I got a letter from Juju Wilson the other day. She informed me her family had recently gained ownership rights to their ancestral lands near Kununurra in Western Australia. The land is very important to her and her family and she wanted to let everyone know.
When I visited Juju and her grannies a few years ago, they told me about women’s business. Juju said women sing songs of power that are forbidden to men. She said the songs are as old as time; that they were sung by creator beings in the dream time to bring the world into being. The birds and animals, the goannas, rivers, water holes and billabongs all came to be in this way. One day while I was there Juju and her grannies took me to a sacred site where they had each been, in their time, initiated into womanhood. It is a place where two supernatural spirits, the Namarrgarn Sisters, reside. On the wall of an alcove there, is a painting of the sisters transforming themselves into crocodiles.
I think these women are truly fortunate to live so close to their spiritual origins. I wonder how different the world might be if everyone had such a meaningful connection to place.