In the Yolngu world view, water is the giver of sacred knowledge, all ceremonies and lands. Whether it’s fresh or salt, travelling on or under the land, or in the sea, water is the source of all that is holy. The word gapu, meaning water, is for anyone to use, including women and children. But there is another deeper meaning for the word which is only for the elders to know, that is why talk about water must be ‘at the feet of the old people’. There is ‘surface’ water and ‘inside’ water. The land carries it along an ‘inside’ path. And then it comes out as spring water in the sea. The salt water is on the surface and the fresh water is inside. And Yolngu stories are the same ~ there are stories which go outside and there are inside stories too.
(c) Ginytjirrang Mala