Kombumerri Traditional Custodian Contributor: Max Dillon

This resource is related to the following Learning Areas –

And responds to the following Enquiry Questions –

Q50.Did the Kombumerri people have special songs?
Q75.Indigenous music and instruments and who is allowed to play them.

Resource transcript –

So I suppose for our people our songs are all shared even today with with the with the loss of of most of our songs and Corroborees we now share and integrate. We’ve developed through a song man on North Stradbroke Island. In language, in our language, telling our story and I helped co-produce it. And it was about the native bee and about our our season. Our time of of gathering honey in the harvest and you know it’s relationship to the bee’s relationship with the flower and tracking it down finding out where it is. For for Songman his his role is to teach everybody else the way that that song has been handed down to him. Where other dancers and and people who are part of the Corroboree, I mean their roles can sometimes be very specific to gender … where women have their own style of dance and their own songs.It’s there’s also Didge players. The instruments that we use or can also be gender-specific so for possum skin lap drums they’re female instruments. For the men, it’s the Didgeridoo which is Mundo here and we call it Mundo here. Now traditionally it’s it’s from East Arnhem land and around the Northern Territory and it’s called Yadaki and it’s it’s a sacred men’s instrument and here it’s no difference for only for men we respect that it’s it’s creation is off Country but we now enjoy it. We’ve we the Kombumerri dance songs like the the harvest festival and the season of Bunya where we’d all gather on WakaWaka Country and when the Bunions would come,and these Bunions had been around 50 million years they fed dinosaurs, and we kept these Bunyas as you know pacific to festival time, it’s a three year cycle, so there’d be a Bunion season South East Queensland would gather up there at WakaWaka and we’d sing Gonami. Now we sing Gonami here on country but we’re not allowed to teach it we have to have a WakaWaka Songman representative from their bloodline to to keep that… you know… to not diverge from how it was traditionally sung and it’s the same with the songs from North Stradbroke Island. We now sing them. They’re part of the Kombumerri repertoire and vice versa it’s shared shared Corroboree but it’s it’s potency and it’s in the formula of how it’s kept you know structured and doesn’t change is by Songman to Songman and then everybody else learns and branches out from there.I’m in training yeah I’m in training uh we’ve got we’ve got one uh at the moment and that’s for our native bee dance and that was a collaboration. See I was I was taught at a young age I was about about seven or eight I started to learn to dance to shake a leg. I’ve been playing Didge since I was five and it occurred to me that we have a lot of stories that we don’t have in song but to get that sort of mentorship and re…and this is what I was told by the Songman, we’ve collaborated from North Stradebroke, he said, they’re in the cosmos he said they’re out there it’s just a matter of of of finding them and and re-establishing them. Finding that structure you know once you’ve got your blueprint like your template on how to do your songs you know like a lot of songs revolve around the storytelling the the perpetuity of of you know the next generation capturing it and keeping it alive and so for us it’s um it’s a need we need to have a Songman. And we’ve got people on Country here that are Songmen but none of them are allowed to tell the Kombumerri stories. That has to be established by one of the Kombumerri.