Friday, December 19, 2008

Warlpiri Jukurrpa

7 “But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you;
And the birds of the air, and they will tell you;
8 Or speak to the earth, and it will teach you;

And the fish of the sea will explain to you.
(Job 12:7-8)

One of the biggest surprises for me, living in a Warlpiri Community, was to discover Jukurrpa. Jukurrpa is a vison, or a dream that provides a framework for living life meaningfully.

Many Warlpiri Jukurrpa feature the story of some kind of animal engaged in an activity of life. At the superficial level, Jukurrpa is a story of an animal doing stuff. However, and ever deepening levels, the application of the Jukurrpa applies sociologically, spiritually, psychologically, familially, geographically, astronomically, judically, politically, and so on. And much of the widom imparted by these Jukurrpa is the wisdom that is recorded in the pages of the Bible. Why is this so?

It is my contention that When God made the Creation, He stamped evidence of Himself, and wrote stories into the Creation that ulitimately pont to Himself and His wisdom. Over centuries, Warlpiri have observed the Creation, and preserved the stories that they discovered in the form of dance, song, painting, body painting, law, and so (all the elements blending into a multi-media presentation of the one Jukurrpa).

As I have sat in Warlpiri ceremony, I have been preached to, visually and by enactment, in a language that I could not understand with my ears, but perfectly understand with my eyes and own body movements, the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and His Kingdom.

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