Marrin Gamu Indigenous Language Song Competition.

Posted on 30 May 2019
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Marrin Gamu website




Marrin Gamu website



In 2019, First Languages Australia will be hosting the Marrin Gamu Indigenous Language Song Competition.



The rules are fairly straightforward:



  1. Sing a song in the traditional language of your area!



First Languages Australia are inviting schools to work with their local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community to translate the Marrin Gamu song into the first language of their area. Community members include Elders, language speakers, custodians as well as community groups who may be working with language in you school-community.


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Recording a Marrin Gamu entry.




Recording a Marrin Gamu entry.



The title Marrin Gamu combines the word for body in two of the languages in the film clip:



Marrin – Wiradjuri (NSW)



Gamu – Kalaw Kawaw Ya (Torres Strait)


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Marrin Gamu lyrics.




Marrin Gamu lyrics.



There are two ways for students to participate in Marrin Gamu, either as part of an existing Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander language program, or as mainstream classroom activities. This simple yet effective idea explores the concept of 'many languages, one song' through local language words for parts of the body. The Marrin Gamu competition is also a great way for schools to connect with their local Indigenous community


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Murrin Gamu music score.




Murrin Gamu music score.



The Marrin Gamu website provides ideas and resources for teachers and schools to get them working with their local community; including lots of ideas around creating your song and making a video clip to enter the competition.


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Filming a performance: Marrin Gamu website.



Filming a performance: Marrin Gamu website.



Schools are encouraged to utilise local language resources, such as Language Centres, Community Organisations or Indigenous Knowledge Centres (IKCs).



The State Library has a range of wordlists that can assist school-communities in developing their local song. These lists of words include parts of the body for a number of Queensland's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages.



For further details on Marrin Gamu and how to enter:





Entries close 30 August, so have fun making your video and good luck with your entry!



Desmond Crump



Indigenous Languages Coordinator, kuril dhagun



State Library of Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages webpages



State Library of Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages - Body Part wordlists



References and Further Reading



The following is a selection of language references, vocabularies, dictionaries, etc. from the State Library collections - explore One Search Catalogue for other items that may contain vocabularies or words for the different parts of the body from your local language.



Allan, J. and Lane, J. (2001) The language of the Wangerriburra and neighbouring groups in the Yugambeh regionP 499.15 all



Babia, M. and Day, E. (1989) Torres Strait Picture Dictionary. JUVQ 499.1503 tor



Breen, J. G. and Blake, B. (2007) The grammar of Yalarnnga: a language of western Queensland. J 499.152 BRE



Cape Treasures: Children from Cape York share stories. Online access via SLQ



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



Dixon, R. M. W. (1972) The Dyirbal language of north Queensland. G 499.15 1972



Dixon, R. M. W. (1977) A grammar of Yidin. G 499.155 1977



Edwards, R. (Ed) (2001) Dictionary of Torres Strait languages. Q 499.1503 RAY



Helon, G. (1994) The English-Goreng Goreng-English dictionary. G 499.15 1994



Minjerribah Moorgumpin Elders-in-Council Aboriginal Corporation (2011) Jandai language dictionary: a dictionary of language spoken on Stradbroke and Moreton Islands based on words remembered by all Elders and recorded by interested visitors to our shores. HKT 499.153 JAN



Patz, E. (2002) A grammar of the Kuku Yalanji language of North Queensland. J 499.15 PAT



Quinn, M. (1992) Djabugay: A Djabugay-English DictionaryP499.15 qui



Sharpe, M. (1998) Dictionary of Yugambeh, including neighbouring dialects, compiled by Margaret Sharpe from various sources. G 499.15 1998



Sutton, P. (1995) Wik-Ngathan dictionary. Q 499.15 SUT



Terrill, A. (1998) Biri. J 499.15 TER



Terrill, A. (2002) Dharumbal: the language of Rockhampton, Australia. Pacific Linguistics 525.  J 499.15 TER



Thancoupie (2007) Thanakupi’s guide to language and culture: a Thaynakwith dictionary. Q 305.899 THA



Walker, D. and Griffiths, L. (2011) Island treasures : Torres Strait children share stories. Collected by Dot Walker and Lynnette Griffiths for the State Library of Queensland. JUV A828.4 ISL



Watson, F. J. (1944) “Vocabularies of four representative tribes of South Eastern Queensland”; supplement to the Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of Australasia (Queensland), No. 34, Vol XLVIII. REFJ 499.15 wat


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