‘Let me introduce you to one of the most amazing Aboriginal Law Woman - not only in the South-East Kimberley but right across Australia and around the world.
Manaya Sarah Daniels Napanangka is widely recognised as Kapululangu’s most knowledgeable and therefore powerful Law Woman. This small statured and quiet Luritja/Pintupi woman is easily overlooked. But she is a giant in the realm of Deep Ceremony and connection with the Tjukurrpa (Universal Life Force).
She was about 28 years old when, in 1967 (relatively recently) she had first contact with Kartiya society.
By that time she had gone through a lot of Women’s Law. She had become adept at managing and manipulating (call it “magic-ing”) the Tjukurrpa. She also became a trained Tjarrtjurra (Woman Healer). She used her knowledge for the benefit of her family and to replenish her ancestral lands, and continues to do so today.
The story is often told amongst Kapululangu’s women how she, with her three sisters, brought the most potent Law (Ceremonies) and Tarruku (Sacred Items) to our community.
And she is present in the stories that tell of how her oldest sister took women who had not yet gone through Law to secluded places out bush and trained them up in the ancestral dances and songs. This was in the mid 1970s to 1980s, at a time when the Catholic Mission had already had a huge impact on the intergenerational maintenance of Law and Cultural knowledge.
Today Manaya continues to contribute towards maintaining the generational chain of knowledge that sustains her Peoples’ world-view, social structures, and lifeways of being.
When a Peoples’ understanding of how the world is fashioned and operates, and their own and their peoples’ place in that world, are superimposed and overlaid by a dominant world-view, social structure and lifeway being the people become disheartened.
They literally lose their heart. They are shaken to their core and their whole world-view and their place in their world is shattered. They become deeply traumatised.
This is what Manaya has worked against all her life. She came out of the desert only 47 years ago carrying within her the seed of what was to become Kapululangu Women’s Law and Culture Centre – and uphill against incredible odds she has actively insisted that Yawulyu (Women’s Law) is practiced, enjoyed, taught, learned and maintained for the benefit of the Younger Generations.
She was not alone in this, but she has been a leading light to guide the way.
Of course, she wasn’t the only Woman Elder who created Kapululangu for such a creation requires community, but her contribution has been undeniably salient.
She brought with her the knowledge and skills to make a major contribution to the continuation of Law in our community - where Law translates as the blue-print of Life, the discipline (both authority and obedience) of life, the philosophy and perception upon which people view themselves and their environment and thus act within their world according to those tenets (creeds and systems of belief).
For this we celebrate Manaya Sarah Daniels Napanangka - Nintipuka Tutju (Clever Woman) and Tjarrtjurra (Woman Healer).
If you wish to have the privilege of meeting highly remarkable Senior Law Woman we strongly encourage you to attend our 2014 Women’s Camps. Go to www.kapululanguculturecamps.com'