‘Ninti’ is a word used in a few Central Australian languages and, loosely defined, it means to be clever; to be smart; to have knowledge.
I love the word ‘ninti’ and loved using it when I was in Central Australia, particularly whilst working with so many ninti kids.
It still rolls out of my mouth now and then, and it is most often received with uncertain glances… which I have become well acclimatised to as my Aussie vernacular tends to generate this response amongst my predominantly non-Australian friends. I recently discovered that, apparently, it’s a bit strange to affectionately call someone a ‘dag’, a term used to define both a socially awkward person who lacks fashion sense and a matted cluster of wool and poo in a sheep’s nether regions.
The serious reason I’m blogging as Nintier is because it feels like blogging may be an opportunity to get more ninti whilst on the journey of life. To be ninti is not just to be smart academically, its meaning seems much richer than this, and to be able to learn and express yourself through pictures, words and sounds, whilst sharing with people on a deep and highly personal level, fits what ninti means to me right now.
This is a way that I am making myself open up, albeit anonymously, and it grants my mind permission to prioritise the processes of being creative. What is ninti for me about doing this blog is that it seems to be, in its own right, quite therapeutic… and a little bit fun!
You may also be interested to know that as well as meaning clever, ‘Ninti’ is also an ancient Sumerian goddess. She was one of eight goddesses born to Ninhursag, the Earth and Mother Goddess, to heal the eight body pains of Ninhursag’s male consort, Enki, which he had as the result of eating forbidden plants grown from his own seed. Ninti was the last goddess to be born and was born to heal the pain in Enki’s rib.
She became known as a healing goddess and the ‘mother of all living’ and, as many stories from ancient Mesopotamian religion are replicated in biblical events, she is also known to be Eve who was made from the rib of Adam during creation.
So perhaps the Nintier blog may have a bit of the Divine Mother running through it too!
Ever since I can remember, I have loved to talk about God and spirituality, so inevitably this will be a thread which weaves the blog together.
My sense of theology has seemed to be developed within a field of perpetual movement and travel and this will also be evident in how I blog. I love taking photos of the movement of life and just simply being present… but I made a decision quite a few years ago to renounce my obsessive like relationship with photographing what I was seeing within the world. This was partly to do with how annoying I had become to the people around me by constantly sticking a camera in their face, but also because I was aware that the camera was sometimes shielding me from really seeing what was in front of me.
Last year, without any clear reason or impetus, I bought a Digital SLR and have slowly started to expand my photography habits beyond a random picture taken on my iPad. I’ve also just discovered iMovie on my Mac and perhaps am a little excited about being able to create moving films too… I made my first, and last, film when I was twelve years old, notably featuring the theme song from Twin Peaks and my brother’s GI Joe figurines. This masterpiece got me a certificate at the school assembly, so obviously there is some talent just waiting to be tapped into here… but expect the cinematic skills of a twelve year old. Let me clarify that: a twelve year old who has the technological knowledge of a twelve year old who lived twenty-odd years ago in a world where the internet seemed to be as exciting as the prospect of flying cars, George Jetson style.
Hence, Nintier is a platform for me to explore photography and video a bit further and tie it together with my love of writing conflated mashes and mushes of words that just seem to play together like a good song… and I’m totally embracing my dyslexic tendencies by owning the process of making up new words for the English language.
Check it all out and feel free to contribute, especially to my upcoming ‘I think I may have made this word up’ Glossary page… I may need your help!!