Bagirrbarra Song Analysis

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“Ingham-belonging to”

The focus of this essay is a song namely “Bagirrburra” created in modern times by Ashley Saltner and Jai Cummings in collaboration with Troy Wyles, an elder of Warrgamay clan. Warrgamay people have lived in areas surrounding Ingham and the Herbert River for centuries (Bottoms 2013, p. 192). The State Library of Queensland (2015) states “Warrgamay is spoken in North Queensland, particularly in the Cardwell region, as well as the Herbert River Catchment”. The song ‘Bagirrbarra’ is a song that is important to Warrgamay indigenous communities and used to educate non-indigenous audiences. The song, its music and performance communicate and signify belonging to the land and Indigenous identity. The contemporary song has been brought about to represent a story that portrays strong connection to one’s country, land and culture in a discourse of resistance. The roots of this song will be discussed further in the content of the essay. As well as valuable information gathered on the topic of the song, music and traditions by phone interviews conducted with Warrgamay people living throughout North Queensland. Erlmann (1996, cited in Fursich & Avant-Mier 2012, p. 102) discusses that “World music is a new aesthetic form of the global imagination, an emergent way of
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During this emotional time Warrgamay Elders T, Wyles & C, Wyles Jr recall the atmosphere when their people performed the song and danced. Bagirrburra performed brought pride and respect to self, the elders past and present, and to country (Telephone interview September 3rd, 2015). The contemporary song’s premier presented as a proof that the customs and Djinggarrabali (dreaming) were alive within the people. The process undertaken to produce such a meaningful song cemented the family group’s language, dreaming and cultural connections to

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