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Raymattja Marika Raymattja Marika i(A128159 works by) (a.k.a. Gunutjpitt Gunuwanga)
Born: Established: ca. 1959 ; Died: Ceased: 11 May 2008 Yirrkala, Gove Peninsula, East Arnhem Land, Arnhem Land, Top End, Northern Territory,
Gender: Female
Heritage: Aboriginal ; Aboriginal Yolngu
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Marika was a linguist and educator belonging to the Rirratjingu people in Arnhem Land. She understood all fourteen clan languages of the Rirratjingu people and spoke three of them fluently. In 2006, Marika was awarded the Northern Territory's Territorian of the Year and Australian of the Year Award for her contributions to Indigenous education, teacher training, two-way education strategies, combining western and Indigenous knowledge and reconciliation. She was the niece of Wandjuk Marika.

In her 1998 Wentworth Lecture she said:
'My name is Raymattja. My surname is Marika. My other name, my deep name, is Gunutjpitt
Gunuwanga. This name links me to my land, to my religious aspect of the land. It defines where I come from, who I am, and with this language, the Rom that the Elders taught over many years and centuries, this is continuing in our community.
'Yolngu people have learnt this Rom for years, through dilak, the Elders, teaching them, and we have been learning this through our fathers and through our elders. Those rules and the language that they have been teaching us are our own language, teaching through songs, manikay, through wänga, land, and through singing, or songs that women use for crying.'
Source: Australian Aboriginal Studies No.1, 1999

Most Referenced Works

Personal Awards

2007 state finalist Australian of the Year Northern Territory
Last amended 11 Jul 2017 11:00:28
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