Bardi song language

Readers who were at the song language workshop in Adelaide last year might remember that just before my paper there was some concern from a Bardi person there that I was talking about secret material. She didn’t come to the talk but I sent her a copy of the text afterwards, with annotations on the technical terms and an overview paragraph about who gave me the materials and who I’d checked everything with.

I found out what the problem was (or one of them) today. Somehow someone has got the idea that I was talking about an initiation ceremony. I’m not sure how that happened, since the word ilma in the title of the talk is a pretty good indication that I’m talking about ilma, and not another genre of song (and ilma is public). I found out because BE asked me recently why this person was going round saying I was talking about Oolooloong. I don’t know why they are still going round saying this, since a) the talk was last September, b) the person has had a copy of the talk since last October, and c) no where in the talk at all is anything secret mentioned – this was checked at the time and was rechecked yesterday. There is no way on earth I would ever give a talk about initiation music, or initiation at all.

I’ve been holding off on revising the talk for publication because of these questions, but it seems it’s fine.


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