Information Pages

Roots of our language

Didjurigura wugul banne bembulra Biiami Dharamullen

You will discover the meaning for the above quote as you venture into the spoken word list, Gai budyari-wa.

The clans of the Gubragal (Gobragal) around present day Liverpool were the people of the black duck 'Yurangai' and black swan Mulgu, taking their words from the voices and songs of both birds. For example, when the Mulgu was heard to swallow water they would release the sound Badu so it was that our word for water became Badu. A similar sound could be heard to issue forth when the Mulgu swallowed their food the sound Bada will be heard to resonate giving families of the Darugule/Dharawal/Yuin Kurik people of the land the word used for eating Bada.

Dharug which can also be spelt Dharukk, Dharoog, Dharrag, Dararrug including numerous other interpretations, came from the word for yam, which is Miginy. Dharug is the root or the Midyini of the languages of the Sydney basin. Burramattagal is where many of the sydney clans met during the afternoon Gumedah to share their catch. Numerous Darugule clans shared this territory during the invasion of (1770 B.P)

We are grateful to non-indigenous linguists. Nevertheless the original peoples of Australia have included years of their own research around the campfire to verify that these names for clans were a misconception and assigned by the academia of the period. The Darugule Iyura in particular are forever grateful to Sir William Dawes of the first fleet and flagship the Sirius for having the grace and intelligence of humanity to record the original traditional dalang (tongue) of the elder people of Sydney Darugule-wayun. He was excommunicated back to England as he was "fraternising with the enemy", an enemy that was for years after defined as flora and fauna.

It is widely known that the languages of the Sydney Iyura (Eora) were forbidden to be spoken by the traditional speakers of the clans. What is interesting to acknowledge is the ongoing myth that the languages have never been spoken since their demise (see Wikipedia: Sydney Languages). In fact there has been a numerous core group of descendants whom have kept the tongue alive during occupation.

If we learn from the lessons of the past we realise that this has happened often during occupation, as the Greek language suffered four hundred years of denial of continuity and any form of traditional cultural practices, and they were forbidden any form of communication and suppressed beneath the yoke of the invading Ottaman Empire. It would take years before they were allowed to speak in their own tongues. Similar persecution and denial of languages in Central America, some Mayan tribes still communicate in a dialect containing thirteen letters or sounds of their particular alphabet.

If we consider the Original languages of the Nations First Peoples of our continent we must admit that it has only been a mere two generations, that we had suffered the loss of the public use of our tongues, Dalang-bu.