'Taba naba' is a popular dance about going out to the edge of the reef fishing. Like a folk dance it is joyful, describing the activities of everyday life. It is a dance everyone can share, and sharing is still very much part of Murray Islander life with kin, with in-laws, with the whole island, with people outside.
Today people sing old and newly composed songs about their winds, the birds, the sea creatures, the plants that go with the time of their wind. These are not just songs or dances which they enjoy. They are saying 'We are this kind of people, not like that group over there.'
'Taba naba naba norem,
Come let us go to the reef,
Tugei pe neiser mi, dinghy ge nabatre,
While morning low tide, let us go in the dinghy,
Mi ko kei serer em nebewem,
Let us wade to the edge of the reef,
Taba naba norem.
Come let us go to the reef.'
Keywords: dancing, fishing, Mills Sisters, songs
Taba Naba, a traditional Murray Island song sung by the Mills Sisters. (From CD 'Frangipani Land', Music Deli, ABC Radio).
© Mills Sisters. Lyrics published in 'Torres Strait - People and History', J Singe, Queensland University Press, 1979, p 139.
Source: Mills Sisters