The Kungarakan language was once considered an extinct language, but through the commitment and passion of Kungarakan people and others, Ngun Kungarakany is now considered a phoenix language, revived and ready to be spoken in its full glory.
“Aborigines identify themselves by the language they speak and this gives them certain dignity and significance as a special group of people.
As for us, it settles the matter of who we are, then we should move on to what we can do in the future”.
In the 1970s Ida Koormundum Bishop, granddaughter and one of many descendants of the Kungarakan matriarch Lucy Alyandabu McGuinness started documenting and researching the Kungarakan language over 30 years ago, and in a promise made to her mother published a lexicon in 2000.
The revival of the language commenced in earnest in 2018, in partnership with the Batchelor Institute with the assistance of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) language grant. The AIATSIS grant was a direct result from Helen Bishop’s PhD endeavours and the ‘Living and Breathing Kungarakan’ was launched at the Western and Northern Aboriginal Alliance (WANALA) Forum held at Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education’s Batchelor Campus and the Wadeye Community on the 15th to the 19th October 2018.
The Kungarakanj language resources are due to be released soon. Here is a taste of what is soon to come. Arrakany tjaput wudjarmem