Brandi & Randy in Ramingining

back to the beginning - Ginger Root Home

Ramingining is a small Aboriginal community in Northern Arnhem Land, which is Yolngu country. Arnhem Land is a large Aboriginal reserve... all their own land... in some respects, as white mining and cattle ranching still exist as the primary economy in the region. This was our chance to really get out and see the native people of Australia, learn from their traditional ways, and learn about the state they are in today.

Our plane that took us from Darwin to the community of Maningrida, stopping off point for all the major flights into Arnhem Land communities. We had noticed that our planes were getting smaller and smaller throughout the trip, and this one felt tiny. Until...

we hopped on a Cessna for the flight from Maningrida to Ramingining. Just four of us on this plane.

There it is... Ramingining airport. Where's the rental car desk?

The airstrip. Who needs tarmac?

Our connection to Ramingining, the infamous Guan Lim, who has really fit himself into the Yolngu culture quite easily.

The house we were staying at. All the homes are spread out on one field... no fences, except for the few houses occupied by whitefolks working in the community. The blackfellas just wander in and out of everyone's "yards" at will. Quite nice, really, though I admit it takes getting used to!

Elizabeth Djutarra, our hostess in Ramingining, who spoke about 3 words of English to us the whole time, but taught us an incredible amount. Before we left, she actually technically became Randy's sister!

Guan giving Randy a lesson on the Yolngu language and kinship systems. He was invaluable in getting us in and getting us informed enough to get along in the very foreign culture.

We went hunting on our second day in Ramingining, for fish and turtles. Only got fish though.... the word is that Brandi hooked a turtle, but it "got away."

Eating fish the traditional way... cooked on the spot, and eaten off of a piece of paperbark torn from a nearby tree.

Next... Ramingining continues

all photos ©1999 by Randy Graves and Brandi Chase
Please do not copy them for your own use without permission!