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date: 15 October 2019


  • Alice M. Moyle
  •  and Stephen A. Wild


An Australian Aboriginal dance with music, generally performed publicly; the same word may denote an Aboriginal occasion on which public singing and dancing take place. Pronounced with the emphasis on the second syllable, the term probably originated (perhaps with different emphasis) in an Aboriginal language of New South Wales in the latter part of the 18th century, although it now has a wider currency among non-Aboriginal Australians than among Aborigines. The words ‘boojery carib-berie’ (‘good dance’) appear in John Hunter's An Historical Journal of Events at Sydney and at Sea, 1787–1792 (ed. J. Bach, Sydney, 1968, p.145). Aboriginal words for public singing and dancing used by people of different language groups in other parts of Australia include purlapa (Warlpiri language), inma (Pitjantjatjara), turlku (Pintupi), ltarta (Alyawarra) in the central and western deserts; dyunba (Wunambal, Worora, Ungarinyin), nurlu (Nyigina, Yawuru, Dyugun, Ngumbarl, Dyabirr Dyabirr, Warrwa), ilma (Nyul Nyul, Bardi), maru (Garadyarri), ...

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Yearbook for Traditional Music