What’s in a name?

Every day’s a Sunday
If you’re catching barramundi

from Plains of Peppimenarti by Slim Dusty

The song quoted above is about an Aboriginal Community called Peppimenarti which is not far from Wadeye (Port Keats) where I lived in from 2011 to 2012.

I was given the nickname BarraMundy by Australian friends when I first visited the Northern Territory in 2010 to volunteer at Garma Festival (for those of you who don’t already know, Mundy is my last name).

Barramundi is an Aboriginal (probably from Queensland) word meaning ‘large-scaled river fish’, and is commonly used throughout Australia to denote the Asian sea-bass. Having lived in the Northern Territory for 3 years now I have been lucky enough to fish for barramundi and eat it catch-of-the-day-fresh on a number of occasions.

The Yolngu (Aboriginal people of East Arnhem Land) divide and categorise the world into fresh- and salt-water, with everything belonging to one or the other. While the barramundi is predominantly a river fish, it can be also be found in brackish and salt water, and is the favourite prey of one of my favourite animals, the amazing baru, or saltwater crocodile.

My name, Mundy, comes from the Latin mundus meaning worldmundi therefore translates as ‘of the world’, which is quite fitting for my nomadic life.


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