Balga

Image: Balga-board
Also known as: palga
Colour:
Comment:

There are several older recordings of Murriny Patha speakers singing balga songs, a style of songs from the Kimberleys. These songs were traded to Wadeye from the eastern Kimberley region in exchange for spears and other ceremonial goods including wangga and lirrga songs. The main repertory known to Wadeye people was purratjang balga. This repertory is said to have been traded from Kununurra via Legune Station to Port Keats (Wadeye), Nadirri, Daly River, Batchelor, Belyuen and Bagot (Darwin).

Balga songs were recorded from a group of people from Port Keats at Delissaville (now Belyuen) in 1948 by Colin Simpson; from several different groups at Daly River by W.E.H. Stanner in 1957; by Alice Moyle in 1962 at the Darwin Eisteddfod (in combination with djanba songs); and again by Alice Moyle in combination with djanba songs at Kununurra in 1968. The last recording of balga at Wadeye was made by Michael Walsh in 1974 (Walsh A4375AB).

Since then balga has apparently ceased to be performed at Wadeye. Photo: Linda Barwick.

Go back to the list
Citation URI for this page: http://sydney.edu.au/wadeyesong/songsets/6