‘Yan’ means ‘language’ and ‘nhaŋu’ means ‘this’ or ‘here’.
Yan-nhaŋu is the language of here, of this place, this homeland, its songs, stories and colours.
The Yan-nhaŋu people are the indigenous inhabitants of the Crocodile Islands. They are part of the Yolŋu nation. They live in the communities of Maningrida, Milingimbi, Galiwin’ku and Ramingining and surrounding homelands. Like all Yolŋu they speak many languages including Yolŋu matha, the ‘people’s tongue’, and English. This book was created to help people understand more about this history– the history of our world, the times and tides of the Crocodile Islands.
This Atlas is for everyone. It is filled with the knowledge of homelands, kinship, and country but no secret or sacred information is revealed. Remember the words in this Atlas belong to Yolŋu people. And Yolŋu people have always generously shared their world, language, music and knowledge with people who respect these gifts. This is a gift for you to share with others who will respect it.
The ATLAS has three parts; maps and diagrams, black and white history and an illustrated dictionary. The first part tells us about where we are. The second part tells us about where we have been and the last part tells us about and names what is around us. To make the most of these stories it is useful to know how to read the sounds of the Yolŋu language. The Atlas explains how.