‘Makarrata’

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What is a Makarrata?
The Yolngu word is more than a synonym for treaty

Makarrata is much more than just a synonym for treaty, though. It is a complex Yolngu word describing a process of conflict resolution, peacemaking and justice. It is a philosophy that helped develop and maintain lasting peace among the Yolngu people of north-east Arnhem Land. ‘Makarrata has so many layers of meaning’, says Merrikiyawuy Ganambarr-Stubbs, a Gumatj woman and principal of Arnhem Land’s Yirrkala School.

“The first one, and the main one, is peace after a dispute”.

“Makarrata literally means a spear penetrating, usually the thigh, of a person that has done wrong… so that they cannot hunt anymore, that they cannot walk properly, that they cannot run properly; to maim them, to settle them down, to calm them — that’s Makarrata”.

Source: ABC News

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