MLT IN THE GAMMON RANGES

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Earlier this month MLT linguists Paul Monaghan and Bea Fagan ventured up to the Gammon Ranges to check in with Adnyamathanha Elder Terry Coulthard. We have been helping Uncle Terry with his decades-long effort to document his own knowledge of Adnyamathanha language and culture. Hopefully Uncle Terry will publish his work, with MLT assistance, in mid-2019. There is a strong demand for language and culture learning resources both within and outside Adnyamathanha communities.

Terry is a busy man. Along with his wife Josephine and elder brother Clifford, he runs Iga Warta, a cultural tourism enterprise that is nestled between Nepabunna Community and Mt Serle in the Gammon Ranges. From their rustic country huts and safari camping accommodation, the Coulthards run cultural tours presented in Yura Ngawarla (Adnyamathanha language) and English, describing local rock art and sacred sites and the Muda (dreaming stories and cultural law), which accompany the land that surrounds them. They share Adnyamathanha culture and knowledge with those who wish to visit Vulkathunha (Gammon Ranges) and learn more about its history.

Due to the full and varied work load at Iga Warta, everyone around contributes to running the Iga Warta experience. Paul and Bea put on some helping gloves to aid Josie and Terry in the many jobs which come up each day. This including collecting and chopping firewood and tracking down urdlu. We made the most of our time with Terry, which was often snatched between Terry’s many jobs, to better understand and clearly document Terry’s Adnyamathanha knowledge. We literally performed this work on the road as we could, bumping along with Terry, his wife Josie, and Josie’s sister Glenys, discussing Yura Ngawarla very much practising our ‘mobile’ linguistic skills. 

We very much enjoyed hanging out on country with Uncle Terry and his family and listening to the living language being rattled off amongst them. Being on country is the best way for us to engage with community on language projects as it inspires speakers and learners in their language maintenance efforts.

To know more about the Iga Warta Experience visit:
http://www.igawarta.com/index.html

To get in contact with the MLT in regard to Adnyamathanha Language projects contact Clayton Cruse on clayton.cruse@adelaide.edu.au

Will Fisher