Atunymanama by NPY Women’s Council
A new book by Anangu men sharing stories of care and hope for family and community
Atunymanama (AH-tuhn-mahn-ah-mah) celebrates Anangu men as care-givers, teachers and leaders in a stunning book of family portraits and personal stories.
Atunymanama is the latest offering from a group of Aboriginal men from the Ngaanyatjarra, Pitjantjatjara, Yankunytjatjara (NPY) lands in the remote central desert of Australia. The group are part of NPY Women’s Council’s Uti Kulintjaku Watiku (men’s) Project.
Atunymanama can be translated as ‘always keep looking after, protecting, keeping safe’(Pitjantjatjara). In their own words and languages, the men share what it is to care for their families and communities, and what it takes to nurture strong, caring young men and women, as Anangu have done across generations. Drawing upon the teachings of their elders, they recognise it is now their turn to teach and guide the next generation.
‘Our grandfathers left us with the responsibility of raising the next generation with the knowledge that they, and our own fathers, gave us. We are taking our place, teaching our sons and grandsons, our nieces and nephews, daughters and granddaughters as well.’ Stanley Windy Deeply concerned about the levels of family violence in their communities, women from the Uti Kulintjaku Project invited men to work alongside them to address family violence. Amplifying Anangu knowledge systems was key to finding transformative ways to address the complex and challenging issues involved in improving Anangu social, emotional, spiritual and physical well-being.
In making this book, the men wanted to leave a legacy for those coming after. ‘It is for people to have and read for when we are not here. In the future, I want my story to be there for the families to see us and who I am and what all us men were aiming for … We don’t want to hide these photos. We want to show the kids coming up behind and read it to them because we are role models and the storytellers for the future.’ Richard Kanari
Filled with heartfelt messages to their families, Atunymanama is a book of healing as well as hope for everyone. ‘If I was to give a message to my two sons, I think I’d say, “always be happy to look after all your families and keep them safe. If it’s hard, get back on your feet and keep going. Stay firm to keep your home strong. (Lloyd Wilyuka)
Publisher: NPY Womens Council
Published: 1 Sep 2023