This board book opens to a reflective mirror surrounded by a beautiful hand-woven mat. This is an invitation to readers to view themselves. Following is a photographic account of the baby smoking ceremony, practiced by the Jawoyn people for thousands of years. It involves smouldering various native plants to produce smoke believed to have healing and cleansing properties and the ability to ward off bad spirits and protect the child. The double page spreads show an Aboriginal baby held gently by an adult’s hands warmed by the fire—first the head, then the ears, eyes, chin, shoulders, hands, knees and finally the feet. A double page reveals the baby crawling alongside the smoke, with three playful children running about. The final double page spread shows small photographs of the native plants, their location, the smoking area preparations followed by the baby being gently held as part of the smoking ceremony.
An accompanying DVD features the song ‘Holdimbal Beibi Smokimbat Beibi’ created by singer and songwriter Shellie Morris of the Banatjarl Strongbala Wimun Grup for the na-walkwalk-kan (children) of the Katherine region. The songs are recorded and sung in Jawoyn and Kriol by Shellie Morris and the Bantijarl Strongbala Wimun Grup. The first teaching resource features this song and the ceremony.