Lirrwi

East Arnhem Land, Yolŋu Land

East Arnhem Land, Yolŋu Land

The air is warm, the crescent beach is lined azure water and scattered with palm trees and a few dwellings. Timmy, the Traditional Owner of the land is smacking together his clapsticks and Uncle is playing the Didgeridoo as I watch the last light of the day sink below the islands dotting the horizon and begin to notice the heat from the fire as it licks my face.

We learn of skin names and of the Dhuwa and the Yirritja moieties and the yin and the yang of Yolngu culture. All the while, a saltwater crocodile named Nike lingers in the shore, he is a part of the family; everything is equal and balanced here in Bawaka homeland.

 

I laid down on my back and stared at the velvet sky of stars - observing and listening, into the dark night. I know that my time in East Arnhem Land with Lirrwi will stay with me for many years to come.


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