Definition of makarrata in English:



  • 1An Aboriginal ceremonial ritual symbolizing the restoration of peace after a dispute.

    as modifier ‘a traditional makarrata ceremony’
    • ‘The string is then used as a belt to be worn during fights and makarrata peace-making settlements.’
    • ‘If a Yulgnor broke tribal law a Makarrata was held and the offender's crime discussed’
    • ‘He directed the performance of a makarrata re-enacted for the film.’
    • ‘In a makarrata a person who has been accused of a particular crime — usually involvement in a death - has to face up to a barrage of spears thrown by his adversaries.’
    • ‘In order for a makarrata to happen, those who have been wronged must invite the perpetrators' participation.’
    1. 1.1 A treaty or agreement.
      ‘they conducted an inquiry into the feasibility of a Makarrata between the Commonwealth and Aboriginal people’
      • ‘The Wilderness Society's journal carried a strong call for a Makarrata in mid-1981 and many of its members wanted it to endorse land rights.’
      • ‘In the late 1970s calls for a Makarrata between the Aboriginal peoples and the Australian government were made.’
      • ‘The politicians still have to be made to act positively on land rights, mining, health, education, and housing; and the idea of a Makarrata treaty too.’
      • ‘Whether or not a Makarrata is negotiated is up to the Aboriginal people.’
      • ‘The wider issues involved in a Makarrata would make it difficult at this stage to enlist the support necessary to achieve constitutional amendment as recommended by the Committee.’


1930s: from Yolngu languages makarrarta.