Animating Our Legacy with “Djambanpuy Dhawu” – The Tamarind Tale

During the Term 3 school holidays, MACAC artists and djamarrkuḻi gave new life to an important part of our Milingimbi history using the fun and enchanting technique of stop motion animation. Our Youth School Holiday Stop Motion Animation project—a two-week collaboration between Milingimbi Art and Culture and Jonathan Daw Animation—transformed our storytelling into an essential historical link, resulting in the three-minute film “Djambanpuy Dhawu” – The Tamarind Story.

Jonathan Daw and Nathan Garrawurra Animating the Makkassan Boats

The film pays homage to the time-honored trade between the Makkassan traders of Indonesia and our forebears. It vividly re-creates the trade of tamarind, cloth, machetes, rice, and tobacco for trepang, a relationship that defines our shared history, cultural identity, and coastline today. Our children, in collaboration with our elders, artists, and arts workers, have brought this narrative to life with their imagination, meticulously crafting sets,modeling characters, animating sequences, creating sound effects, and even translating senior Gupa George Milaypuma’s narration into English subtitles.

Artists Abigail Mundjala and Matthew Djipurrtjun making the coastline set with djamarrkuḻi complete with sand and Tamarind

This project’s success was made possible by the support from the ALPA Youth Model as well as our own Djalkari Keeping Place.