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Kamara Brandy Tjungurrayi

Droving Days

Story:Many Aboriginal people were picked up by drovers and taken to the stations. Some were children, and some eventually became drovers themselves.

'I got pick up droving day back in 1959. I got pick up in Well 25, which is near Nyilangkurr. They took me on a camel to Billiluna, Kimberley. I went on a camel all the way down to Billiluna and I grow up in that place. I was only thirteen when they pick me up. And I go little bit of schooling old Balgo mission and I get back to the station, start working in Billiluna.' (Jeffrey James, 2007)

'My family from Fitzroy, Halls Creek, pick me up when I was bout eight or nine. They put me on a camel, come all the way along the Canning Stock Route. All the workers look after the cattle, and when the day breaks they go to another well and we come with the camel behind. And drover in the front cut another well and get the water for the cattle, and they give them a rest all day. Too hot for travelling. And later on when they cool down they go and muster them and give them water, look after them all night.' (Billy Patch (Mr. P), 2007)

'They were droving from Wiluna, stockmen. They picked me up and took me to Billiluna. Len Brown gave me a horse to ride. I put the saddle on the horse and we went mustering the cattle around the lake. Len gave me my name. He was my boss. Len told all the young fellas to come and listen. He asked if he could give me the name ‘Brandy’, like branding the cattle. They were all happy with that.' (Kamara Brandy Tjungurrayi, 2007)

'A lotta old people telling me bout how they used to drove from Billiluna straight across to Wiluna. But they’re not in the photos. They got no name. Nothing. They got to be part of this droving story.' (Jawurji Mervyn Street, 2007)

Desert people who walked into the stations usually ended up working there in exchange for rations as stock men and women.

'We had no English then. We came in from the bush. We worked there in the station doing anything for the white man. I was working in the stock camps.' (Jukuja Dolly Snell, 2007)

Dusty Stevens learnt to ride a horse on Maraminda station. He was a young man who had just come in from his Country at Jilakurru. It was a rough education, but he eventually became a head stockman.

'We don’t know which way to ride! We get chucked off. Me and my brother got a hiding off the whitefella. We can’t understand to ride now! We fall off the saddle! That whitefella said, ‘What you want to hit the horse in the eye for?’ Give me good hiding! [Laughing] He been tie me and my brothers up. We gotta sit down there all night! Jail.' (Nyulku Dusty Stevens, 2007)

Media Creator:Tim Acker

Media date: 2008

Media Description:Photograph of Kamara Brandy Tjungurrayi

Story contributor(s):Jeffrey James, Billy Patch (Mr. P), Kamara Brandy Tjungurrayi, Jawurji Mervyn Street, Jukuja Dolly Snell, Nyulku Dusty Stevens

Art Centre(s): Other
Publisher: FORM
Media copyright: FORM
Accession ID:20131024_FORM_MIRA_B0097_0021

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.

Video Title: That long way I been travelling

Video Description: Award-winning Papunya Tula Artist Patrick Tjungurrayi returns to the Canning Stock Route for the first time in 50 years to paint the story of his journey pout of the desert along the stock route. In 1959 a mining survey team landed in a helicopter at Well 40, where Patrick and his extended family were still living traditionally. The survey team brought strange new food and took Patrick's sick younger brother with them to Balgo for medical attention. Patrick, and eventually the rest of the family followed the stock route north to Balgo in search of the boy who forever after would become known as Helicopter Tjungurrayi. Patrick and the members of his family trace their journey through the sites recorded in his painting, telling remarkable, hilarious and sometimes tragic stories stories of first contact experiences between Aboriginal people and the non-Indigenous people who appeared unexpectedly in their country.

Date created: 2010
People: Helicopter Joey Tjungurrayi, Nankatji Josephine Nangala, Kamara Brandy Tjungurrayi, Charlie Wallabi (Walapayi) Tjungarrayi, Kumpaya Girgaba (Yurla)
Art Centre(s): Warlayirti Artists, Papunya Tula Artists, CSR Project

Place of creation: Well 36, Kilykily, Wanda
Latitude/Longitude: -22.13954/125.28315

Director: Nicole Ma
Editor: Brandt Lee

Camera: Paul Elliott

Sound: Cam McGrath

Narrator: Patrick Olodoodi (Alatuti) Tjungurrayi
Translator: Putuparri Tom Lawford
Executive Producer: FORM

Rights: © Nicole Ma and FORM Canning Stock Route Project, 2008
Clip length: 0:09:38
Protocols: PUBLIC ACCESS
Format: Video
Source: Exhibition Media/NICOLE MA MASTERS
Category: Video
Accession ID: 20130920_FORM_MIRA_B0023_0001

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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