A rare opportunity to connect with the living tradition of women’s songlines, as recounted by Yolngu women from far north Australia.
Aboriginal Australian cultures are the oldest living cultures on earth and at the heart of Aboriginal cultures is song. These ancient narratives of landscape have often been described as a means of navigating across vast distances without a map, but they are much, much more than this. Songspirals are sung by Aboriginal people to awaken Country, to make and remake the life-giving connections between people and place. Songspirals are radically different ways of understanding the relationship people can have with the landscape.
For Yolngu people from North East Arnhem Land, women and men play different roles in bringing songlines to life, yet the vast majority of what has been published is about men’s place in songlines. Songspirals is a rare opportunity for outsiders to experience Aboriginal women’s role in crying the songlines in a very authentic and direct form.
‘Songspirals are Life. These are cultural words from wise women. As an Aboriginal woman this is profound to learn. As a human being Songspirals is an absolute privilege to read.’ – Ali Cobby Eckermann, Yankunytjatjara poet
‘To read Songspirals is to change the way you see, think and feel this country.’ – Clare Wright, award-winning historian and author
‘A rare and intimate window into traditional women’s cultural life and their visceral connection to Country. A generous invitation for the rest of us.’ – Kerry O’Brien, Walkley Award-winning journalist
Published: 5 Aug 2019
Format: Paperback, 336pp
Category: Indigenous Writers & Oral Histories