Skip to content

My happy place (Mali Djarrbal)

Published 06 Jun 2019 

Mali Djarrbal

Arafura Swamp Ranger

Djïḻpin uniη narrakuη marlukuη ga mar’muηukuη marrap uniη. Nyiri narraka ηaniwarrkuη.

Djïḻpin is my country. It is my country because it belonged to my father and my grandfather.

Mali Djarrbal at Djiḻpin (Goyder River), which flows to feed the Arafura Swamp and then the saltwater.Djïḻpin is the Goyder River, which flows to feed the Arafura Swamp and then the saltwater. If you bring your eyes and see what it looks like, you will feel the country with your mind and soul.

When I go there, I can feel the wind and I know the country is happy I am there. The country holds the song lines and relationships and when I go to Djïḻpin, my ancestors speak to me and give me dreams. Every year when I go there, it changes. When I walk on country, the country gives me more knowledge to understand.

When we go fishing, we say, “Guyu guwang ηowalayn gupurrui ηaniwalayn djiniη ηirriwaṯaηu ga djuηgayi ga wayirri waṯaηu,” which means ‘give us fish, we are the Traditional Owners and caretakers right here. Do not hide them from us.’

The women are very busy at Djïḻpin. We dive for djalagu (water yam), dig for buyumar (long yams) and make dilly bags and skirts from the inner-bark from the djirrparr (Kurrajong tree).

It takes us one week to make a special damper from cycad nuts called djakalangarr, we collect and prepare gunga (pandanus) leaves for weaving baskets and mats, cook traditionally in a djambal (bush oven) and teach everything to the kids for the future generations.

Bush Heritage supports the work of the Arafura Swamp Rangers through our Aboriginal Partnerships program.

More from BushTracks Winter 2019

BUSHTRACKS 06/06/2019

Fit for the future

In the face of climate change, keeping Bush Heritage’s Yourka Reserve healthy has never been more important. The fates of many species could rely on it.

Read More

BUSHTRACKS 06/06/2019

Museums of evolution

The artesian springs on Edgbaston Reserve are strongholds for ancient life, such as the world’s only population of the Red-finned Blue-eye fish. Thanks to a three-part conservation approach, their numbers are beginning to recover.

Read More

BUSHTRACKS 06/06/2019

Quoll refuge in the Kimberley

As Uunguu Rangers work to achieve the targets of their healthy country plan, they are also helping to maintain and improve habitat in one of Australia’s most important refuges, to the benefit of many animals.

Read More

BUSHTRACKS 06/06/2019

Sanctuary of solace

When award-winning author Nikki Gemmell visited Bush Heritage’s Liffey Valley reserves in Tasmania, she discovered a landscape where quietness reigns, far removed from her hometown of Sydney.

Read More
{{itemsInCart}} Items - {{formatCurrency(grandTotal)}}