Tag: Ali Cobby Eckermann

Caravan to Yale – A Tjindarella Story

by Natalie Harkin I am above the clouds, floating on my contemplations and looking for patterns and remnant bush in cleared and carved-up landscapes.  I’ve just parted ways with my friend and fellow poet at the Adelaide airport – she to Sydney and me to Canberra, each for work.  We talked briefly about this blog, as I’ve been thinking a lot about the way her work has been represented in the mainstream media when news of her literary Prize went viral. The March 2017 announcement for the Windham-Campbell Prize, administered by Yale University in the US, was truly sensational.  It…

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Hair

Ali Cobby Eckermann Head hair has important value in Aboriginal culture. In my language it is called mangka. In old family photos, many men and women wore dreadlocks.This would have resulted from living ‘close to the earth’, often a windswept landscape. Human hair was woven, as was dog fur, to make puturu, ‘hair string’, an effective type of rope. The hair was rolled on the thigh, to make strands.These strands were then plaited, to make a stronger rope. Sometimes the women utilised traditional methods of spinning; a hand held spindle was used. String belts would be used to carry bush…

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Bias

  Ali Cobby Eckermann She had to suffer and survive a long painful journey, for the privilege to stand proud and tell people who her family was, and where they come from. The changes this brought to her life made it all worthwhile. Memories began to heal, and fade away like unimportant dreams. Or do they? She has one friend who tells everybody “I knew her when she was white.” (lots of smiles and laughter). She don’t care; he’s her friend and he has proven that over many years. But it upsets other friends of hers. “Why do you let him…

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Home

Ali Cobby Eckermann The door slams. Someone’s here. I’ll just lie here and wait. Maybe it’s Audrey. I know a Nana shouldn’t have her favourites, but she is mine. Reminds me so much of myself when I was her age. But I never had the courage she has for her passions. Jeffro enters my bedroom. “How are you, Mum?” he asks. “Get me a cuppa tea,” I say as I begin the uncomfortable struggle out of bed. These winter mornings are getting worse! I hate the arthritis! Don’t reckon I deserve it, really. Never had a cigarette or a sip…

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Song

Ali Cobby Eckermann The air sound from under a parrot’s wing is quite different from other birds. It seems to contain magical bells, just out of earshot. It reminds me of waking in the early dawn, in the villa at Taman Bebek, when I attended the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival in Bali last year. I love birds, or ‘tjulpu’ in my language. Every bird offers a relationship. We are lucky at Koolunga, to have birds and bird song all day long, without industry noise or traffic gossip in the background. It is a peaceful town, filled with amusing and peaceful people. Angry noises caught my…

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Wind

Ali Cobby Eckermann The weather changed rapidly overnight, and I woke to a warm wild windy sunrise. The avenue of old gum trees in the main street of Koolunga were shaking with fatigue already. No galahs or parrots were resting on those trembling tree limbs this morning. My cat Mavis and I watched the ever-moving horizon of trees through the kitchen window. Only after my second cuppa did I venture outside. The apricot tree beside the outside bathroom offerred some respite from the wind. Wheelbarrows full of sour sop weeds were filled and carted to the trailer. Shovel loads of…

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Dusk

Ali Cobby Eckermann With all this wonderful springtime sunshine, it has been a gradual return to the internet, after four wonderful weeks spent recently in the Northern Territory, days spent out bush at Kalkarinji and Daguragu, Jilkminggan, Acacia and Mandorah! Oh to sit on country, amidst traditional Aboriginal people and language! This simple recipe fills my heart, and slows my wrinkles ha ha! I have grown to realise that life away from this is an exceptional life, often filled with potholes. I realise that separation from my cultural family cannot be sustained for too long a time. My safety net is my culture. Here…

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New Monthly Blogger – Ali Cobby Eckerman

An enormous thanks to A S Patric for his excellent and thought-provoking posts. Coming up for our next month of blogging is Ali Cobby Eckermann, one of the editors of our upcoming Indigenous edition. Her bio is below: Ali Cobby Eckermann has enjoyed huge success with her first collection of poetry ‘little bit long time’. Her poetry reflects her journey to reconnect with her Yankunytjatjara / Kokatha family. She has lived most of her adult life in Australia’s Northern Territory. Her first verse novel ‘His Father’s Eyes’ was published in 2011 by Oxford Uni Press. Her second verse novel ‘Ruby Moonlight’ won…

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