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Cover design, photos and video: Noel Ferry

Cecily Napanangka Granites is a Warlpiri Elder from Yuendumu, in the Central Desert region of Australia. She talks about Yawulyu, which, in the Warlpiri language means Women’s Business, and about the part it plays in her culture. She hopes that young Warlpiri women, who may have lost their connection to Country and their families, will read this book. Cecily and the old ladies from her community, who were involved in the Yawulyu project, want to share their knowledge. They wanted white-fellas to learn about their culture. They hope that it might help people understand Aboriginal people better. Cecily invites you to come on a journey with her. She will share some things so you can get a little taste of her culture, like the sweet bush food that grows in their country. She also hopes that what you see and read here will be like a seed that grows, putting its roots deep into the ground and connecting you back to the land, the country, the Dreaming, the Jukurrpa. 

Kathryn Thompson-Ferry is an artist, a teacher, and a writer. Originally from England, she moved to Australia in the 1980s, where she met Noel Ferry while working with Aboriginal women in remote Central Australia. She met Cecily in 1995 when she and Noel moved to Yuendumu. Their friendship survived the many ups and downs that were thrown at them during the Yawulyu project. The friendship strengthened Katie's resolve to never give up. 

In this tribute to the Warlpiri culture, Yawulyu from Yuendumu, Cecily Napanangka Granites brings to life the ceremony of Yawulyu, a ceremonial combination of body painting, dance and song. Raised in Yuendumu, Central Australia, Cecily follows in the footsteps of her mother, Dolly Nampijinpa Daniels, a Lawwoman, becoming a guardian of her people's traditions. Through her experiences as a bilingual teacher and involvement in the aftermath of the Aboriginal Land Rights Act (NT) of 1976, Cecily's journey is one of resilience and dedication. In this book, co-authored with her friend Katie Thompson, Cecily explores her connection to the sacred Jukurrpa — the Dreaming stories and Ceremonies that are the heartbeat of Warlpiri women’s heritage. As Cecily confronts personal trials and the challenges Indigenous Australians face, her story emerges as a formidable testament to the strength of cultural legacy. This book, featuring powerful photos by Noel Ferry, is essential for those seeking to understand Indigenous Australians and the unbreakable bond between the people and the land. A website and a YouTube channel accompany this book. 

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