The Analysis of Golpa Stories
Summary of deposit
The aim of the project is to produce an annotated and illustrated Golpa story book about the Golpa people, their land and culture. Golpa is a severely endangered Yolŋu language (Yirritja moiety) spoken on Elcho Island, Northern Territory, Australia. Most stories in the book are part of a hugh collection of audio recordings made back in the 1960s by B. Schebeck. The narrator of these texts is the father of today's Golpa speakers/consultants. Until this project these texts have never been processed. There are only very few Golpa left who still speak and/or understand the language to a considerable extend. The processing of these recordings will reveal and document linguistic and cultural knowledge about a dying Australian indigenous group and make it accessible to the community as well as to researchers. This project is the first attempt to document and describe the Golpa language (and culture).
Golpa (Yolngu group)
Golpa is a YolNGu language and thus belongs to the Pama-Nyungan language family. Within the YolNGu language bloc it is counted among the NhaNGu varieties.
This deposit is composed of three recordings made by B. Schebeck in 1966 about Golpa clan history, and a textual analysis (1987), and a recent recording (2011) with a narrative about JBG's father's (gunhu') last trip to the Wessel Islands, his birth place.
The authors of the text talk about how the Golpa are connected to both the Wessel Islands and Elcho Island through their ancestors. All narratives focus on a description of the languages used by different clans in the Ganbaḻtji area (comprising Elcho Island, Wessel Islands and Cape Wessels) and the boundaries of these languages.
This work is the first attempt to document and describe the Golpa language (and culture). The Golpa texts are represented by the standard Yolngu orthography (introduced by B.Lowe in the 1960s).
Apart from two stories all other texts in the story book were collected/recorded by Bernhard Schebeck in 1966 and stored with AIATSIS in Canberra, Australia. One of the two stories not collected by B. Schebeck is a written document recorded by two of Kabisch-Lindebaum's main three consultants in 1987. The other text was recorded by Kabisch-Lindenlaub in 2011.