Tag: Yolngu Matha

Dictionary for children who speak Yolngu Matha languages a decade in the making

“The kids are growing and not knowing how to write their own Yolngu Matha name,” laments Jane Miyatatawuy, a former teacher from the Top End coastal communities of Ramingining and Milingimbi.

In a step to providing better resources for children who speak Yolngu Matha languages, a new and improved illustrated dictionary has been created — containing close to 300 words and watercolour pictures.

Rising hip-hop star Baker Boy is making a trip of the tongue

RISING hip-hop star Baker Boy only started rapping a year ago, and has only released two songs.

But his ever-growing fan base just voted both those songs into the world’s biggest musical countdown, Triple J’s Hottest 100 — his latest single Marryuna at No.17, and his debut track Cloud 9 (featuring Kian) at No.76.

That’s a pretty amazing achievement. But the 21-year-old “Fresh Prince of Arnhem Land” — who was raised in the Northern Territory’s Milingimbi community before moving to Melbourne three years ago — is even more proud of the fact that he’s helping introduce listeners to his traditional language, Yolngu Matha.

Baker Boy rising: from Arnhem Land to sharing a stage with Dizzee Rascal

On stage, Baker Boy is the kind of rapper who can get a crowd airborne within seconds. He’s all ego, gold chains and boundless energy, flitting between his native Yolngu Matha and English, imploring the audience to “step back, feel the power of my blackness”. He commands the mic and didgeridoo as if they’re extensions of his tall, agile frame, and inverts himself mid-flow with audacious breakdancing moves.

He is the first Indigenous artist to have mainstream success rapping in the Yolngu Matha language, his singles Cloud 9 and Marryuna receiving solid Triple J airplay. In the past few months he has swept the National Indigenous Music awards, inked a record deal with Select Music (home to the Preatures and Amy Shark), been rostered on the summer music festival circuit, was handpicked by Dizzee Rascal to be his Australian support act, and recorded a remix of Treaty with Yothu Yindi.