"Inanay" is believed to be from the Torres Strait Islands. It's sung there and in Australia.

Notes

Researching the origin of this song, we found the following:

Note: The quote references Lou Bennett who is a Yorta Yorta Dja Dja Wurrung woman from Echuca, Australia who is part of the band called Tiddas that made this song so popular there.

"Bennett has suggested that the song travelled on 'songlines' which was evidenced in a version on Thursday Island sung by the Mills Sisters. Research suggests the song is in the Mabuyag Island's Kala Lagaw Ya language but it could also be a Darnley Island song from Eastern Torres Strait. It may have travelled to the Torres Strait through the Pacific from Hawai'i." -From "We are Australian": An ethnographic investigation of the convergence of community music and reconciliation

"...in my travels I met the Mill sisters (Aunties from Thursday Island), and they told me that they had a version of this song, but the words were slightly different. This was due to the song travelling on what we know as 'songlines'. A complex philosophy found in indigenous cultures throughout the world. Part of this concept is the singing of the land (letting the land know who you are, and where you're from)..." -Lou Bennett (of TIDDAS)

Comments

We welcome info about the language and meaning of this song. If there's another version in the Torres Strait Islands, we'd be happy to post that too. Please email me with any information. Thanks! -Mama Lisa

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