The Language of the Dreamtime


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When Uncle Max ‘Dulumunmun’ Harrison, Yuin Elder, was around 12 years old, a group of Elders took him out on country to teach him the ancient lore of his tribe.

“They said, ‘we are going to take you out for 10 days and there will be no talking from you. And we won’t be talking either’.

“I thought, how the hell are they going to teach me without talking? But it soon became obvious that they were teaching me through their body movements, through the look in their eyes. They were talking with their eyes, and that was very special to me.”

This seminal time has stayed with Uncle Max throughout his life and it’s a lesson he now teaches others – whitefella and blackfella alike.

“Now I say to people ‘I’ll take you out and let’s watch the land talk to us’. And people think, oh, what’s this old idiot doing. Sometimes they’ll say, Max, the land can’t talk. And I’ll say, wrong. It can.”

Interview and photos by Cynthia Sciberras

Words by Dominque Antarakis



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