You can learn about skin groups, if you are interested in it, and there are books available to learn about it.


If someone from your skin group passes away, for example your sister, brother, your mother's mum or your father's dad, and your skin group must gather everyone up, like your old people, mothers, fathers, kids.

Ring people about the "bad news". Brothers must organise when and where the funeral is going to be, or ask the family. Not straight away.

If the person that passed away had a husband or wife, he or she must eat chicken or fish. They cannot eat bullock meat. Old people who are sick can be jakiny (fasting, not eat meat ) for just a short time. But it's the sisters and brothers job to do the shopping. Family must chuck in to buy presents.



Morning time, you and your skin group have to paint up your mother, father, uncle, aunty with dookool (red ochre).

Put yabada (mud) on the opposite skin group to you, for example, your husband or wife. Cook lunch (must cook chicken or fish).

Give all the people that are painted up, Lunch.

They can talk and rest inside but two or three people from the working skin group must watch the people inside all there time, so they can give them water and whatever they need.

When the body comes, one person must tell the people in the house that the car has come. But in these words: "Motor car bin come now", or "Him bin come". Then they cry, but they are not allowed to go to the service or grave.

The other two skin groups are allowed to go to the service and cemetery, for example, kids (nephews and nieces), grandparents and close cousins from the same grandparents. One or more people from the working skin group take the kids to the service and the cemetery and bring them back. When the car is ready to go to the cemetery, someone from the working skin group must tell the people: "Motor car gone" or He leaving us now".

Then they cry again.

Put presents, tea, bread on a separate canvas and the working skin group must have smoke ready for the people outside. (for smoke you must use Koonkara and libirrar. While people are still at the cemetery, the working skin group take all the mourning people outside. They sit on the canvas or they just sit on the ground.

After the deceased is buried, the working skin group have to lead the children and they cry on top of the grave. After the children have cried, then the working skin group do the same.

Then they bring the children to the smoke place. They come back from the cemetery. Kids of the person that passed on and nephews and nieces go through the row bending down or just sit in front of the mob that is painted up and they cry at the same time. When they are finished crying they should go and stand begin the mob that is painted up. Right behind or the side.

The working skin group take the mothers and aunties to the presents and they then go and cry on the presents. Some of them just sit around touching the presents and cry. When they are finished crying they go back where they were sitting. Then the brothers and sisters sort out the presents. Then in front, there will be people talking at the same time. They'll be giving out the presents to the people that come from long way.

If people don't accept the present, then you'll have to send it to another family. By doing that you'll have to see who's heading that way and send the present with them.


dookool - red ochre

jakiny - fasting

libirrar - tree burned to create smoke for ceremony

koongkara - tree burned to create smoke for ceremony

yabada - mud

booroo - ground/earth (ceremony area)

chuck in - contribute (Australian colloquial term)

mob - group of people  

This free website was made using Yola.

No HTML skills required. Build your website in minutes.

Go to and sign up today!

Make a free website with Yola