , on September 20, 2009 by marvynmc
Nhangka,

Starting to write again for my own pleasure and happiness after many years of writing grant submissions and reports for communities and governments.

Much of my writing is always influenced by my Aboriginality and Personal Life Experiences and thus much of my writing will often be of a political nature.

I am currently experimenting with the many different forms of writing, prose and poems.

I often find it difficult to keep strictly to the rhyming scheme and rules of writing poetry, prose, sonnets or verse etc because English is such a hard and difficult language to learn and write.

But anyway nevertheless here is my own personal version of a 14 line sonnet although I must admit the structure and prose do not actually follow the normal Shakespearean Sonnet, or English sonnet, but who cares, not I, as long as I write for myself and others enjoy it and get the message within it.

One Legal Fiction Still Remains
© 2009 Walha Udi Marvyn McKenzie Snr

Here we stand upon our ancestral land,
Oppressed, battered, disregarded we shed our tears,
We never gave it away willingly but made our stand,
And throughout we have always shouted out our many fears,

The legal fiction of Terra Nullius finally torn down,
But one legal fiction still upon their hearts and minds remain,
For how can we prove Aboriginal Sovereignty without a crown?
And whilst not yet achieved thus will always be a stain,

A stain as such remains our shared future can not we achieve,
A shared future achievement of honour, respect and equality,
Their actions, words and promises continue through a sieve,
Vanished always upon the wind once uttered meekly,

On one concept, idea and opinion we will always strongly stand,
Always was and always will be Aboriginal land.

Advertisements

Words of Encouragement

Posted in Aboriginal, Australia, culture, Depression, Education, Health, Health & Wellbeing, Mental Health, mudha, My Beliefs, My Writings, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on August 19, 2009 by marvynmc

Nhangka All,

What is on me mind…..hmmmmm

Having worked within all levels of urban, regional, and remote Aboriginal Affairs for 28 years, since I was aged 16 years old, mainly here in Port Augusta, and often at the grass root level, I have seen and done it all, well most of it anyway, as both worker and sometimes even the clientele.

I know fully that working for and with our Peoples it can become very hard and difficult job at times because it demands long hours, time away from family, no time to visit your ancient lands if you live and work away from it, and a lot of personal stress and heartache for there is often much pain and hurt out there in our community.

Such community work with our people often goes unrewarded or recognised by others, but most of us do not worry about such personal honour or glory – just a simple Thank You often suffices or the silent fruitful and postive outcomes we see and achieve later on in some of our peoples lives.

Some times you will be often knocked flat by the very People You are trying to help, by Your own Family and even white fellas – but never give up, when knocked flat to the ground, pick yourself up from the ground, dust yourself off, and go into the fray again and again.

But do not burn yourself out – always have an outlet and periods of rest and relaxation away from it all and recharge your batteries – for if you cannot look after yourself how can you ever hope to look after others…

I live away from my Ancient Lands and Waters, lucky to be descended from three or more Aboriginal Language Groups so I can claim and visit a few, rather than just one, always say to people ‘Born and Raised in Port Augusta, especially Ummeewarra Reserve when segregation was still the political vogue, But Not My Country.

So I try my hardest to make time to go back to Country – to visit my Ancient Lands, Waters and Family.

I recently made this quote up mainly for my Grandfather’s mob, Adnyamathanha Yura of the Northern Flinders Ranges, but it could also be relevant to others:

Those who lose our Mudha (general traditions) are lost in the thorny wilderness of the Utnyu (corpse, Europeans) and they must return to our Yarta (Lands), take off their shoes so that their bare feet can touch our Yarta so that the Spiritual Engery of our Yarta can once again flow through them and they can be renewed. They must wash their face in the Awi (waters) of our Yarta so that their physical self can also be cleansed.

If you live and work away from your Ancient Lands and Water then simply make similiar connections to the Lands and Waters you may live and work on, or simply sit yourself under an unshaded tree at Sunrise or early morning light, close your eyes, and listen – listen to the wind as it rustles through the leaves and feel it flow through and around you. Listen to the first sounds and calls of the birds as they awake and sing to the dawning of a new day – Let the morning rays of Yundu (the sun) energise you by turning your face upwards towards it with closed eyes – and just be be still and silent.

I do this every morning now and it refreshes and empowers me for the day ahead.

A second but still relevant thought I think….

You know every NAIDOC Day here in Port Augusta I try to always be there with my camera to capture for all time the moments and memories of the day, especially, the Award Ceremony and their Recipiants, but after I take such Award shots I then often look around the crowd for other shots to take, and what do I see?

I see many of our unsung community heros sitting and standing admidst the crowded sea of faces, especially some of our old Elders, many now in their wheel chairs or with their walking canes, who had to fight for our Aboriginal Rights at a time when it was not so politically, socially or legally acceptable to do so.

I see some of our young people sitting or standing nearby some of our Elderly unsung Heroes, and think to myself, little do they know they are nearby some of the Giants of our community – the ones who did the hard yakka and work to ensure we, they, can now sit and stand in this public place to celebrate and march down the streets where we were once not permitted to even walk, let alone march, because they knocked and tore down the physical and invisible political walls that once segregated and oppressed our Peoples.

One day some of us may become like these, our Elders, but we should always feel honoured for we will be joining a long list of many of our unsung genuine respected Aboriginal Heroes and Giants.

Part 1: The Australian Aboriginal Mother Earth Theory and Belief Questioned and Debunked

Posted in Aboriginal, Adnyamathanha Yura Culture, culture, Dreaming, Dreamtime, mudha, My Beliefs, My Writings, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on August 14, 2009 by marvynmc
This may be prove to be a wee bit controversial…but nevertheless he goes…

I personally believe that the often accepted Australian Aboriginal Mother Earth Theory, Concept and Belief is an introduced or borrowed doctrine and belief from other Peoples of the World and has no foundation or basis within our Ancient Australian Aboriginal Culture and Peoples.

What do you think?

Mother Earth
Theory & Belief
Who among us has not heard of this following often quoted saying and belief which is usually attributed to an Aboriginal person having once said it:
“We don’t own the land, the land owns us.

The Land is my mother, my mother is the land.

Land is the starting point to where it all began.

It is like picking up a piece of dirt and saying this is where I started and this is where I will go.

The land is our food, our culture, our spirit and identity.

We don’t have boundaries like fences, as farmers do. We have spiritual connections.

To Indigenous people land is not just something that they can own or trade. Land has a spiritual value.”

I have a lot of issues and concerns about some of the above statements and I personally no longer believe some of them to be true beliefs and statements from both an Adnyamathanha Ararru Mathari Yura Mudha (laws, customs, traditions etc) and Ngarrindjeri Aboriginal Cultural Perspective, Belief and Ancient Traditions.

For the purpose of this note I will mainly address my concerns and issues about The Land is My Mother, My Mother is the Land statement from an Adnyamathanha Yura cultural perspective, and will address some of the others in later notes

If any of my Ngarrindjeri Family Members know of any such Ngarrindjeri story or belief that we Ngarrindjeri believe the land is our mother, then please enlighten me.

The simple question I got is this:

“Who said this?”

Because for the life of me I cannot find or identify who actually said these often quoted words and beliefs.

Did an Australian Aboriginal truly say these words and believe that the Earth is Our Mother or was it said or even, as per usual, misunderstood and mistranslated by whitefellas?

Do some of my fellow Australian Aboriginal people actually believe in the Mother Earth Theory and Belief or is it something that has been introduced into our Peoples Cultural Collective Consciousness by some outsiders, that is whitefellas?

I really do believe that the land is our mother belief is actually an introduced or borrowed belief and concept from outside of Australia because many other People in the World had/have this belief in their cultures, but I personally believe we Australian Aboriginal Peoples had no such belief or concept that the land is our mother.

But I am to first to say, that I will freely stand up to be publicly rebuked and corrected if some of my Fellow Australian Aboriginals do actually believe in this belief and concept that the land is indeed their mother

If some of our fellow Australian Aboriginals do indeed have this Ancient Belief within their Culture can you then help me by identifying which Aboriginal Language Group they are?

Do any of you know? If so, then please enlighten me by letting me know or sending such information and answers to me?

The reasons why I must question and even debunk the ‘Land is Our Mother’ Theory and Belief are as follows:

Adnyamathanha Ararru Mathari Yura Mudha Aboriginal Cultural Perspective, Belief and Ancient Traditions

No where in our Ancient Adnyamathanha Ararru Mathari Yura Mudha can I find any proof or foundation for the theory and belief that the Land is Our Mother.

We have no such word, cultural concept or belief that the land is our mother in our Yura Ngawarla Language.

The Yura Ngawarla Word we have for Mother is Ngami meaning ‘Mother’s Breast’.

The Yura Ngawarla Word we have for Earth is Yurra meaning ‘dirt, earth’.

I have recently noted in a newer 2000 Adnyamathanha Yura Ngawarla Dictionary that the Ancient word Yarta is now being translated as the only word meaning ‘dirt, Earth’ and that the much more ancient word of Yurra is no longer even listed or mentioned now.

The Ancient Yura Ngawarla word Yurra is listed and mentioned in the Yura Ngawarla Dictionary that was done by John McIntee and Aunty Pearl McKenzie (nee Wilton) in 1992, which they had started compiling at least twenty years earlier in the 1970’s, a time when many of our Elder Lawmen and Women were still living then, and some who even helped and advised them.

Yarta is translated as meaning ‘country, place, ground, land, dirt’ and now also being translated as ‘earth’.

I have also noted that the word Yura is still being translated as meaning Aboriginal Man/people whereas, and I suppose this may well now be just my own individual personal translation and belief, I often translate the word Yura as meaning ‘of the earth, People’.

There is also a Yura Ngawarla word Yarta Naku- which means ‘to be born’.

The reason why I translate Yura as meaning ‘of the Earth’ and not man is that Yura Ngawarla word for man is ‘Miru’, but this Ancient word for man is hardly ever used now days, and in it’s place the word Yura has now become the more common place and accepted Yura Ngawarla word that now means Aboriginal Man/people.

But I am becoming sidetracked again…so back to the topic and issue at hand, but in a way still relevant to what I have said about the word Yurra and Yura….

Now if we Adnyamathanha Yura believed that the land is our mother then you would think we would have at least a word in our Yura Ngawarla language for it, dont you?

Well truth be told we have no such word, concept or belief in our Adnyamathanha Yura Mudha nor do we have any such story or belief in our Ancient Nguthuna (the Creation Period Time of our ancestral Spirit Beings, Whitefella English words I hate: dreaming, dreamtime)

Hmmm…do not want to become sidetracked again but this is interesting to note and very relevent to our future Adnyamathanha Yura Culture and Descendents.

I have noted that the in the 2000 Adnyamathanha Yurra Dictionary that this Yura Ngawarla word Nguthuna is now also being defined as meaning ‘God’, thus the introduced religion of Christianity is also beginning to affect even how we translate some of our Ancient words now days.

Language (and Culture) is a funny thing because it is actually a living breathing entity for we people speak it – words are added, words are discarded, outside influences creep in or translated in a different ways and meanings than previous earlier translations

Back to the issue at hand….

We have no such word or concept that the land is our mother in our Ancient Yura Nguthuna stories, teachings or traditions.

In the past six years in researching our Adnyamathanha Yura stories, culture and beliefs at no time have I heard or comes across any such Nguthuna story or belief that either clearly states or alludes to that the land is our mother.

If any of my Adnyamathanha Ararru Mathari Yura Ngankini know of one then please let me know?

Now I want to address this statement: Land is the starting point to where it all began

Do we Adnyamathanha Yura believe that the land is the starting point to where it all began?

No we do not believe in this, well at least I don’t. Why not?

Adnyamathanha Ararru Mathari Yura believe that the starting point and end point of our life is as follows:

We Adnyamathanha Yura believe our Life Cycle is Spiritual – Physical – Spiritual.

We Adnyamathanha Yura peoples of the Northern Flinders Ranges have a very strong connection to the heavenly bodies above us as our life cycle is Spiritual – Physical – Spiritual…and out the end of our life we return to our heavenly abode which we call Wikurtanha.

Wikurtanha (Adnyamathanha Yura ancient concept of Heaven) and Muri – our first Spiritual Existence

Our Spiritual existence begins in Wikurtanha, our ancient concept of heaven, where we are created by our two spiritual Ngami (Mothers) known as the Maudlangami. The two Maudlangami are the source of all life and like us they are Ararru and Mathari and they each produce us as spirit children of their own moeity and kinship totems, and in this spiritual existence we are called Muri.

As Muri we are then told by our Maudlangami to come down to the world beneath to find a suitable Ngami (Mother) to be physically born to. As Muri we are always on the look-out for pleasent faced and kindly Ngami and whilst we are looking for such Ngami we spend our days seeking food from the gum blossoms andat night we fall asleep under the loose bark of tree trunks, and this goes on until we find a suitable Ngami…then we are born physically into the World.

Yarta (land, world) – Our Physical Existence

When we are physically born into the world we then become known as Yura which means ‘of the Earth’ as the word Yura is derived from the word ‘yurra’ which means ‘dirt,earth’.

As we are born physically into the Yarta (Land, world) we are given birth order names to signify our order of birth and we are also given a totem name as well as another additional name that today is often called a nick name, in order to differentiate us from others who may also bear the same birth order names as ourselves.

Our ‘nick names’ may be based on our appearence or a personal characteristic we may show or have, or something we have done or which has happened to us.

Wannapi – our return to our Spiritual Existence

When we die our physical body is placed within a Warlikari (grave) and three days later our Wannapi (Spirit) rises up from the Warlikari and we return to our Spiritual existence and travel back to reside once again in Wikurtanha from whence we first came.

The colour of our Wannapi is white.

Our Wannapi Spiritual journey back to Wikurtanha is via the Vukarnawi (water of the dead) which is the side long view of Wali Vari (lit ‘wriggling creek’; the Milky Way Galaxy) and which flows into Wildu Manta-awi (Wedge-tail Eagle Feet/Claw, Southern Cross).

It is here in Vukarnawi that our Wannapi is captured by the Wildu Mant-awi and our Wannapi is then dipped and cleansed by it in the awi (water) of Vurkanawi in order to wash away any pollution we may have picked up and brought with us from the Yarta (Land. World). Once cleased the Wildu Manta-awi then drags us through to Wikurtanha where we join up with all our Wardumathanha Ngakini (Ancestral Family).

Unlike the heaven of Christianity our Wannapi can travel to and from Wikurtanha so that we may check up on our peoples and descendants every now and then.

Now no where in this life cycle were we ever told that the land is our mother or that the land is the starting point to where it all began.

Well I stop here as a lot of information, as per usual, for you to read and contemplate on, but in closing I again make the statement:

I personally believe that the often accepted Australian Aboriginal Mother Earth Theory, Concept and Belief is an introduced or borrowed doctrine and belief from other Peoples of the World and has no foundation or basis within our Ancient australian Aboriginal Culture and Peoples.

What do you think?

Aboriginalism Art Manisfesto

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on August 12, 2009 by marvynmc
Shattered Misconceptions
© 2008 Walha Udi Marvyn McKenzie  Snr
Aboriginalism Art is the name I recently coined to newly define and integrate the many styles and forms of traditional and contemporary Aboriginal Art into one art form and movement.

Aboriginalism Art is an avant-garde cultural art movement where artistic cultural expression individualism and diversity shall prevail.

Aboriginalism Art will challenge and transform the wider community perception and beliefs of what constitutes ‘Genuine Aboriginal Art.’

Aboriginalism Art goal is to develop, to experiment and to evolve new forms, styles and methods of artistic Aboriginal cultural expressions.

Aboriginalism Art will assist us to evolve further as a people and a race – both individually and as a group.

Aboriginalism Art will contest the many modern purists who say that if our art form and style doesn’t contain the Spirituality of Aborigines, it is not true Aboriginal Art.

What then is the Spirituality of Aborigines that these often White Australian modern purists will need to see contained in our Art works before they will fully accept our many types, forms and styles of non-traditional art work as true Aboriginal Art?

With our enthusiastic adherence to Aboriginalism Art, we will:

  • Destroy the cult of the past, the obsession for Aboriginal Art to be only based on our ancient traditional culture and art forms, pedantry and academic formalism.
  • Totally invalidate all kinds of externally imposed traditional cultural artistic conformity.
  • Elevate all attempts at originality, however daring and however non-traditional.
  • Bear bravely and proudly the smear of “non-traditionalist” with which they will use to try to gag all remote, regional and urban Aboriginalism Art innovators.
  • Regard art critics as useless for they critique our cultural artistic expressions and evolution through cultural ignorant foggy glasses.
  • Rebel against the tyranny of the word: “traditional” and other loose expressions which can be used to destroy the evolutionary innovated works of Aboriginalism Art.
  • We will fully accept, respect and support one another.

If you are a practicing Australian Aboriginalism Artist then please take a moment to write and record what art forms you currently do.

By adding and recording this information we can begin to form a clear picture of the many art forms Australian Aboriginalism Artist practice.

Other non-Aboriginalism Artists are also welcome to add their art forms, medium and styles so we can get an idea what art is being practiced in other parts of Australia and the world.

Invite other people and groups to join Aboriginalism Art Group at:

http://www.facebook.com/inbox/readmessage.php?t=1098131176042&f=1&e=0#/group.php?gid=52646120732

Part 2: How do we save Aboriginal people these days from self-pity?

Posted in Aboriginal with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 8, 2009 by marvynmc
How do we save people these days from self-pity and discouragement and suicide here in Port Augusta? It seems easy to blame others, but what can we do to change things?
Part 1 of this note basically said:
  • ‘erase the word self-pity from your mind’
  • that there are reasons why Aboriginal Peoples feel the way they do
  • it is often very difficult for Non-Aboriginal people to have empathy with Aboriginal Peoples because they have never experienced some of the issues and problems we Aboriginal people often have to face each day.
  • also the first note highlighted that we Aboriginal people have only had relatively 42 years of freedom to develop freely again has a race and people, though we are fully aware that for every step forward we often take five steps back.
  • whilst for some Christianity (or any religion for that matter) can be useful today it faithful followers need to be ever mindful that in the past religion was often used to oppress and strip away a great part of Aboriginal culture and identity.

By me saying all this let me make one thing very very clear – this does not mean that we Aboriginal people can then merely sit down on our backsides forever pointing our finger at the whitefellas and blaming them, for when we point our finger at them we must always remember that there are always three fingers pointing back out us.

So now having said all that, I want to actually re-phrase the original question by turning:

How do we save people these days from self-pity and discouragement and suicide here in Port Augusta? It seems easy to blame others, but what can we do to change things?

INTO

How do we teach people to take some personal responsibility for their lot in life and how to encourage them to turn their lives around, especially those people who may be abusing substances or even contemplating suicide?

I like this quote:

I’ve learned that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.

Personal Responsibility is acknowledging and accepting the fact that You, and only You, are the only one answerable to the outcome of Your life. Taking personal responsibility means to accept the consequences of Your life as a result of Your actions and inactions.

At the end of the day You are ultimately responsible for everything around You. You are in full control of what happens and what your reaction would be. There is no one to blame except for yourself.

 
What the Above Poster Say is This
It seems easier to defend actions than to honestly examine them. We are quicker to attack than admit. Admission requires courage! When we summon the courage to take ownership of our experiences to see them just as they are, to feel them, we will recover the blueprints of  our lives. We will face our fears and find the transparent beliefs that create them. Becoming more honest with ourselves means introducing more honesty into the collective conciousness of the world, and this lays a foundation upon which an elightened planetary civilisation can be built
 
I like this story
 
One day a high-school philosophy teacher first approached a student with this idea, that at the end of the day You are ultimately responsible for everything around You. You are in full control of what happens and what your reaction would be. There is no one to blame except for yourself.

The student answered:

“Bullshit. How am I supposed to be responsible for everything? What if you throw a book at me and I have to go to the hospital? How is being hit with a book my responsibility?”

The high-school philosophy teacher resonded with a grin and said:

“You should have moved”.

Because our people have only recently been released from the 179 years of the burdensome yoke of opression they often still feel its invisible weight upon their shoulders, minds and perceptions.

Some fall into bad behaviour by abusing drugs and alcohol to take away their pains and heartache but in the end such bad behaviour ultimately can lead to death and oblivion.

Others have come through stronger and more wiser from their many trials and tribulations and it is often only these Aboriginal People who can help other Aboriginal People to hopefully overcome their own trials and tribulations for they can truly have empathy for their Brothers and Sisters.

Some times we Aboriginal Peoples still often need the help, assistance, experience, knowledge and friendship of our Fellow White Australians to help us make it through, but that does not mean we should then sit idly by and let them do all the work – in fact we must be the ones to get up and lead the way for both our Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Brothers and Sisters to follow.

We must take personal responsibility not only for ourselves; we must also take personal responsibility for our children/grand-children, our Familys, our Communities and any White Australian Brother and Sister who may want to help us .

Such personal responsibility is often hard work, with long hours and with limited rewards and recognition.

Some times you will be often knocked flat by the very People You are trying to help, by Your own Family and even white fellas – but never give up, when knocked flat to the ground, dust yourself off, pick yourself up from the ground, and go into the fray again and again.

But do not burn yourself out – always have an outlet and periods of rest and relaxation away from it all and recharge your batteries – for if you cannot look after yourself how can you ever hope to look after others…