WHAT IS KANYINI
Kanyini is the principle of connectedness through caring and responsibility that underpins Aboriginal life,” begins Bob Randall.
Kanyini is our connectedness to our tjukurrpa (knowledge of creation or ‘Dreaming’), our ngura (place), our walytja (kinship) and our kurunpa (spirit or soul). Kanyini is nurtured through caring and practicing responsibility for all things. Ngura does not just refer to our home, but wherever we are at any moment in time. Wherever we are it is our responsibility to get to know that place and to care for it. Many sites throughout Australia are significant or sacred as described by tjukurrpa. It is our responsibility to honour those sites with great care. That responsibility is kanyini.
Similarly our walytja is not just our blood family. Aboriginal people have four lines of relationship. One line is their bloodline, another is their ceremonial line – those who undertake ceremony together. Another is their totemic line which connects all people who share the same totem. And lastly there is the line that links all people who speak the same language. If any of those lines are broken you are weakened, if you are removed from your walytja you are not whole.
Only we can be responsible for our kurunpa, our soul. It is affected by our thoughts and actions. If it is weakened for example because we have ignored our responsibility towards a family member in need, then that will affect us physically. We feel a sickness of spirit.
All this comes from tjukurrpa, which is, as Bob describes it, ‘the bigger consciousness of something that was and is the way to live, the way to live in harmony with all things.”