'Djedbang-ari’ is a three-part Indigenous manikay (song) and dance from the Yirrkala district in the far north-east of Arnhem Land.
There are breaks in the singing halfway through a stanza and dance scene, which is a feature of the manikay structure, and called 'stopping the dance, halfway’.
We can only hear the audio of the performances recorded by Elkin but the presence of the entire ceremony is felt as the dancers can be heard stamping their feet and uttering trills in the later verses. Dogs barking incidentally in the second part of the manikay add to the atmosphere of authenticity of this recording.
The recordings were made in the late 1940s and through the 1950s and include the incorporation of European influences into traditional song and dance. For example the first of these three pieces is an interpretation of the movies which a songman saw at a military camp during the war.