Ngaya bana (My body)
1. In Australian languages you don’t possess your body parts – they are part of you, i.e. you say ‘I hand’, rather than ‘my hand’:
- Minya nhalay? – What’s this?
- Ngaya mara, ngaya buyu - I hand, I leg
- Nginda mara, nginda buyu – You (1 person) hand, you leg.
2. In Gamilaraay the pronoun usually goes second in a sentence, but with body parts (which have ngaya ‘I’ instead of ngay ‘my’) it goes first, i.e. Ngaya mara.
3. Extra background about some of the words:
- mara - hand, finger, five
- dhinawan - emu, ‘prominent feet’ (dhina – feet + -wan - prominent)
- dhina – foot/feet, footprint, tracks (for animals with feet), toe
- gawu - egg, brain; gawugaa - head, hair on head (probably from gawu+-ga ‘where the brain is’)
4. Extra cultural knowledge: The dictionary says, “In most Aboriginal societies the ear is seen as the instrument or seat of intelligence and perception.” In Gamilaraay (bina -> wina):
- Winanga-li – hear, listen/Winanga-y – understand, know, remember, think
- Binaal – well-behaved, well-mannered
4. A website explaining how emotions and body parts are often linked through metaphor in Australian languages is here: https://www.emotionlanguageaustralia.com/
We have resources for three songs here:
Words in Gamilaraay and English: Words_Bina-Mil_GR-and-English_APRIL2020-(4-verses).pdf
Backing track: Backing-track_Bina-Mil_(3-verses).mp3
(Roger Knox, 3 verses)
(Kelsey Strasek-Barker, 3 verses)
Body song (Marrin Gamu)
The words 'Marrin' and 'Gamu' mean 'body' in the Kalaw Kawaw Ya (Torres Strait) and Wiradjuri (NSW) languages,
as the title of a song created by First Languages Australia to translate and perform.
The information is at: http://marringamu.com.au/marringamu_resources/ The website includes examples, words, backing track, and sheet music
Heads, shoulders, knees, toes
Download the words in Gamilaraay and English: Words_Head-shoulders-knees-toes.pdf
We have updated our two posters, made with pictures of our children from our Gunnedah dhiiyaan (family). They are both downloadable in pdf
format for A3 printing.
The first one is with words from the first two verses of the Bina Mil song:
Download pdf file: Poster_A3_Ngaya-bana_31JULY23.pdf
This one has a more complete list:
Download pdf file suitable for A3 printing:
In addition, we have worked with the Batchelor Institute to update the Gamilaraay GR and Yuwaalaraay YR language versions of their posters, which can be ordered in different sizes, with/without lamination, etc:
A beginner's set of Lingo Bingo, with photos of body parts from Winanga-Li children.