Lirrga is one of the three main ceremonial genres performed by people at Wadeye today. It is used by speakers of Marri Ngarr and other inland languages (e.g. Ngan'gikurungkurr and Ngen'giwumirri). The main lirrga song-set performed at Wadeye is the Muyil lirrga conceived by Denis Narjic, Brian Nummar and Tommy Moyle Karui around 1960. Most songs in this set were composed by Pius Luckan and his brother Clement Tchinburur. By 2009 the Muyil lirrga was mainly performed by singers based at Nganmarriyanga (Pulampa). Another related set of Marri Ngarr lirrga songs was composed by Jimmy Numbertwo, a resident of Daly River. The deceased Ngen'giwumirri songman Long Harry Kilimirri had a set of lirrga songs in untranslatable spirit language inspired by kun-borrk songs from Maningrida. Lirrga in the Daly Region is inspired by kun-borrk songs from Western Arnhem Land. For more information about lirrga see articles by Barwick (2006) and Ford (2006).
Photo: Mark Crocombe.