Conference Proceedings

Thabi tools for change: approaching the solo public songs of the west Pilbara

S TRELOYN, AM Dowding, M Jebb

19th Foundation for Endangered Languages | Foundation for Enda | Published : 2015


Colonisation, industrialisation and new policies have brought massive changes to the lives and languages of Indigenous peoples in the west Pilbara region through the twentieth century. Solo-performed songs, composed and performed by Ngarluma, Yindjibarndi, Palyku, Martuthunira, Kurrama, Nyiyaparli, Banyjima, Yinhawangka, Kariyarra, Nyamal and Ngarla speakers, provide a window into these histories of change, upheaval and innovation. This paper presents a preliminary account of the thematic content and musical style of Tabi songs that were composed and/or performed by Robert Churnside (Dowding’s maternal grandfather) in the 1950s and 60s. Transcribed by linguist Carl Georg von Brandenstein (Br..

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University of Melbourne Researchers