By Fiona Wirrer-George Oochunyung

Growing up at the west coast of Queensland’s Cape York Peninsula within the Nineteen Seventies and Eighties, Fiona Wirrer-George Oochunyung had an idyllic conventional existence. on the age of sixteen, she moved to Sydney to wait the NAISDA Dance collage, the place she studied with the mythical web page brothers. As a tender girl, she carves out a delicate dating together with her absent father, inspiring her to raised comprehend her Austrian ancestry and the way it meshes along with her Indigenous identification. The version of a contemporary girl, the writer stocks the thrill and demanding situations that include growing to be up in a divided group during this strong and candid memoir and gives an extraordinary perception into the burgeoning years of the modern Indigenous dance circulation.

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I nodded in acknowledgement and he turned to walk away. ‘Hey Tim,’ I called out. ’ And with that the matter was resolved. I never saw him again. 41 CH AP T ER F IVE ‘W hat is it? ’ ‘What’s it guarding you against? ’ Why a woman spirit? I think to myself. Why not a man spirit as a guide? During one of our visits to Aurukun, as per usual, we had gone bush for the day, catching a lift with a council vehicle that would return to pick us up at dusk. The adults were gone. Men one way while the women another.

Well, that’s a telltale sign that person knows business. Black fingernails mean that person’s been up to no good. They can put their hand in your belly without you knowing or even seeing them. ’ Her voice would drop and she’d tell me about what these clever people would do with my blood. My eyes would widen in shocked disbelief as I tried to make sense of what I’d just heard. Knowing this always sent shivers up me. Still, I always checked 47 do u b le na t i v e people’s fingernails, even those who were family.

He appeared slightly agitated. ‘Leave that talk about the woman ghost now. Let’s go play,’ one of my sisters called out. She bolted off to a nearby tree and with one swing she was on her way up. The rest of us ran behind her like a pack of wild brumbies and climbed up. I sat in the tree with my feet dangling over the branch, digesting the information just released to us. I tried to imagine this woman spirit. She sounded beautiful, mystifying and I wanted to see and meet her. Part of me wanted her to be my guide.

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