This is from the inside cover of the Ampe Akelyernemane Meke Mekarle report of a few weeks ago:
The title “Ampe Akelyernemane Meke Mekarle” is derived from the Arrandic languages of the Central Desert Region of the Northern Territory. It is pronounced Ump-ah Ah-kil-yurn-a-man Mu-kar-Mu-karl.
The title quote In our Law children are very sacred because they carry the two spring wells of water from our country within them reflects the traditional Aboriginal law of the Yolngu people of Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory, and was provided by a senior Yolngu lawman.
I’m quoting this here because Rob Knight during the week visited the community to talk about the report, the government’s plan and why it fellates. While mentioning the report he pointed out the ‘indigenousness’ of it, alluding to the design and the title. I offered my relative expert opinion on the matter and let him, and all else there, know that the title was from an Arrandic language.
Rob Knight appeared to disagree, and continued to read out the blurb that pertained to the ‘quote’, suggesting that Ampe Akelyernemane Meke Mekarle was from a Yolngic language.
The title is certainly from an Arrandic language – anyone who knows anything about Australian languages can see that just by scanning the cover. Arrandic has a unique and unmistakable phonology.
In my opinion, the juxtaposition of the ‘title’ and the ‘title quote’ of the report cover, suggest to me that “Little children are sacred” is an English translation of the Arrente Ampe Akelyernemane Meke Mekarle. But the fact that they derive from different sources means this may not be the case.
Does anyone have even a rudimentary knowledge of Arrandic languages who can give a little bit of insight? Can you see a nominal root for ‘child’, or for ‘sacred’? I’d be interested to know.