Singing the land, singing the family: Song, place and spirituality amongst the yanyuwa

John Bradley, Elizabeth Mackinlay

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Otherpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter discusses the ways in which the performance genres of kujika and walaba and a-kurija are implicitly embedded with place and spirituality through analysis of Yanyuwa song texts. An important identifying characteristic of walaba and a-kurija compositions are the subject matter of song texts The chapter argues that not only are kujika tied to place, but songs historically positioned outside the realm of the sacred, those composed by human beings termed walaba and a-kurija, are also strongly embedded with an engagement and enactment of relationships with place. Yanyuwa people and culture are located, before a discussion of the interrelationship of Yanyuwa concepts about music, place and spirituality through lived engagement and constant negotiation with memory and country. The appearance of specific and non-specific places, notions of place and attachment to place within the song texts of walaba and a-kurija play an important role in naming, knowing and remembering country in this unrestricted performance genre.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Soundscapes of Australia
Subtitle of host publicationMusic, Place and Spirituality
EditorsFiona Richards
Place of PublicationAbingdon Oxon UK
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781351218177
ISBN (Print)0754640728, 9780754640721
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018

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