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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Katherine, Northern Territory

There are many Aboriginal drawings in the gorges

Robert Tudawali (centre) was magnificent as Marbuck

Katherine is famous for its gorges and the traditional owners are the Jawoyn people. Their indigenous company, Nitmiluk Tours, is the exclusive provider for touring the gorges and offer many different ways to see it. You can fly, hire a canoe, walk with a guide, learn about bush tucker, or cruise the beautiful Katherine river.

In 1955 they made a movie called Jedda. It's a great story about a rogue Aboriginal man called Marbuck who took a fancy to a shy, refined Aboriginal girl brought up by a white family. Even though he knows she is strictly forbidden as a mate by his tribe, he kidnaps her and the film is shot in the magnificent Katherine gorge area.

Kids enjoying the warm thermal pools in Katherine

At the end of the movie, Marbuck is finally pursued to the edge of a high cliff and at the last moment he grabs Jedda and they both plunge over the edge to their deaths.

Rosalie Kunoth

Today we saw Jedda's cliff. The story goes that the film was damaged on the way back to England for editing so they had to redo the final scenes again in the Blue Mountains, just outside of Sydney.

Jedda was played by Rosalie Kunoth-Monks, nee Ngarla Kunoth. She was born in 1937 at Utopia Cattle Station in the Northern Territory and spent about ten years as a nun in a convent

She is involved in several indigenous projects to improve education, health and housing of her people within the Northern Territory and still lives in Alice Springs.

Jedda's Cliff