Elsie Gabori Dibirdibi-My Mother’s Country



Elsie Gabori, born 1947 is from Minikurri, Bentinck Island. She speaks Kayardild language.

Artist Statement:

“My proper name is Elsie Gabori Dibirdibi and I am the oldest daughter of Pat and Maudie Gabori Minakurignathi Juda Juda (Christmas bird). My Mother was born on the nearby Albinia Island. We call this island Dalwai in our language. It’s just west of Bentinck Island.

Dibirdibi means rock cod in our language. It is our Father and Pat Gabori’s father’s totem. It was Dibirdibi who cut out the channels cutting Bentinck Island from the mainland. Dibirdibi’s final resting place was the high hill Bardathurr on Sweers Island, south-east of Bentinck Island. This place is called Dibirdibi Story Place. In search of water, the old people cut the liver of Dibirdibi to pieces and threw these on to rocks at the foot of a cliff where it became a perpetual spring. The Dibirdibi story is big story for all Kiaidilt people because Dibirdibi was mean in not sharing his shelter with his sister. From this story we learn to share with family and not to be mean.”