Feature: King Stingray – Milkumana

Yolŋu surf-rock band, King Stingray unveils their groove-laden new single Milkumana, along with a super fun video that offers an exciting insight into life in Arnhem Land.

In Yolŋu Matha, ‘Milkumana’ means to show, share or pass on knowledge through stories and song. “It’s about leadership and mala wangany – we are all one and in this together“, explains guitarist Roy Kellaway. “We are all living under the same sun, sailing in the same boat, towards a brighter future. It’s about role models and the importance of setting good examples for the new generation.”

The message of ‘Milkumana’ is brought to life by the accompanying video, ‘Milkumana and the Story of the Golden Bilma’.

Filmed in King Stingray’s hometown of Yirrkala in North East Arnhem Land, the video features tribal elders Mangatjay Yunupingu and Malŋay Yunupingu, both well-known keepers of Yolŋu manikay (traditional songlines), and respected mentors to King Stingray and the Yirrkala community. In the video, Mangatjay is giving Yirrŋa the Bilma (clapsticks), which is symbolic of passing on knowledge and power. This includes hunting skills, survival and life skills, and everything about living with Mother Earth in Arnhem Land.

King Stingray is a story of lifelong friendship, of two cultures coming together. From toddlers in the Yothu Yindi tour entourage in the 90s, to fully-fledged Yothu Yindi members today, Yirrŋa (current lead singer of Yothu Yindi) and Roy (current guitarist of Yothu Yindi and Emily Wurramara) have been playing and making music together for as long as they can remember. 

With one foot firmly planted in history and the other in the future, King Stingray have big plans for the next 12 months and beyond.

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