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When the World Was Soft : Yindjibarndi Creation Stories - Juluwarlu Group Aboriginal Corporation

When the World Was Soft

Yindjibarndi Creation Stories

By: Juluwarlu Group Aboriginal Corporation, Alex Mankiewicz (Illustrator)

Paperback | 3 April 2024

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A ground-breaking graphic novel sharing the stories of Yindjibarndi Creation-times in an immediate and engaging way for a contemporary audience.

Yindjibarndi believe all creation is written in our landscape and was sung long ago, filling our Ngurra (Country) with sacred meanings and deep religious significance. At the dawn of time, Ngurra Nyujunggamu, the world was soft as clay and the sky was very low. Our Creator, Minkala, sang the songs from which all life and Ngurra evolved. These are some of our stories.

Our grandmothers and grandfathers sing our songs and tell our stories every day, just like our old people long ago sang songs and told stories to their children.
And now we are sharing them with you.

Dynamically illustrated by Alex Mankiewicz with striking artwork by members of the Juluwarlu Art Group, When the World Was Soft is a powerful gift of culture for young and old.

'An extraordinary project, an invitation to share in a deep and sacred understanding of Country. When the World Was Soft imparts a sense of responsibility towards the young, and to Country, and is a testament to the power of communities telling their own stories.' Books+Publishing

About the Author

Juluwarlu Group Aboriginal Corporation is based in Roebourne and Ngurrawaana Community, in WA's Pilbara region. Its purpose is to collect and promote knowledge of Yindjibarndi culture – our Ngurra, plants and animals; our language, genealogy, mythology, social history, and biography – to sustain our Yindjibarndi identity, giving self-esteem, respect, and other values we consider vital to our lives, our well-being, and our culture's future. We do this for our children and our future generations so that they too, are inspired to contribute to our Australian national community.

Juluwarlu's cultural recording and archiving project was started by Lorraine Coppin in the Ngurrawaana Community on the Yindjibarndi tablelands in 1998 with Elder Woodley King and his grandson, Michael Woodley, and was incorporated in 2000.

About the Illustrator

Alex Mankiewicz is an illustrator and artist who specialises in graphic journalism. Based in Kyoto and Byron Bay, Alex has lived and worked in France, the UK and USA, and has been shortlisted twice in the Comic Arts Awards of Australia, and recognised by Australian & New Zealand Illustration Awards and American Illustration.

Alex was commissioned by Juluwarlu Group Aboriginal Corporation to create a graphic novel interpretation of the Yindjibarndi cultural stories that appear in this book. Time spent on Country with Elders and other custodians, while with an unrelated film crew in 2021, made the renderings of the images and stories possible – both visually and in connection to spirit of place.

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