Ngarrindjeri Lullaby album launched at Ninkowar on Friday

FOR THE KIDS: The Deadly Nannas before the Ngarrindjeri Lullaby launch at Ninkowar on Friday. Photo: Nick Grimm.
FOR THE KIDS: The Deadly Nannas before the Ngarrindjeri Lullaby launch at Ninkowar on Friday. Photo: Nick Grimm.

In a bid to help teach the younger generations their ancestral language and heritage, a group of Ngarrindjeri nannas have dropped their debut album.  

The Deadly Nannas launched their Ngarrindjeri Lullaby CD at Ninkowar on Friday morning in front of a large crowd that included Moorundi chief executive officer Steven Sumner and Rural City of Murray Bridge Mayor Brenton Lewis.

The Deadly Nannas emotionally recounted their experiences and feelings of the writing and recording process to the gathering. 

The album came about during conversations about disconnection from culture, language and country, removal from family and institutional abuse as children.

A trip to the Pulima language conference in Cairns and a performance at a talent night inspired the group to record songs they could share with future generations.

The album is a collection of songs in both the Ngarrinderi and English languages, and Ngarrindjeri Regional Authority chair Eunice Aston said it will be invaluable to the continuation of the language and culture.

“This is a very proud moment for us because all of the songs were written by all the nannas and this is very important thing,” she said.

Ms Aston said experiences from her childhood made her realised just how important passing on her knowledge was. 

“It was very important for me because, as a girl, I remember hearing my dad and my aunties speaking our language beautifully and fluently, but we as kids were told were weren’t able to speak it – we had to speak English,” she said.

“Now we’re able to step forward, to do want we want with our culture and teach our young people our language.

“It was heartbreaking to be told we couldn’t speak our language, but now we can sing it and we can teach our grandchildren. This is so very important,” Ms Aston said.

The songs were recorded in Ngarrindjeri and English for two main reasons – so younger generations were to understand all messages on the album and to use the songs as an education tool.