Adnyamathanha people’s Yura Ngawarla language revival


Wadu matyidi animation

Hi everyone,

This animation caught my attention since it was made by the members of an Indigenous Australian language rivival class. This class was started to pass down knowledge of the language and culture of the Adnyamathanha people of the Flinders ranges in South Australia. In 2007, there were only 20 fluent speakers of Yura Ngawarla, which meant the language was heading for language death. The Ngawarla classes run after school during school term and encourages people from all backgrounds to enrol. Hence this not only strenghens the Adnyamathanha community but also the community at large and surely revives the culture and language, instigating a special interest in children. This brings youth and elders together.  

This animation reveals the potential which youth hold in connecting with their heritage and reviving a language when given the opportunity and offered the knowledge. Using digital animation, the class and the producers prove the marriage between new technology and old knowledge can indeed help revive a language and connect youth to their heritage. ‘Wadu Matyidi’ is entirely in Yura Ngawarla and tells the story of 3 Adnyamathanha children’s way of life before the British Invasion. As one of the young actors explain, ‘this has helped them to understand the  Adnyamathanha world, past and present.’

P.s: Click on this link for another snippet of the animation Wadu matyidi animation 🙂

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4 Responses to Adnyamathanha people’s Yura Ngawarla language revival

  1. amelia says:

    What a cool project! Thanks heaps for sharing it!


  2. mfarre7 says:

    Thanks Doorush for bringing this project to our attention. As Amelia says, it’s cool.
    The children – and adults too – so obviously enjoyed working on their own animated language story. Through their participation they not only honed their language skills but they also gained valuable skills in technology: animation and adding a voice track too. The segment interviewing Aunty Lil showed that the older speakers fully support passing on their language and making it live.
    This was a good example of making language learning active and attractive and delivering a raft of cutting-edge technical skills as well. I was regretting that there were no sub-titles to the story, but the final vimeo clip showed that they had also utilsed sub-titles for their animation, thus adding a written skills component as well.

  3. kmacken2 says:

    This is wonderful

  4. dramkoos says:

    Thanks Amelia and Michelle 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed this post and found it interesting.

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