Women of the Sun on NITV on Tuesday nights

It was marvellous to see this amazing miniseries again.

WOTS storypic

Naykalan Munung as Alinta in the groundbreaking TV series "Women of the Sun".

Episode 1, ALINTA: THE FLAME

This story brings its audience closest to the customs and culture of tribal Aborigines, and gives a fascinating insight into rituals and legends which has no previous screen counterpart. The lives of the Nyari people are completely disrupted when they discover two convicts washed up on the beach of their tribal lands. Subsequently, the Nyari people meet other whites, settlers searching for grazing land. The abuse of the Nyari’s sacred tribal ways follows and eventually leads to the annihilation of the tribe. Only Alinta, ‘The Flame’, remains with her child to carry the torch for her culture and the future.

Made in 1981, the four part Women of the Sun truly was groundbreaking.

In 2007 Sydney University’s Macleay Museum had a showing of episodes 1 and 2.

The first two episodes of the… television series Women of the Sun will be presented by the Macleay Museum at the University of Sydney this Thursday – the day before the anniversary of colonisation.

Written by Hyllus Maris and Sonia Borg, Women of the Sun was first screened by SBS TV in 1981, and tells the stories of Aboriginal women over two centuries of colonisation, challenging the conventional notions of Australia’s past.

The series highlighted issues which would dominate Aboriginal affairs over the following decades and also attracted international and national acclaim, winning the United Nations Media Peace Prize and two Australian Writers’ Guild Awards.

The first two episodes, which will be presented by the Macleay Museum at the University’s Old Geology Lecture Theatre, are set in the 1820s and the 1890s and reveal the Indigenous experience of colonisation through the eyes, experience and language of two women.

Hyllus Maris was a member of the Yorta Yorta nation, passing away in 1986. She was also a poet.

Spiritual Song of the Aborigine by Hyllus Maris

I am a child of the Dreamtime People
Part of this Land, like the gnarled gumtree
I am the river, softly singing
Chanting our songs on my way to the sea
My spirit is the dust-devils
Mirages, that dance on the plain
I’m the snow, the wind and the falling rain
I’m part of the rocks and the red desert earth
Red as the blood that flows in my veins
I am the eagle, crow and snake that glides
Through the rain-forest that clings to the mountainside
I awakened here when the earth was new
There was emu, wombat, kangaroos
No other man of a different hue
I am this land
And this land is me
I am Australia

See also Return to women of the sun.  There is a study guide (PDF) from Metro/ATOM.

Do tune in to next week’s episode at 9pm Tuesday on Channel 34. BTW, a blogger sometimes mentioned here and on my Facebook was in Women of the Sun. So was Indigenous author Boori Monty Pryor.

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