Marion Cheedy Yurala
Marion Cheedy Yurala

Yurala

Andrew McLellan, 13th November 2019
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In the Pilbara, the duties of a yurala are handed down from father to son through the generations, as they are called on to perform songs and dances to make it rain.

Ngaarda Media’s Marion Cheedy, tells the story of the last known rainmaker of the Yindijbarndi nation, who died of a broken heart following the construction of the Harding River Dam.

Produced by Marion Cheedy for Ngaarda Media, Roebourne.
Supervising Production by Tony Collins.
 

Broadcasting this on your station? Email crn@cbaa.org.au for audio and cue sheets.

My story is about a yurala - a rainmaker.

Long Mack, his skin colour banaga, who fought hard against the Western Australian Government of the time to stop the destruction of his cultural tharlu sites.

Unfortunately, his protest fell on deaf ears, the dam went ahead and the ancient tharlu sites were lost forever.

Marion Cheedy Yurala

IMAGE: Used with permission from the Juluwarlu Aboriginal Corporation.

The duties of a yurala is handed down from father to son and down through the generations.

They are called on to perform songs and dances to make rain and to know the Yindjibarndi culture.

He was born on Thuunggawarna Yindjibarndi country.

He was the Last known rainmaker for the nation of Yindjibarndi.

So, for thousands of years this cultural practise handed down from father to sons tragically ended when he died of a broken heart, caused primarily by the construction of the Harding River Dam over the traditional yurala-only sites.

- Marion Cheedy

This piece was made for the 2019 CBAA National Features & Documentary Series, a showcase of work by new and emerging Australian community radio producers, with training and mentoring provided by the Community and Media Training Organisation. The opinions expressed in National Features & Documentary Series content are those of the individual producers or their interviewees, and not necessarily shared by the CBAA or CMTO.

Produced with the assistance of the Department of Communications and the Arts via the Community Broadcasting Foundation.

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