I haven’t written about this on my blog before because I didn’t know where to start and I still don’t really feel like going into details.
But at the end of last year, two days before I left Ngukurr for my Christmas break, there was a tragic and hugely significant death here. The entire community was, and still is, in shock and disbelief about it. The man that died was an old song man, a very important culture man and someone that everyone looked to for anything to do with ceremony and culture. He was also a completely unassuming man, always happy and smiling and never caused trouble for anybody. He was a cute little oldman too, which really belied his knowledge and strength and importance.
And he died in a tragic way before his time. It’s awful.
Anyway, today, after two months, his body came back to the community. I joined the procession towards the end and it was really moving, really sad, but there was also something really matter-of-fact about the ceremonial aspects to the procession.
Needless to say, it was emotional for me and for many people there. As has everything to do with this old man’s death. It’s really full on.
And like my wawa (brother) A says: ‘You won’t find another man like that’.