Message from Margaret Kemarre Turner

“Apmereyanhe, our Language-Land, is like a root or a tie to us. It holds all of us. The only way that we can translate into English how we see our relationship with the Land is with the words ‘hold’ and ‘connect’. The roots of the country and its people are twined together. We are part of the Land. The Land is us, and we are the Land. That’s how we hold our Land.

And it’s really important for our kids to know why we want our Land to live on, to go back to. Because we’ve got a strong tie to it. It’s like a big twirl of string that holds us in there with our families. That’s where all our culture, and our names, our skin names come from. That’s why we hold a big treasure of Land for us. And we have a special name for that tie or string, it’s called utyerre.

Utyerre can be like utyerre-arle, you might say, “utyerrenge aweke”, “I’m hearing a message from that line.” And that utyerre means a telephone. And when he’s hearing on the telephone, that person can see – in his mind he knows it – what the line runs, they can see it, where the message’s coming from. Like a string. And utyerre also is like a vein, a vein in yourself and in your country.”

(Margaret Kemarre Turner, Iwenhe Tyerrtye)



(Photograph by Judith Crispin)

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