In 1966 Linguist Prithvindra Chakravarti came to Warumungu country to meet local people and study Warumungu language. Funded by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies (AIAS, now AIATSIS), Chakravarti made audio recordings of Apparr (language) and Winkarra (dreaming, stories, and law), helping to preserve the language and culture of the Warumungu people.
In 2018, linguists Rosemary Plummer, Sandra Morrison, and Dr Samantha Disbray and artists Heather Anderson, S Nakamarra Nelson, G Napurrurla Anderson, Lindy Brodie, Penny Kelly and Joseph Williams collaborated to produce the Ankkinyi Apparr, Ankkinyi Mangurr collection (Our Language, Our Designs).
Artists listened to the recordings made by Chakravariti and responded with paintings, developing the Ankkinyi Apparr, Ankkinyi Mangurr collection over two years. The collection features work depicting ancestral stories, traditional healing, whitefellas arrival, and station life.
Ankkinyi Apparr, Ankkinyi Mangurr was unveiled at the Art Gallery of South Australia’s Tarnanthi Festival and subsequently exhibited at Nyinkka Nyunyu Art and Culture Centre.
Barkly Regional Arts is proud to announce that in 2023, Ankkinyi Apparr Ankkinyi Mangurr collection was acquired by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS). AIATSIS is the only national institution focused exclusively on the diverse histories and cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, telling the stories of Indigenous Australia.
“The recordings made by Chakravarti make Warumungu people stronger, they help us to speak Warumungu. I’ve learnt from the recordings, and so can other people,” says Warumungu linguist Rosemary Plummer. “Warumungu language is spoken differently today. If we didn’t have recordings from fifty or sixty years ago, we wouldn’t have the knowledge of the language that we do or understand its structure in the same way. These recordings are very important.”
“The Ankkinyi Apparr, Ankkinyi Mangurr collection is rich, the artworks are outstanding, they help people better understand Warumungu ways, and they help connect people to Warumungu language, and culture,” says Rosemary. “We are very excited that Ankkinyi Apparr, Ankkinyi Mangurr will become part of the AIATSIS collection.”
“We are thrilled that Ankkinyi Apparr, Ankkinyi Mangurr will become part of AIATSIS’ collection. This collection of paintings sharing cultural and historical stories celebrates AIATSIS’ legacy in facilitating cultural resurgence and preserving language. We hope this collection will continue this legacy and help tell the story of Warumungu people for future generations,’ says Craig Ritchie, CEO of AIATSIS.