Beau and Monique, Dogs, Dog, Travel, Australia, Photos and Pictures

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Yothu Yindi Band


Yothu Yindi Aboriginal music


Yothu Yindi hail from the Yolngu (Aboriginal) homelands on the north-east coast of Australia’s Northern Territory, a country the Yolngu have occupied and protected for perhaps 40,000 years or more. The Yolngu members of the band celebrate their deep spiritual connections with the land, connections that are kept alive through song and dance and ceremony, public aspects of which are found within the band’s recordings and live performances. Band members are Mandawuy Yunupingu - Singer, Songwriter, Stuart Kellaway - Bass Guitar, Nicky Yunupingu - Yidaki, Dancer, Ben Hakalitz - Drums,Gapanbulu Yunupingu, Cal Williams - Guitar.Mandawuy was born at Yirrkala on the northeastern tip of Arnhem Land. Mandawuy has an extensive list of credits. Stuart is a balanda (non-aboriginal) member of the group. He has been with the band since the beginning. The Yolngu members of Yothu Yindi live in the tribal homelands of north-east Arnhem Land 600 kilometres east of the Northern Territory capital of Darwin. Some live in Yirrkala acoastal community on the Gove Peninsular that was originally established by the Methodist Missionary Society in 1935. Others live in Galiwinku, a former mission on Elcho Island originally established in 1942. Yirrkala is a community of 800 Yolngu people that serves as a resource centre for a further 800 people who live in small family-orientated out-stations or bush camps in the region. (It was the move back to out-stations or homelands centres that inspired the title song of Yothu Yindi’s debut album, Homeland Movement). A move pioneered in north-east Arnhem Land, the homeland movement has seen Aboriginal people returning to their traditional lands and lifestyles- relying less on the trappings of Western society and more on traditional activities such as hunting, fishing and cultural and ceremonial education. Yolngu band members are drawn from two of the sixteen clan groups in the region, the Gumatj and Rirratjingu. the people of the region have had contact with Balanda (Europeans) only over the past sixty years or so. Consequently, their traditional cultural, religious, artistic and ceremonial activities are still among the strongest in the country. The band’s approach to its career is deeply rooted in traditional decision making processes, so all traditional songs that have been performed or released have been done so as a result of substantial consultation with clan leaders and traditional lawmakers. The band’s homelands make up part of the Arnhem Land Aboriginal Reserve that was established in 1930. In the 1960s the Australian government granted mining leases to a multi-national consortium to extract bauxite from lands traditionally owned by the Gumatj and Rirritjingu clans. The clans were not consulted about the mine. Consequently, the birth of the Aboriginal land rights movement can be directly traced to the actions of the fathers of two of Yothu Yindi’s founding members, Mandawuy Yunupingu and Witiyana Marika. In consultation with their families, the leaders of the Gumatj and Rirratjingu clans presented  their petitions on bark to the federal government during the 1960s. This action led to recognition of their traditional land tenure. The petitions led to the establishment of the Woodward Royal Commision, and ultimately the tabling of the Land Rights Act (NT) 1976, which now hang in Parliament House, Canberra. Two known songs of the band are Freedom and Mainstream. Bands like Yothu Yindi have generated an increased interest in Aboriginal music in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and elsewhere.  

posted by Monique at 8:59 am  

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Monday, April 30, 2007

Snakes in Australia

 Green Phyton Australia Zoo

Australia has some 140 species of land snake, and around 32 species of sea snakes have been recorded in Australian waters. Some 100 Australian snakes are venomous, although only 12 are likely to inflict a wound that could kill you. The most dangerous snakes belong to the front-fanged group, which in NSW includes the tiger snake, brown snake, death adder, mulga or king brown snake and a few species of sea snake. Australia’s other snakes are the solid-toothed non-venomous snakes (such as pythons, blind snakes and file snakes) and venomous rear-fanged snakes (such as the brow tree snake and mangrove snakes). All native snakes in NSW are protected under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.Snakes have no eyelids and cannot close their eyes. Their eyes are protected by a clear scale which is part of their skin and functions like a spectacle. Many snakes have excellent eyesight, particularly some of the daytime predators (such as whip snakes), and most have good eyesight at least over short distances. However, in most snakes the sense of smell is more vital. A snake’s main organ of smell is its forked tongue, which it flicks in and out of its mouth. The tongue picks up scent particles from the air and any objects it touches, and transfers them to two depressions in the roof of the mouth. These depressions are unique to reptiles and detect scents transferred to them from the tongue. A snake’s nostrils are only used for breathing. Snakes do not have outer ears – instead they hear with inner ears, which pick up vibrations from the ground through the head and belly scales. Some nocturnal snakes, such as pythons, also have heat sensory pits to help them locate the ‘warm’ birds and animals they prey on. Not having legs, snakes use waves of muscle contractions along their bodies to move. Movement is helped by the belly scales, which catch on any uneven surface – if the ground is very smooth, snakes find it difficult to move in any direction at all. Tree-living snakes, such as pythons, ’shuffle’ along horizontal branches in muscular waves which pass along their bodies. Most snakes are good swimmers, and sea snakes have paddle-shaped tails which give them added propulsion in the water. A snake sheds its skin between one and four times each year. It does this by rubbing the front of its head on a rough surface until the skin splits. The snake then slowly sloughs out of the skin, turning it inside out as it does so. In all snakes, the new skin (with the same colours and patterns as the old) is underneath and, when shed, the old skin is almost transparent. When a snake is about to slough, the scale forming the spectacle over its eye will become ‘milky’, affecting its vision. Snakes are reptiles, which means they are ectothermic: they get their body heat from external sources. Endothermic animals, such as mammals and birds, regulate their body temperature internally. A snake’s body temperature – and so its level of activity – is controlled by the temperature of the air and the ground. It will try to maximise body heat, by basking in the sun or lying on or near warm surfaces such as night-time roads or even, on occasion, household water heaters. In cold areas of the state, snakes hibernate during winter. However, in the more temperate climate along the coast they shelter in rock crevices and logs during cold weather and come out on warm days to soak up the heat of the sun. During cold weather, snakes are less active and therefore hunt less. In the winter their metabolisms slow down, and they use up body fat which has been stored up during the warmer months of the year. For snakes, catching and eating food has to be a very specialised activity: they have no claws with which to grab, tear or hold their food, and they are unable to chew because their teeth and hinged jaws aren’t designed for that purpose. Most venomous snakes grab their prey by striking suddenly and biting while they inject venom into the victim. Some species will often strike three or four times. The toxins produced by the venomous snakes act to paralyse the victim, so that it dies or is unable to move before the snake tries to eat it. These toxins also assist the snake’s digestive processes, beginning by breaking down the victim’s blood and other tissues. Pythons have no venom and use their strong bodies to immobilise their victims. Having first grabbed the prey with its mouth, a python wraps its body coils tightly around the victim. As the coils are progressively tightened, the prey is suffocated. Other snakes grab their prey in their mouth and start swallowing immediately so that the animal is eaten alive. The teeth in these snakes are arranged so as to resist escape of an animal once grabbed in the mouth. Sometimes both venom and constriction are used to kill and hold the prey. A snake is able to dislocate its upper and lower jaws and separate the two sections of its lower jaw. This allows it to move each jaw independently, and to spread open its head and throat to swallow prey much larger than the usual diameter of its mouth. Digestion takes place in the stomach, with the aid of very strong digestive juices. Unlike endothermic animals, a snake’s food digestion rate is influenced by external temperatures. Snakes reproduce in two different ways. Some species give birth to live offspring, while others lay eggs. Most egg-laying snakes do not look after their eggs before hatching, some depositing them in warm, rotting vegetation which incubates the eggs for 10-14 weeks. Pythons ‘incubate’ and protect their eggs by coiling their bodies around the eggs almost continuously untilthey hatch. They are able to control temperature to a certain degree by shivering. Young snakes fend for themselves from birth. Depending on the species, each parent snake may produce between 10 and 100 young in one breeding season. Many young are lost to predators such as birds, lizards and other snakes. When we where in Australia we seen so many diferent types, ofcause all in Zoo’s, we only came around one ones and that was in the Blue Mountains, it was yust a small brownisch looking one, and it was so  great to see it, we heard a woman screeming because she nearly stept on it.


Snake in the Blue Mountains


They are the most beautiful animals i have ever seen, each and every one with there own colours and paterns.

posted by Monique at 12:23 pm  

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Sunday, April 29, 2007

Bindi joins anti-fur campaign

Bindi Irwin Australia Zoo

As young as she is, eight year old Bindi has joined the anti-fur campaign, she instructed the Australia Zoo shop to take a cupholder coverd in fake fur of the shells. She went to her mam Terry Irwin and showed her the cupholder, and said to her mam that they where giving the wrong impression, even if the fur is fake they might give out the message that fur is ok, and its not ok. And that she tought that her late father Steve Irwin would not like it. Bindi set up her own meeting with the the director of merchandising and now the cupholders are of the shelves. Bindi is coping very well with her fathers death, groing up in a Zoo she seen lots of animals been born in the Wildlife hospital and some do not make it. Bindi saw that and learnd that life is one part of what its al about and than you die and start a new part. Bindi Irwin pledged to continue the wildlife work of her father and for sure she will, we will hear much more about her in the coming years.

posted by Monique at 2:02 pm  

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