The traditional languages of the Katherine and Roper regions aren't endangered just because parents decided their kids didn't need to know their language anymore. There are huge social and historical forces at play. The warfare that occurred when Europeans first came to this area is one of those major factors. The stories are there - in books, newspapers and oral histories. They're not hard to find. It's just that most people aren't ready to know or want to know.
I was surprised and impressed to see Wally Wilfred and Jill Daniels' entry to 2014 Katherine Prize called Olden Days, depicting a scene of local warfare. I'd never seen them paint this theme before. It's a wonderful painting about our awful and very close-to-home unofficial wars. Lest we forget.
|Olden Days (detail) by Wally Wilfred and Jill Daniels. 2014.|
|Olden Days. By Wally Wilfred and Jill Daniels. 2014.|