The Yirrkala Film Project
Documenting the Lives of Aboroginal Australians

The Yirrkala Film Project - Documenting the Lives of Aboroginal Australians
Show More

20 videos in this collection

Madarrpa Funeral at Gurka’wuy
In 1976, Ian Dunlop was invited by Dundiwuy Wanambi, a leader of the Marrakulu clan, to Gurka'wuy on Trial Bay in the Gulf of Carpentaria. He wanted Film Australia to…
Narritjin at Djarrakpi
In 1974, Narritjin Maymuru and his family are establishing a small settlement at Djarrakpi, an important Manggalili clan site on the northern head of Blue Mud Bay in the Northern…
My Country, Djarrakpi
Paintings, together with their related songs, dances and ritual events, form an integral part of the religious life of the Yolngu people of Northeast Arnhem Land. Every painting or design…
Narritjin in Canberra
In 1978 Narritjin Maymuru and his son Banapana were awarded fellowships as Visiting Artists to the Faculty of Arts at the Australian National University in Canberra. For three months they…
At the Canoe Camp
Narritjin Maymuru is leader of the Manggalili clan of northeast Arnhem Land. Filmed in 1971, this documentary shows the daily life of Narritjin and his family at a camp in…
In Memory of Mawalan
In 1971 Wandjuk Marika organised a Djang'kawu ceremony at Yirrkala. It was to be a memorial for his father, Mawalan, who died in 1967. Mawalan had been the highly respected…
We are the Landowner...That’s Why We’re Here
One of the most positive aspects of traditional Aboriginal Australia today is the outstation or clan homeland movement. Throughout central and northern Australia, groups have left the large centralised government…
We Believe in It...We Know It’s True
When built in the 1960s, the mining town of Nhulunbuy had an instant population of about 4000, making it one of the largest towns in the Northern Territory. With the…
One Man’s Response
This film records the reaction of one clan leader, Narritjin Maymuru, to the coming of the Gove bauxite mine. In mid-1971 Narritjin held a mortuary ceremony at Yirrkala in memory…
Pain for This Land
In 1970 Ian Dunlop began a long-term film project with the Yolngu of Yirrkala for Film Australia. Pain for This Land is a general introduction to the Yirrkala Film Project.…
This Is My Thinking
Daymbalipu Mununggurr was one of the most respected and influential leaders of the Yirrkala Aboriginal community. This film deals with his concerns during the tumultuous years when the Nabalco bauxite…
Conversations with Dundiwuy Wanambi
This is a personal film about Dundiwuy Wanambi over the years that Ian Dunlop knew and worked with him. It is made up mainly of interviews filmed with Dundiwuy at…
Dundiwuy’s House Opening
For several months in 1971 Dundiwuy Wanambi and his wife, Gunapa, were living in a temporary shade at Yirrkala. They were awaiting the ritual cleansing and opening of their house.…
Purification Ceremony - Caledon Bay 1971
The Djapu clan has always had strong links with Caledon Bay, some 70 kilometres south of Yirrkala. In 1971 they gathered here to plan the building of a major homeland…
From A Long Time Ago - Hollow Log Painting
Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, Macassan traders visited the north coast of Australia. They came to collect and process trepang, or sea cucumber, which they traded mainly to China.…
Marrakulu Funeral - Yirrkala 1974
This film is a record of the funeral ceremony for a Marrakulu clan leader at Yirrkala in 1974. Through Marrakulu, Rirratjingu and Djapu clan songs and dances the body of…
Singing in the Rain - Yirrkala in 1974
1974 was a troubled time for the Yirrkala community. The Gove bauxite mine, on its doorstep, had been operating for four years. The effects of alcohol, from the newly built…
Hard Time Now...For the Children
Narritjin Maymuru, leader of the Manggalili clan, was one of the people Ian Dunlop worked with most closely during his long term film project at Yirrkala. This is a personal…
Dhapi Ceremony at Yirrkala - 1972
This is an archival record film of a circumcision ceremony at Yirrkala in 1972. On many occasions over the three weeks prior to the main ceremony the boys to be…
Baniyala
An archival record film of life at the small Madarrpa clan settlement of Baniyala on Blue Mud Bay, some 200 kilometres south of Yirrkala. The film is in two parts.…

Related videos

Marrakulu Funeral - Yirrkala 1974
Part of the Series: The Yirrkala Film Project
This film is a record of the funeral ceremony for a Marrakulu clan leader at Yirrkala in 1974. Through Marrakulu, Rirratjingu and Djapu clan songs and dances the body of the leader is taken on both a spiritual journey to his clan lands and a physical journey from the hospital…
Singing in the Rain - Yirrkala in 1974
Part of the Series: The Yirrkala Film Project
1974 was a troubled time for the Yirrkala community. The Gove bauxite mine, on its doorstep, had been operating for four years. The effects of alcohol, from the newly built mining town of Nhulunbuy, were causing grave concern to the Yirrkala leaders. There was, we are told, a breakdown in…
Dhapi Ceremony at Yirrkala - 1972
Part of the Series: The Yirrkala Film Project
This is an archival record film of a circumcision ceremony at Yirrkala in 1972. On many occasions over the three weeks prior to the main ceremony the boys to be circumcised are sung over and beautifully painted with clan designs. As the final day approaches the paintings become ever more…
The Dreaming Series 1
The Dreaming is an award winning animation series recommended by educational institutions throughout Australia. There are 6 parts to the complete series, and each looks at unique indigenous stories, beautifully animated by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists. The stories tell us things about the land, animals and birds, the…
Mabo - Life of an Island Man
Mabo - Life of an Island Man is the story of a small island and an extraordinary man. Eddie Koiki Mabo was born on Murray Island in the Torres Strait, but lived most of his life in exile. Only after his death did the island wholeheartedly welcome him home. By…
Babakiueria
Imagine what it would be like if black settlers arrived to settle a continent inhabited by white natives? In 1788, the first white settlers arrived in Botany Bay to begin the process of white colonisation of Australia. But in Babakiueria, the roles are reversed in a delightful and light-hearted look…
The 1905 Act and Personal Experiences
All other ECU programs are available on Kanopy Streaming. This program is intended as an introduction to Aboriginal culture, the experience of invasion and colonisation and the ongoing struggle of Aboriginal people to maintain their identity as the first people of this land. Against a backdrop of the account of…
Madarrpa Funeral at Gurka’wuy
Part of the Series: The Yirrkala Film Project
In 1976, Ian Dunlop was invited by Dundiwuy Wanambi, a leader of the Marrakulu clan, to Gurka'wuy on Trial Bay in the Gulf of Carpentaria. He wanted Film Australia to record the first major Marrakulu ceremony to be held at Gurka'wuy since its recent establishment as a clan settlement. While…
Narritjin at Djarrakpi
In 1974, Narritjin Maymuru and his family are establishing a small settlement at Djarrakpi, an important Manggalili clan site on the northern head of Blue Mud Bay in the Northern Territory.
My Country, Djarrakpi
Part of the Series: The Yirrkala Film Project
Paintings, together with their related songs, dances and ritual events, form an integral part of the religious life of the Yolngu people of Northeast Arnhem Land. Every painting or design is owned by a particular clan. Every painting tells of events in a clan's Ancestral Past, when the present order…
Narritjin in Canberra
Part of the Series: The Yirrkala Film Project
In 1978 Narritjin Maymuru and his son Banapana were awarded fellowships as Visiting Artists to the Faculty of Arts at the Australian National University in Canberra. For three months they and their families worked in their campus studio. In the film, Narritjin conducts a seminar for anthropology students. He explains…
At the Canoe Camp
Part of the Series: The Yirrkala Film Project
Narritjin Maymuru is leader of the Manggalili clan of northeast Arnhem Land. Filmed in 1971, this documentary shows the daily life of Narritjin and his family at a camp in the bush where Narritjin and other senior men are making dug-out canoes. It is a few miles from Yirrkala Mission,…