Wanjina spirits feature heavily in the conception and performance of Junba and feature in both the dances and lyrics in the current canon of Junba dances performed at the annual Mowanjum Festival (see Treloyn and Charles 2015).
To understand the role of Wurnan in repatriation and the business of archives, we need to turn back to Junba performance.
As early as the 1970s recordings were circulated in the Kimberley as a way to support the transmission of Junba according to Wurnan.
Share a lot of things, like food, Junba. Share, sharing with spears, woomeras, it's sharing.
There are several performance genres from throughout the Kimberley that share a number of characteristics with junba. These are:
One such difference, concerning the relationship between text and melody in Martin's jadmi junba and a nurlu referred to as Bulu, investigated by Ray Keogh (Keogh 1989, 1990, and 1995), is outlined in Jadmi junba: a song series from the Kimberley region of northwest Australia (Treloyn 1999).
Martin has also found many songs since this time and his junba now consists of at least twenty-nine.
Texts often also describe the way in which the composer (junba jumanjuman, sometimes also barnman) is assisted in his journeys by a buyu, which is a glowing string-like beam that is sent out by the spirit/s referred to above, along which composers can move but on which ordinary people get tangled up, become confused and can die.
Junba repertories are, at the discretion of the composer, transmitted between groups on the system of exchange known as the Wurnan and thereby enable relationships between individuals and their Country to be reinvigorated (Redmond 2001a, 2001b).
Such institutions include marriage, the determination of a child's 'skin', and the way that objects and ceremonies, including junba repertories, are shared on the Wurnan.
The pattern of articulating difference against a background of similarity guides both the way that junba repertories are shared on the Wurnan and the strategies that underpin their composition and performance.
The significance of the subjects named in Songs 1 and 31 lies primarily in the fact that the named gurreiga (a brolga) is the ancestral and living predecessor of jadmi style junba. The brolga set the precedent for the appearance and actions of dancers and also the sound and voice qualities of 'great' singers.