2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages: Word of the Week - Week Forty-Three.
As part of State Library's commitment to the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages, we will be promoting a 'word of the week' from one of the 125+ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages and dialects from across Queensland.
This week's word is thirra from the Muruwari language of Western Queensland. It means 'song' and celebrates the tradition of song as a way to pass on cultural knowledge and stories.
Muruwari is also written as Murrawarri, Murra-warri, etc. was spoken on parts of the Guloga, Birrie and Bokhara Rivers taking in the area from Bourke and Brewarrina extending north towards Goodooga and Cunnamulla in Western Queensland. Muruwari is undergoing community language revival supported by several organisations, including Wonganurra Aboriginal Corporation and Pulkurru Aboriginal Corporation.
The above image shows a Muruwari rain song as recalled by Jimmie Barker to Janet Mathews. Jimmie indicated 'that Muruwari custom required that the oldest people sing this song'. A recording of the song and other language material is held at AIATSIS.
Join the conversation as we post a new word for each week!
Week Forty-Three 22-28 October 2019.
#slqIYIL #IYIL2019 #IYIL #IY2019WordoftheWeek #SLQIndigenousLanguages
Indigenous Languages Coordinator, State Library of Queensland
State Library of Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages Webpages
State Library of Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages Map
Jarjum stories: A kuril dhagun showcase focusing on children’s books and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages. 19 October 2019-10 May 2020.
Spoken: celebrating Queensland languages: A major exhibition exploring the survival and revival of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages throughout Queensland. Join in the many talks and events to celebrate the rich and diverse languages spoken today. Opens 21 November 2019-19 April 2020.
UN IY2019 Links
UN International Year of Indigenous Languages webpages
UN International Year of Indigenous Languages Resources
The word of the week has been sourced from the following item in the State Library collections.
Source: Breen, J.G. (1990) Salvage Studies of Western Queensland Aboriginal Languages. J 499.15 bre
Other materials in the State Library collections relating to Muruwari and neighbouring languages, include the following:
Barker, J. and Mathews, J. (1977) The two worlds of Jimmie Barker: the life of an Australian Aboriginal, 1900-1972, as told to Janet Mathews. J 572.9944 BAR
Byno, V. (1979) Muruwari alphabet book. P 428.6 byn
Curr, E. M. (1887) The Australian Race: its origins, languages, customs, place of landing in Australia and the routes by which it spread itself over that continent. RBF 572.994 cur
Tindale, N. B. (1974) Aboriginal Tribes of Australia: Their Terrain, Environmental Controls, Distribution, Limits and Proper Names. Q 994.0049915 tin
Wafer, J. and Lissarrague, A. (2008) A handbook of Aboriginal languages of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. J 499.15 WAF