Jakarda Wuka (Too Many Stories) Jakarda Wuka (Too Many Stories)

Jakarda Wuka (Too Many Stories‪)‬

Narratives of Rock Art from Yanyuwa Country in Northern Australia's Gulf of Carpentaria

    • $17.99
    • $17.99

Publisher Description

“…ngabaya painted all this, you know when we were kids we would come here and look and sometimes the paintings would change, they were always changing.” Annie a-Karrakayny

Fully illustrated, Jakarda Wuka (Too Many Stories) draws on a combined 70+ years of collaborative research involving Yanyuwa Elders, anthropologists, and an archaeologist to tell a unique story about the rock art from Yanyuwa Country in northern Australia’s southwest Gulf of Carpentaria.  

Australia’s rock art is recognised globally for its antiquity, abundance, distinctive motifs and the deep and abiding knowledge Indigenous people continue to hold for these powerful symbols. However, books about Australian rock art jointly written by Indigenous communities, anthropologists, and archaeologists are extremely rare.

Combining Yanyuwa and western knowledge, the authors embark on a journey to reveal the true meaning of Yanyuwa rock art. At the heart of this book is the understanding that a painting is not just a painting, nor is it an isolated phenomenon or a static representation. What underpins Yanyuwa perceptions of their rock art is kinship, because people are kin to everything and everywhere on Country.

Jakarda Wuka highlights the multidimensional nature of Yanyuwa rock art: it is an active social agent in the landscape, capable of changing according to different circumstances and events, connected to the epic travels and songs of Ancestral Beings (Dreamings), and related to various aspects of Yanyuwa life such as ceremony, health and wellbeing, identity, and narratives concerning past and present-day events.

In a time where Indigenous communities, archaeologists, and anthropologists are seeking new ways to work together and better engage with Indigenous knowledges to interpret the “archaeological record”, Jakarda Wuka delivers a masterful and profound narrative of Yanyuwa Country and its rock art.

This project was supported by the Australian Research Council and the McArthur River Mine Community Benefits Trust.

“This book allows the reader to enter into a way of seeing and understanding rock art as presence in the landscape, also reflecting and participating in the transference of knowledge across the generations. Rock art has been an abiding presence in the life of Yanyuwa people in their Country and the book shows how they have continued to live with it through changing times.”

“This beautifully realized book reveals new understandings of indigenous epistemologies, and in doing so forces us to question our acceptance of the ideas of revelation and discovery that underpin so many Western academic disciplines, including anthropology and archaeology. The book will certainly take its place alongside the canon of literature on indigenous graphic and visual systems in Australia, and will be widely read by rock art researchers globally.”

“Australia has many extraordinary bodies of rock art – paintings, stencils, prints, engravings and, in some parts of northern Australia, figures made out of beeswax. One of the lesser-known regions is the Gulf Country rock art of northern Australia. In this compelling, beautifully illustrated book, Gulf County rock art is explored from the perspective of Yanyuwa Elders, whose ancestors made the imagery. Jakarda Wuka is the result of a combined 70 years of collaborative research between the Yanyuwa and academics but also tens of thousands of years of traditional knowledge handed down through countless generations. I highly recommend this fascinating book that will be of interest to a wide range of people.”

Distinguished Professor Paul Taçon

1 May
Sydney University Press
The University of Sydney