Kanyini is a 2006 Australian documentary film, created by Uncle Bob Randall. His dream was to create a film that supported his Kanyini teachings. He approached Melanie Hoganto produce it with him. She directed, filmed and edited the film with the help of Martin Lee whose filming of Uncle Bob Randall’s interview made the core thread of the story. The film explores the Kanyini philosophy and the life of Bob Randall, Aboriginal elder, songman and storyteller who lived in Mutitjulu, a town beside the world’s greatest monolith, Uluru, in Central Australia. Bob Randall was a ‘Tjilpi’ (special teaching uncle) of the Yankunytjatjara people and a member of the Stolen Generations.
In Kanyini, Bob Randall [cc1933-2015] shares his knowledge of Anangu wisdom, stories of his personal journey and he explores some of the reasons behind the struggles of Aboriginal Australians in modern Australia. Randall explains that when European Australians came to Australia, they broke the four Kanyini Principles that were an integral part of Anangu life. Tjuukurpa was broken when Europeans imposed their law on the Anangu, Ngura was broken when Aboriginal people were forced to move away from their traditional lands, Walytja was broken when the children of Randall’s generation were removed from their family as part of the Stolen Generations and Kurunpa was broken when Aboriginal spirituality was replaced with Christianity. In explaining the loss of his Kurunpa, Randall notes the disconnect between the teachings of the Bible and the actions of the white men who professed them.
Editor’s Note: Learn more about Uncle Bob by reading his story, told to Kindred’s founder, Kelly Wendorf, and originally published on Kindred in 2012. We are sharing it again in honor of Indigenous People’s Day. Uncle Bob transitioned on May 12, 2015. Uncle Bob’s influence on Kelly’s shepherding of Kindred and orienting our work inside an Indigenous Worldview is credited to Uncle Bob in her books, Belonging, and Flying Lead Change. Uncle Bob is a Yankunytjatjara elder and traditional owner of Uluru (Ayer’s Rock), explains how the connectedness of every living thing to every other living thing is not just an idea but a way of living. This way includes all beings as part of a vast family and calls us to be responsible for this family and care for the land with unconditional love and responsibility.
Kindred is grateful to Uncle Bob’s early guidance on our nonprofit work’s mission and vision for Sharing the New Story of the Human Family. Below are more resources for discovering Indigenous Worldview, Wisdom, and Knowledge on Kindred.
Listen to Kelly Wendorf share her story of meeting Uncle Bob here.
Watch the documentary film of Uncle Bob’s life, Kanyini, below.
Download Kindred’s Worldview Chart by Four Arrows here.
Discover all of Kindred’s resources on Indigenous Wisdom, Indigenous Worldview, and the new book by Kindred’s president, Darcia Narvaez and Four Arrows: Restoring Our Kinship Worldview: Indigenous Voices Introduce 28 Precepts for Rebalancing Life on Planet Earth.