Centre for Australian Languages and Linguistics

Wakwak – Crow dance

In this film, Wurrkigandjarr songmen Jimmy Djamanba, Stanley Djalarra, Ad Djulipirri and Raymond Fisher, along with Mikey Gurruwiwi on didjeridu, sing wakwak ‘crow’. Men and women from the Wurrkigandjarr group, and djungkays (Ceremonial managers) perform the wakwak dance. The wakwak dance is an important aspect of mortuary rites and the Wurrkigandjarr perform this at funerals for deceased Djowunga people. It is also performed for other ceremonies such as Marajirri, a public diplomacy ceremony and for japi, when young men are initiated. The background image shows Gary Madjibarrili Smith, one of the lead Wurrkigandjarr dancers. Photo: Margaret Carew