Ma-Yawa Wangga
Ma-Yawa Wangga
Notes by Allan Marett, Linda Barwick and Lysbeth Ford, and recordings by Marett et al.
Sydney University Press
ISBN: 9781743325308

The Ma-yawa wangga repertory was given to songmen by the Marri Ammu ancestral ghosts known as Ma-yawa. Before the late 1960s, it seems that this repertory was frequently performed at Wadeye, but nowadays Marri Ammu people join their Marri Tjavin neighbours in performing the Walakandha wangga repertory for ceremony. All but one of the Ma-yawa wangga songs were composed by the senior Marri Ammu lawman and artist Charlie Niwilhi Brinken (c. 1910–1993), but so far as we know, no recording was ever made of him singing. Maurice Tjakurl Ngulkur (Nyilco) (1940–2001), the Marri Ammu songman, inherited the repertory and added one of his own songs to it. Since his passing in 2001, the songs have rarely been performed. With its strong focus on the Dreamings (ngirrwat) and Dreaming sites (kigatiya) of the Marri Ammu people, the Ma-yawa wangga repertory holds a unique place within the corpus.

Contributors Archival recordings by Allan Marett, with supplementary recordings by Sally Treloyn and Mark Crocombe; curated and annotated by Allan Marett and Linda Barwick, with transcriptions and translations by Lysbeth Ford.

This product is a double-CD musical companion to For the Sake of a Song: Wangga Songmen and their Repertories (Sydney University Press, 2013). You can also purchase the complete set of accompanying CDs.

Music from the Ma-yawa wangga repertory may also be streamed online at

Companion book

For the Sake of a Song: Wangga Songmen and their Repertories
Sydney University Press
ISBN: 9781920899752

Wangga, originating in the Daly region of Australia’s Top End, is one of the most prominent Indigenous genres of public dance-songs. This book focuses on the songmen who created and performed the songs for their own communities and for the general public over the past 50 years.

Framing chapters include discussion of the genre’s social history, musical conventions and the five highly endangered languages in which the songs are composed.

Indigenous Music of Australia CDs

CD 1 — Wurrurrumi Kun-Borrk
CD 2 — Barrtjap’s Wangga
CD 3 — Muluk’s Wangga
CD 4 — Mandji’s Wangga
CD 5 — Lambudju’s Wangga
CD 6 — Walakandha Wangga
CD 7 — Ma-Yawa Wangga

Permanent link to this page: