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John Carty

Natawalu: the Helicopter Story

Story:Many of the people from the Western Desert followed the stock route out of the desert once the drovers began moving through the Country. Following the stock route to find things beyond the desert, many people settled in cattle stations or missions.

However, in 1957 'Helicopter' Tjungurrayi left the desert in a very different way. As a child he was seriously ill when a mining survey party landed their helicopter near his community near Natawalu. His mother’s sister Kupunyina (Kumpaya Girgaba’s mother) was also suffering from an ulcerated spear wound. Knowing about the mission at Balgo their relatives encouraged the survey crew to take them for medical attention.The kartiya [white people] flew him Balgo to get medical attention. When he failed to return his family travelled north in groups to find him.
 
First Walapayi then Brandy walked north to Balgo. Both eventually returned south, following the stock route wells, to bring their relatives back with them to the mission. Helicopter Tjungurrayi has been known by this name for so long, he can no longer remember what he was called before.

'My young brother [Helicopter] was so sick; he had sores everywhere and he was helpless, a little boy. I grabbed my little brother and showed them. So kartiya [white people] looked at his sores and said, "OK, we’ll take him", because he was so sick. So I asked the kartiya, "Are you going to bring him back?" He was speaking his language and I was speaking my language. I kept on saying, "Are you going to bring him back?" I waited, waited, waited for long and I wondered, "They’re not bringing him back!" Nothing. It was getting a bit longer, and I said to myself, I think I’ll go after him north. From there I kept walking right, long way, all the way to Balgo.' (Charlie Wallabi (Walapayi) Tjungurrayi, 2007)

Media Creator:Nicole Ma

Media date: 2010
Story Location: Natawalu (Well 40)
-21.66779/125.78843

Media Description:Josephine Nangala recounts the first time she saw a helicopter, and the story of Helicopter Joey Tjungarrayi being taken by helicopter to Balgo for medicine.

Story contributor(s): John Carty, Helicopter Joey Tjungurrayi, Charlie Wallabi (Walapayi) Tjungurrayi, Josephine Nangala

Art Centre(s): Warlayirti Artists
Publisher: FORM
Media copyright: FORM
Accession ID:20131024_FORM_MIRA_B0046_0004

This material is sourced from Ngurra Kuju Walyja — the Canning Stock Route Project, which was initiated in 2006 by FORM and developed in partnership with Birriliburu, Kayili, KALACC, Mangkaja, Martumili, Ngurra, Papunya Tula, Paruku IPA, Warlayirti and Yulparija artists and art centres.This material is sourced from Ngurra Kuju Walyja — the Canning Stock Route Project, which was initiated in 2006 by FORM and developed in partnership with Birriliburu, Kayili, KALACC, Mangkaja, Martumili, Ngurra, Papunya Tula, Paruku IPA, Warlayirti and Yulparija artists and art centres.

Rover Thomas and his Brother

Story:Rover Thomas is one of Australia's most important artists - his paintings sparked a greater appreciation of Aboriginal art, both nationally and internationally.

Although he found fame as an East Kimberley artist Rover was a desert man, and the story of his life is interwoven with that of the Canning Stock Route. Rover was born in the 1920s in the Country near the middle stretch of the stock route. After his parents passed away he was picked up by a drover, Wally Dowling, who took him north to Billiluna and the Kimberley. Rover became a stockman himself. He was married and settled in Turkey Creek.

When Rover was taken by drovers his brother, Charlie Brooks (Clifford Brooks' father) was away travelling. When he returned Rover was gone. Charlie set off in search of his brother from Martilirri (Well 22). On his journey he encountered a horrible scene somewhere near Well 41:

'[My father] went looking for his young brother Rover back in his home Country, but nothing, empty. No track. Only track was a wagon wheel and yawarta (horse) and bullock, that's all... He been get up on a sandhill and he been look down... whitefella, massacre. They been got shot: [Aboriginal] men, women and children.' (Clifford Brooks)

'That old fella [Clifford’s father, Charlie], he knew in his heart that his young brother was still alive. Every time in the camp fire he used to tell me … 'My young brother is still alive somewhere up north.'' (Clifford Brooks)

Charlie Brooks and Rover Thomas were finally reunited in the 1980s, a lifetime later, after family recognised the Rover’s face in a newspaper. Charlie Brooks travelled to see his brother again for the first time, Clifford Brooks describes the intial encounter between the brothers:

'So when he arrived I got him off the bus at night, took him across to the car park. My old man was standing up and I took Rover across, and they didn’t know whether to yampulkaku [hug] or shake hand, they been cry. But I stood in the back there, I had tears coming out my eyes. I cried for them.' (Clifford Brooks)

'You have got to come back to your Country. You should have come through the Canning Stock Route. You went away from here through the stock route and you should have come back here, through the stock route. I’ve been waiting for you.' (Charlie Brooks to Rover Thomas, 1986)

Media Creator:Nicole Ma

Media date: 2010
Story Location: Wiluna
-26.59/120.22

Media Description:Clifford Brooks tells story his father's reunion with his younger brother Rover Thomas after 40 years apart.

Story contributor(s):Clifford Brooks, John Carty, Jarntu Rover Thomas, Charlie Brooks

Art Centre(s): Birriliburu Artists
Publisher: FORM
Media copyright: FORM
Source: CSROH_140_Clifford Brooks
Accession ID:20131024_FORM_MIRA_B0046_0007

This material is sourced from Ngurra Kuju Walyja — the Canning Stock Route Project, which was initiated in 2006 by FORM and developed in partnership with Birriliburu, Kayili, KALACC, Mangkaja, Martumili, Ngurra, Papunya Tula, Paruku IPA, Warlayirti and Yulparija artists and art centres.This material is sourced from Ngurra Kuju Walyja — the Canning Stock Route Project, which was initiated in 2006 by FORM and developed in partnership with Birriliburu, Kayili, KALACC, Mangkaja, Martumili, Ngurra, Papunya Tula, Paruku IPA, Warlayirti and Yulparija artists and art centres.

Kumpupirntily

Story:Nyayurnangalku [cannibal beings] live below the surface of the lake in a world lit by its own sun. The Nyayurnangalku are said to resemble people, except for their large fangs and the long curved fingernails they use to catch and hold their victims. They block the wind as they move across the lake in search of human prey. Aboriginal people only travel past the lake when the wind is blowing. When boomerang-shaped clouds called wilany appear in the sky, it is a sign that the Ngayurnangalku are approaching. Aboriginal people are also careful not to light fires near Kumpupirntily, in case it signals their presence to the Ngayurnangalku. The cannibals’ own fires are scattered across the surface of the lake. An immensely powerful force lies at the centre of the lake. Aboriginal people believe it is capable of pulling planes and helicopters down from the sky, and they avoid flying directly over the area. During the Dreamtime an important gathering of Ngayurnangalku took place at Kumpupirntily. They came from Natawalu (Well 40) and Yunpu in the north, from Mundiwindi in the west, and from the country around Kiwirrkurra in the east. They came to decide whether or not they should continue to live as cannibals. Jeffrey James continues the story: 'Everybody agrees: alright we better stop eating the peoples. Then that night there was a baby [girl] born from that other group [eastern mob] … And they asked the newborn baby, and she said no: "We can still carry on and continue eating peoples." But [western] mob said "No, we’re not going to touch."' Following the baby, one group continued to be cannibals, dividing the Ngayurnangalku forever into ‘good’ and ‘bad’. The bad people remained at Kumpupirntily, but the good were kept safe by ‘bodyguards’. 'The bodyguards were saving all the people. Sandhill in the middle of the lake separates good people and bad people.' Painting Catalogue Number: JB/DS/73/MM, BA/194/MM, PR/198/MM, PR/212/MM

Media Creator:Painting by Yunkurra Billy Atkins, Photo by Ross Swanborough

Media date: 2008
Story Location: Kumpupirntily (Lake Disappointment)

Media Description:It’s dangerous, that Country. I’ve seen that [cannibal] man, he’s there and I know it. I don’t know how white people go over there. If they were to run into him he would eat them straight out. Kumpupirntily, that’s a no good place … leave it alone and have nothing to do with it at all. Just leave it how it is.' (Yunkurra Billy Atkins)

Story contributor(s):Jeffrey James, Yunkurra Billy Atkins, John Carty, Clifford Brooks

Art Centre(s): Martumili Artists
Publisher: FORM
Media copyright: Yunkurra Billy Atkins, Ross Swanborough
Source: CSROH_17B
Accession ID:20131024_FORM_MIRA_B0046_0006

This material is sourced from Ngurra Kuju Walyja — the Canning Stock Route Project, which was initiated in 2006 by FORM and developed in partnership with Birriliburu, Kayili, KALACC, Mangkaja, Martumili, Ngurra, Papunya Tula, Paruku IPA, Warlayirti and Yulparija artists and art centres.This material is sourced from Ngurra Kuju Walyja — the Canning Stock Route Project, which was initiated in 2006 by FORM and developed in partnership with Birriliburu, Kayili, KALACC, Mangkaja, Martumili, Ngurra, Papunya Tula, Paruku IPA, Warlayirti and Yulparija artists and art centres.

John and Carly at the painting workshop

John and Carly watching the painting workshop. Well 36 Kilykily Artists Camp. Canning Stock Route bush trip 5- 6 August 2007.

Date created: 8/5/2007 10:57:00
Photographer: Tim Acker
Location: Well 36, Kilykily
Latitude/Longitude: -22.13954/125.28598

People: John Carty, Carly Davenport
Art Centre(s): CSR Project

Copyright: FORM
Format: Image
Category: Image
Source: 7 Canning Stock Route bush trip 5-6 August 07
Accession ID: 20131220_FORM_MIRA_B0008_0088

Provenance: This material is sourced from Ngurra Kuju Walyja — the Canning Stock Route Project, which was initiated in 2006 by FORM and developed in partnership with Birriliburu, Kayili, Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre, Mangkaja, Martumili, Ngurra, Papunya Tula, Paruku IPA, Warlayirti and Yulparija artists and art centres.

Lunch break

Aerial view of the group beside a 4WD, preparing lunch. Canning Stock Route bush trip, July 2007.

Date created: 2007-07-21
Photographer: Tim Acker
Location: near Palarji (Well 9)
Latitude/Longitude: -25.01/121.58

People: Vera Anderson, Jawurji Mervyn Street, John Carty, Joe Duncan, Kaye Bingham, Frank Lane, Paul Elliott, Cam McGrath
Art Centre(s): Birriliburu Artists, Tjukurba Gallery, Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency

Copyright: FORM
Format: Image
Category: Image
Source: Canning Stock Route bush trip 16-21 July 2007
Accession ID: 20131220_FORM_MIRA_B0003_0012

Provenance: This material is sourced from Ngurra Kuju Walyja — the Canning Stock Route Project, which was initiated in 2006 by FORM and developed in partnership with Birriliburu, Kayili, KALACC, Mangkaja, Martumili, Ngurra, Papunya Tula, Paruku IPA, Warlayirti and Yulparija artists and art centres.

Lunch break

The group eating lunch. Canning Stock Route bush trip, July 2007.

Date created: 2007-07-21
Photographer: Tim Acker
Location: near Palarji (Well 9)
Latitude/Longitude: -25.01/121.58

People: Vera Anderson, Nicole Ma, Niesha Long, Adena Williams, Annette Williams, John Carty, Sheila Friday Jones
Art Centre(s): Birriliburu Artists, Tjukurba Gallery

Copyright: FORM
Format: Image
Category: Image
Source: Canning Stock Route bush trip 16-21 July 2007
Accession ID: 20131220_FORM_MIRA_B0003_0014

Provenance: This material is sourced from Ngurra Kuju Walyja — the Canning Stock Route Project, which was initiated in 2006 by FORM and developed in partnership with Birriliburu, Kayili, KALACC, Mangkaja, Martumili, Ngurra, Papunya Tula, Paruku IPA, Warlayirti and Yulparija artists and art centres.

Interview with Friday and Kaye

Friday and Kaye being interviewed at Forrest's Fort, Weld Springs, Well 9. Canning Stock Route bush trip, July 2007.

Date created: 2007-07-21
Photographer: Tim Acker
Location: Palarji (Well 9)
Latitude/Longitude: -25.01818/121.5863

People: Cam McGrath, Jawurji Mervyn Street, Kaye Bingham, Paul Elliott, Danny Glasby, Niesha Long, Nicole Ma, John Carty, Anga Friday Jones
Art Centre(s): Birriliburu Artists, Tjukurba Gallery, Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency

Copyright: FORM
Format: Image
Category: Image
Source: Canning Stock Route bush trip 16-21 July 2007
Accession ID: 20131220_FORM_MIRA_B0002_0088

Provenance: This material is sourced from Ngurra Kuju Walyja — the Canning Stock Route Project, which was initiated in 2006 by FORM and developed in partnership with Birriliburu, Kayili, KALACC, Mangkaja, Martumili, Ngurra, Papunya Tula, Paruku IPA, Warlayirti and Yulparija artists and art centres.

Interview with Friday and Kaye

Friday and Kaye being interviewed at Forrest's Fort, Weld Springs, Well 9. Canning Stock Route bush trip, July 2007.

Date created: 2007-07-21
Photographer: Tim Acker
Location: Palarji (Well 9)
Latitude/Longitude: -25.01818/121.5863

People: Danny Glasby, Anga Friday Jones, John Carty, Paul Elliott
Art Centre(s): Birriliburu Artists, Tjukurba Gallery

Copyright: FORM
Format: Image
Category: Image
Source: Canning Stock Route bush trip 16-21 July 2007
Accession ID: 20131220_FORM_MIRA_B0002_0089

Provenance: This material is sourced from Ngurra Kuju Walyja — the Canning Stock Route Project, which was initiated in 2006 by FORM and developed in partnership with Birriliburu, Kayili, KALACC, Mangkaja, Martumili, Ngurra, Papunya Tula, Paruku IPA, Warlayirti and Yulparija artists and art centres.

Goanna hunt

Friday and John holding a dug up goanna. Canning Stock Route bush trip, July 2007.

Date created: 2007-07-21
Photographer: Tim Acker
Location: Kunpa (Well 8)
Latitude/Longitude: -25.10602/121.38891

People: Kaye Bingham, Anga Friday Jones, Jawurji Mervyn Street, Jason Collard, John Carty
Art Centre(s): Birriliburu Artists, Tjukurba Gallery, Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency

Copyright: FORM
Format: Image
Category: Image
Source: Canning Stock Route bush trip 16-21 July 2007
Accession ID: 20131220_FORM_MIRA_B0002_0066

Provenance: This material is sourced from Ngurra Kuju Walyja — the Canning Stock Route Project, which was initiated in 2006 by FORM and developed in partnership with Birriliburu, Kayili, KALACC, Mangkaja, Martumili, Ngurra, Papunya Tula, Paruku IPA, Warlayirti and Yulparija artists and art centres.

Digging for goanna

Digging for goanna. Canning Stock Route bush trip, July 2007.

Date created: 2007-07-21
Photographer: Tim Acker
Location: Kunpa (Well 8)
Latitude/Longitude: -25.10602/121.38891

People: Sharon Anderson, Niesha Long, Sheila Friday Jones, Vera Anderson, Roberta (Lizzie) Minor, Adena Williams, Annette Williams, Nicole Ma, John Carty, Joe Duncan, Clifford Brooks, Danny Glasby
Art Centre(s): Birriliburu Artists, Tjukurba Gallery

Copyright: FORM
Format: Image
Category: Image
Source: Canning Stock Route bush trip 16-21 July 2007
Accession ID: 20131220_FORM_MIRA_B0002_0060

Provenance: This material is sourced from Ngurra Kuju Walyja — the Canning Stock Route Project, which was initiated in 2006 by FORM and developed in partnership with Birriliburu, Kayili, KALACC, Mangkaja, Martumili, Ngurra, Papunya Tula, Paruku IPA, Warlayirti and Yulparija artists and art centres.

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