A day with the Jarlmadangah mob

This week I had the pleasure of visiting the Jarlmadangah Burru aboriginal community and spending a day out in their gorgeous Country. I am fascinated and have a deep respect and interest in the indigenous people of this world and had a fantastic time learning about law, culture and history of the two language groups in Jarlmadangah Burru. One of the young fellas, Angus, in training to be a tour guide, even tried to teach me a lot of words in the Nyikina language! Not easy, it is a complicated language to repeat!

In almost every country in the world where white man appeared and stole the land by planting a flag (see Eddie Izzard’s funny ‘do you have a flag?’ skit), the indigenous people suffered terribly. Namibia was and is certainly no exception, the Herero were almost wiped out systematically, San people removed from their land – and they still have apparently the greatest economic disparity in the world. Denmark is no exception. Australia is no exception. Australia has treated the original, the first Australians, absolutely appallingly. Removing them from their Country (after having called Australia uninhabited in the first place to get around any legal problems). Slave labour on stations, murder, rape, massacres etc. Passing a law that says the police will come and take your children. Think about it. Say your government passed a law that meant the police showed up, stole your children, you would never see them again! Introduction of alcohol has also been devastating for aboriginal communities. 50 to 60,000 years of culture, knowledge and law on the verge of extinction. A rich country like Australia and the Original Australians live in 3rd world country conditions. I am quite often ashamed to be white but that’s just me.

Anyway, it is a topic of another long post some day -  it was a pleasure to see a dry (meaning no alcohol) community like Jarlmadanga Burru working so well and I loved the short time I got to spend with Harry the elder and the rest of the guys at the community! It was great fun and a privilege to gain such insight! Wish I could have spend a week with you fellas!  I went with their own tour company, owned by the community – “Purely Unreal” Kimberley Dreamtime Adventure Tours. Great, albeit slightly long name! I highly recommend this tour. If you are in Broome I would say you have to do this, it is that good! You will have a brilliant, fun day with people from the community, do a camel ride (Harry the elder loves his camels!) in the gorgeous Country, see rock art and have a unique experience! I wanted to spend two days out there, unfortunately only the one-day tour was running but if I am lucky I will go again on the two-day tour.

This day was all about the experience, not about photography. But of course, I did shoot a few ‘snapshots’ with the 5D mk II

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Large boab trees lead the way to the community

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Boys from the community having fun!

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Beautiful Jarlmadangah Burru Country!

Their Country is gorgeous, I could shoot for weeks in there. The largest boabs I have ever seen. White gorgeous snappy gum trees, red rock, caves with rock arts. Just confirms what I already knew from Hawk Dreaming – some of the best areas of Australia are fortunately not accessible to the public! We can only hope it stays that way, although if the mining companies have their way, Kimberley will be one big mine soon!

For more images, check out the beautiful gallery at the tour site for Purely Unreal Kimberley Dreamtime Adventure Tours! And next time you are in Broome, this is the tour to do! If you would like to know more about aboriginal culture, law and country, I know some great books, do email me.

8 responses to “A day with the Jarlmadangah mob

  1. I love the first image – great sky, red gravel road, and of course, the distinctively shaped boab tree!

  2. i agree with Martin.
    that first shot is stunning.
    you have to love the reds in that country! 🙂

  3. Super image with the kids! But Flemming, I thought your Canon had an erase people filter? Like the red soil as well. Looks like you about to be top-shaped. Personally I’ll stay tuned!

  4. we were just talking about this same topic tonight mate, it is great country, you are going to go nuts at Karijini.

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