My Mala Love to Clap

An ABC Open story about the community process of making the Warrgamay books, by Producer Michael Bromage.

Warrgamay language books are made to give physical value to the Warrgamay language. To help children, families and schools learn the language Bridget and Melinda produced two books.

“Do your mala love to clap?”

With the help of Faith Baisden, the two Warrgamay sisters produced My Mala Love to Clap and No Manjara on the Bus.

“My mugal is high, my nyiginy are low and my mala love to clap.”

Warrgamay language books are made to give physical value to the Warrgamay language. To help children, families and schools learn the language Bridget and Melinda produced two books.

“Do your mala love to clap?”

With the help of Faith Baisden, the two Warrgamay sisters produced My Mala Love to Clap and No Manjara on the Bus and used their own money to publish the books.

“My mugal is high, my nyiginy are low and my mala love to clap.”

Bridget says learning an indigenous language is important because indigenous languages are Australia’s first languages.

The aim of the books is to give physical value to the Warrgamay language, which was an oral language. Children can now see and read the language.

“No gumbiyan on the bus! They’re way too prickly and they can’t move quickly, so no gumbiyan on the bus!”

Melinda says it’s wonderful to be able to have conversations with children in language and to sing, play and learn together.

Warrgamay is indigenous to the Ingham region in north Queensland.

Some Warrgamay words from the books

mala: hands
mugal: head
nyiginy: finger
bada: dog
gumbiyan: echidna

Credits
Story and illustration in books by Faith Baisden,
Language research by Bridget Priman and Melinda Holden,
Story read by Amy,
Photographs by ABC Open producer Michael Bromage.

Read the full article.

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