Warlu Song – Interactive Storybook for iPad

Posted by: Sutu on June 23. 2013 at 3:52 am

Warlu Song is available here

I feel very privileged to have illustrated this story. It’s been a year in the making in collaboration with Yindjibarndi community leader Michael Woodley.  Warlu Song is a Jawi, a song belonging to Tommy Wiliguru Bambardu, carried by Ned Cheedy and Mr Woodley. Warlu Song follows a spirit man’s epic journey as he rides a terrifying serpent, ripping up trees with an angry wind, smashing the land with floods and changing the country forever. In this new format the song is transformed with colourful illustrations, music and animation. It also allows readers to toggle between the Yindjibarndi Aboriginal language and English voice overs so they too can learn the story and how to sing it.

Here is an image of Michael Woodley and the late Ned Cheedy singing Warlu Song at a local corroboree in Cheeditha Community in Western Australia.  This was the first time I heard Warlu Song.  Before they began singing, Michael explained what the story was about…“Bambardu used to be taken by the spirit world to the country in his dreaming at night. They would take him and show him the country, then he would come back with these songs, singing everything he had seen. He sung hundreds of songs so he went on hundreds of journeys. One morning Bambardu woke up and said ‘This is what I saw last night. I saw the great snake travelling. He was travelling through the rivers and he was popping his head up, looking for the people. The snake that came from the sea, he travelled inwards into the lands. He went on a journey with the snake, just travelling around and making sure that the people living in the country were doing the right thing.” Many of Bambardu’s songs were carried by Ned Cheedy.

You can view the video of Michael and Ned singing the song here

I drew a portrait of the great Ned Cheedy before he passed away. He was 105.

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