Maureen O’Keefe

Maureen O’Keefe is a Kaytetye-Warlpiri woman from Ali Curung. She is a dedicated writer living in Mparntwe/Alice Springs. Maureen wrote and spoke her poem about water in a short film titled Gumtrees By The River for the Unbroken Land 2020/2021 presentation. Two songs are also sung within the film. The songs are sung in Kaytetye-Warlpiri by her mother’s sister, Mona and sister-in-law, Winnie. They are from Karlu Karlu (Devil’s Marbles). 

The first song is called Yinjiri-jiri and is about the first water that flows… carrying the frothy debris with twigs and leaves and how it then flows clean. The second song is called Ngapirinjilayi and is about the river gums standing tall on the riverbank, bits of their white bark flaking off and falling into the water, and the trees soaking up the water, making them green.