Before boys' initiation (aka circumcision) ceremonies, Yolngu families put together a big show for comic relief - everyone dancing, being silly and having a good time. Often this includes gender reversal, men and women switching roles. This video features Balwaltja Mununggurr, a young star of Yolngu dhapi cross dressing, who explains himself at the end. Footage comes from Wandawuy and Yirrkala, which saw one of its biggest and grandest dhapi ceremonies in 2008, with 6 boys spread out all over the community, with comedians at work at every station. Along with Balwaltja are many of the usual suspects, women who always go crazy dancing at dhapi, and many men including one of his brothers who can be seen looking embarrassed if you look carefully! For yidaki collectors, Djudawit Mununggurr is the big guy, first one walking out at the beginning, and Julie Djarpirr, Beyamarr, Balatj and Mambi Mununggurr, women who have all painted yidaki from time to time, are in there. Julie's the one who sticks out her tongue and is one of the ones biting the feather boa. Their kids include hot young yidaki makers and players like Napurrawuy and Gamanarra Wunungmurra, who can be seen in quick flashes in there.
We had a little disagreement over legalities so this new version features an original song) but somehow familiar) song by former Mulka coordinator Randin Graves.