Men’s Tjilirra Movement
The Men’s Tjilirra Movement partners CASSE with Aboriginal communities in Haasts Bluff (Ikuntji) , Mt Liebig (Amunturrngu), Kintore (Walungurru), Papunya (Warumpi) and Kiwirrkurra in Australia’s central western desert region, with Remote Jobs Community Program (RJCP) in collaboration with the Royal Flying Doctors Service.
Tjilirra (traditional handmade tools including boomerangs, shields, spears, carrying vessels) are the cornerstone of the ancient traditional world of the Pintupi men. Sacred traditional tool carvings hold the power to the country. Tjukurrpa (the Dreaming) holds the meaning and the life for them, reinforcing relatedness, sorrow and country. Tjilirra represents ancient law, land-ownership, and the carvings hold the journeys of ancestral beings and sacred places in the landscape and more. The Tjilirra is the title or deed for the country of the men. Tjilirra is the power for the men. They have kept it sacred and secret for over 100 years. There is an urgent need of the Elders to give Tjilirra to the young men – a need which is life or death for cultural survival and their humanity. The young male initiates of the past could not survive in the bush without Tjilirra. Today Tjilirra, in the form of this project, will save lives and change minds of young and old men.
Jamie Millier is the Project Manager for the Men’s Tjilirra Movement.
Stories from the men:
Pamela Nathan first worked with the people of Kintore (Walungurru) 30 years ago, when she worked with Kwemenje Dick Leichleitner Japanganka to co-write a book, ‘Settle Down Country’ about the movement of the Aboriginal people to reoccupy their ancestral lands. A ‘Settle Down Country‘ video about Kintore was also produced by the people, about the people and for the people. Pamela and Kwemenje Dick Leichleitner Japanganka also co-wrote a book on behalf of the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress, “Health Business“, outlining the interface between traditional and European health care..