“I am the Thunder Man. The Star is My Form. I am the Bringer of Rain, and I stand between the Two Trees.” – Adi Da Samraj to Witiyana of Arnhem Land
Witiyana Marika was born at Yirrkala in 1961. He is a senior elder of the Rirratjiŋu Clan and his mälk is Burralaŋ’. He is the son of the late Roy Marika OBE who was a leader in the 1963 presentation of the Bark Petition relating to a bauxite mine on traditional Yolŋu lands, the first documents prepared by Indigenous Australians that were recognised by the Australian Parliament.
Witiyana is a senior ceremonial leader and teacher of song lines and ceremonies for his clan and community. Along with Manduwuy Yunupingu he was a co-founder of the band “Yothu Yindi” and the Yothu Yindi Foundation. As a band member of Yothu Yindi, he has toured in many major cities of the world, including the 1988 tour of Australia and North America with Midnight Oil. With Yothu Yindi, he also performed at the closing ceremony of the 2000 Sydney Olympics. He returned home in 1993 at the request of his father, who passed away shortly after.
Witiyana began working with Richard Trudgen as a co-presenter at cross-cultural Seminars in 1995. It is his photograph on the cover of the book “Why Warriors Lie Down and Die”.
He has been Chairman of Buku- Larrngay Mulka Arts and Craft, Dhimurru Land Management, a Director of Bunwal Investments and a member of the Yothu Yindi Foundation for many years. On several occasions, he also played the role of Djungaya Master of Ceremonies at the annual Garma Festival.