Warri and Yatungka

Warri & Yatungka was commissioned by the Liechhardt Espresso Chorus in 2002 for the Eyar of the Outback, and features in the song cycle ‘The Outback Suite’ which the choir toured with Paul through central NSW. It has become a choral standard.

This piece pays tribute to Warri and Yatungka, life long partners, the last of the Mandildjara people and the last Aborigines in Australia pursuing a fully nomadic existence as their people had done since the dawn of human occupation. Inspired by ‘Last of the Nomads’ written by explorer and historian Dr W.J. Peasley, this work aims to capture in sound, the strength and perseverance of the couple, in addition to the energy of the land and the importance of strong tribal laws, which helped initiate Warri and Yatungka’s thirty year plight in the unrelenting Gibson Desert.

The couple first abandoned their tribe in the late 1940’s as their relationship was against strict tribal laws. They set off into the desert where they would spend the next three decades, unattached to the changing world. The story of Warri and Yatungka is an important episode in Australian history, but also a poignant tale of love, honour and survival.

This sample recording is from the Young Voices of Melbourne, directed by Mark O’leary


Sing a choir favourite Sing a history Sing a Jarman classic Sing a message Sing an Australian story Sing for an eisteddfodd
Duration 4:50
Key Eb minor
Range Standard SSAA Ab for Altos up to high Eb for Sopranos
More info Karli (large boomerang) can be purchased through various Indigenous arts centres in Central Australia


W A R R I   A N D   Y A T U N G K A                        
By Paul Jarman

Warri, Yatungka
Mandildjara calling

From this day, bound to wander
Warri, Yatungka

Burning hearts, bound to wander
Warri, Yatungka

Mandildjara calling

© Paul Jarman 2002