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Karen Dayman

Majarrka juju

Story:Majarrka is the name of a sacred ceremonial totem carved from the riymangurru tree. Riymangurru trees grow near Paruku [Lake Gregory] and around Yunpu. They are a hardwood used to make weapons and digging sticks. Majarrka is part of the law and Dreaming associated with the riymangurru tree and it has its own song and ceremony. The contemporary story performed in Majarrka juju [song and dance] has evolved out of this traditional ceremony but is based on a true event. It tells the story of two law bosses, Ned Cox’s father’s father, Wurtuwaya, and Tom Lawford’s mother’s grandfather, Wirrali, both of whom are now deceased. Wurtuwaya and Wirrali were travelling around near Paruku as wanya [‘featherfoot’, sorcerers wielding a similar power to maparn but whose work is concerned with payback rather than healing]. They were looking for their sacred Majarrka totem, which had been stolen from Jarrkurti, a place not far from Jalyirr and Yunpu, by a group of men who were performing their own ceremony with it. The men were dancing with the totem when Wurtuwaya and Wirrali found them. The two men were hiding as wanya as they watched the men perform. When the men turned their backs, the two bosses snuck in and retrieved the Majarrka totem. In Majarrka juju the dancers who wear the long headdresses (pukurti) represent the men who stole the Majarrka totem. The two dancers with the flat-topped headdresses (kumunungku) represent the bosses, Wurtuwaya and old Wirrali. 'I want to tell a story about this little stick, this one, kana [digging stick]. Long time ago kartiya [white people] been digging with [iron] bar, long way down, might be 200 feet [to make the Canning Stock Route wells]. Kana, kuturu [large hitting stick used for fighting] and makura [deep coolamon or wooden dish used for carrying water], all to get water in my language. 'This tree and me we been born in the same Country, the one Country. He’s got a meaning this tree. This is the tree now, the meaning. He got the culture, Majarrka. Riymangurru tree from Lake Gregory. That’s the tree, that Majarrka.' (Yanpiyarti Ned Cox, 2007) In this story Yanpiyarti Ned Cox draws a parallel between the sinking of the Canning Stock Route wells and the digging out of waterholes. The traditional hardwood tools and coolamons used to dig and scoop out mud are often made from trees that have important laws and ceremonies associated with them, as is also the case with Majarrka.

Media Creator:Tim Acker

Media date: 2008
Story Location: Paruku (Lake Gregory), Ngumpan

Media Description:Majarrka dancers get dressed and painted up at Majarrka Workshop at Ngumpan Community.

Story contributor(s):Yanpiyarti Ned Cox, Putuparri Tom Lawford, Monique La Fontaine, Karen Dayman

Art Centre(s): Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre, Ngurra Artists, Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency
Publisher: FORM
Media copyright: FORM
Accession ID:20131024_FORM_MIRA_B0046_0002

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.

Kurtal

Story:Before Kurtal turned into an ancestral snake being and entered the 'living water' or permanent spring that bears his name, he was a man. In the words of Kurtal boss Ngilpirr Spider Snell: 'A big rain came. After the rain, grasses started to grow. From the grass Kurtal turned into a man.'

'Kurtal travelled to Jintirripil, a jila near the sea, who asked him to stay for good. Tricking him, Kurtal agreed. Jintirripil told Kurtal to find the jila Paliyarra, who had stolen his sacred objects.

'Paliyarra knew that Kurtal had come to steal back Jintirripil’s objects. He told Kurtal he didn’t have them but Kurtal could see the lightning flashing inside him. Paliyarra set his dogs onto Kurtal. Badly bitten, Kurtal tripped over Paliyarra, who spilled the objects on the ground. Kurtal kicked them towards his jila.

'Kurtal stole more objects from other jila, then went to visit his friend Kaningarra. Kaningarra asked Kurtal to stay with him there forever. Tricking him, Kurtal agreed, saying, "You lie down over there and I’ll lay down here.” Kaningarra went into the ground, turning into a snake, and Kurtal took off for his country.

'Getting weak, Kurtal crawled inside his waterhole with all his stolen objects and turned into a snake.

'That’s the song "Kurtal wanyjurla wanyjurla" we sing. He sent up a kutukutu [rain bearing cloud] like the ones I made at Kurtal.'

This is Kurtal's song:

'In the north-west I saw leaping fish sparkling in the sunlight. Carrying the sacred object I wade through the water. The waves carry me down to the depths. In the north-west I saw a seagull. The seagull was speaking. I saw lightning flickering in the north; I was the rain cloud. I am Kurtal. I bring the meat and make the country fruitful. The wind is wild, the lightning flickers in the sky. Up there Kaningarra is crying. The wind roars. I am Kaningarra, the great rock. Look to the south. That flat ground is sloping now. Who is that coming after me? I am a maparn [magic man] but I’m losing my powers. Look to the west. See his headdress.' (Ngilpirr Spider Snell)

Media Creator:Tim Acker

Media date: 2008
Story Location: Kurtal

Media Description:Kids all ready to perform Kurtal. Majarrka Workshop at Ngumpan Community.

Story contributor(s):Karen Dayman, Monique La Fontaine, Ngilpirr Spider Snell

Art Centre(s): Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre, Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency
Publisher: FORM
Media copyright: FORM
Accession ID:20131024_FORM_MIRA_B0046_0001

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.

Nyarna, Lake Stretch, 2007

Location: Nyarna Lake Stretch

Date: 8/16/2007

Event Description: In July and August 2007, around 60 artists from seven art centres travelled along the stock route documenting their stories and painting their Country in workshops held along the route. The last of these was at Nyarna, Lake Stretch, near Billiluna. Many new artworks were produced at Nyarna and the first Canning Stock Route 'exhibition' was held here on the shores of the Lake. A number of dances were also performed as part of the final celebrations at the culmination of this trip.



People: Putuparri Tom Lawford, Monique La Fontaine, Karen Dayman

Art Centre(s): CSR Project

Media Description: Artworks displayed at the Nyarna, Lake Stretch Artists Camp. Canning Stock Route bush trip 16- 18 August 2007.

Rights: Photo by Tim Acker

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.

People beside 4WDs

The team standing beside 4WDs and a shovel. 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: Carly Davenport, Sharon Anderson, Sheila Friday Jones, Adena Williams, Annette Williams, Jawurji Mervyn Street, Frank Lane, Jason Collard, Karen Dayman
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_0064

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.

Karen, John and Friday

Karen, John and Friday chatting beside a 4WD. Canning Stock Route bush trip, July 2007.

Date created: 2007-07-21
Photographer: Tim Acker
Location: Between Kulpa/Milyinirri (Well 6) and Kunpa (Well 8)
Latitude/Longitude: -25.17/121.23

People: Karen Dayman, John Carty, Anga 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_B0002_0047

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.

Karen, John and Friday

Karen, John and Friday chatting beside a 4WD. Canning Stock Route bush trip, July 2007.

Date created: 2007-07-21
Photographer: Tim Acker
Location: Between Kulpa/Milyinirri (Well 6) and Kunpa (Well 8)
Latitude/Longitude: -25.17/121.23

People: Karen Dayman, John Carty, Anga 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_B0002_0046

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.

Karen, John and Friday

Karen, John and Friday chatting beside a 4WD. Canning Stock Route bush trip, July 2007.

Date created: 2007-07-21
Photographer: Tim Acker
Location: Between Kulpa/Milyinirri (Well 6) and Kunpa (Well 8)
Latitude/Longitude: -25.17/121.23

People: Karen Dayman, John Carty, Anga 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_B0002_0045

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

Interview with Anga Friday Jones. Canning Stock Route bush trip, July 2007.

Date created: 2007-07-20
Photographer: Tim Acker
Location: Lake Nabberu
Latitude/Longitude: -25.599271/120.48897

People: Anga Friday Jones, Cam McGrath, Karen Dayman, John Carty
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_0016

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.

Blank Canvases

Artists sitting beside canvases laid out for the painting workshop at Kilykily. Canning Stock Route bush trip 1- 4 August 2007.

Date created: 8/2/2007 10:20:00
Photographer: Tim Acker
Location: Well 36, Kilykily
Latitude/Longitude: -22.13954/125.28315

People: Elizabeth Nyumi, Mayapu Elsie Thomas, Taku Rosie Tarco, Kuji Rosie Goodjie, Jakayu Biljabu, Helicopter Joey Tjungurrayi, Patrick Olodoodi (Alatuti) Tjungurrayi, Jugarda Dulcie Gibbs, Wuntupayi Jane Gimme, Nankatji Josephine Nangala, Karen Dayman
Art Centre(s): Martumili Artists, Ngurra Artists, Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency, Papunya Tula Artists, Warlayirti Artists

Copyright: FORM
Format: Image
Category: Image
Source: 6 Canning Stock Route bush trip 1-4 August 2007
Accession ID: 20131213_FORM_MIRA_B0004_0054

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.

Women painting at Kilykily

Women painting at the Kilykily painting workshop. Canning Stock Route bush trip 1- 4 August 2007.

Date created: 8/2/2007 11:15:00
Photographer: Tim Acker
Location: Well 36, Kilykily
Latitude/Longitude: -22.13954/125.28315

People: Wuntupayi Jane Gimme, Nankatji Josephine Nangala, Elizabeth Nyumi, Jakayu Biljabu, Morika Biljabu, Jugarda Dulcie Gibbs, Yikartu Peterson, Mantararr Rosie Williams, Muni Rita Simpson, Karen Dayman, Cam McGrath, Eubena (Yupinya) Nampitjin, Mayapu Elsie Thomas, Jartarr Lily Long
Art Centre(s): Papunya Tula Artists, Martumili Artists, Warlayirti Artists, Ngurra Artists

Copyright: FORM
Format: Image
Category: Image
Source: 6 Canning Stock Route bush trip 1-4 August 2007
Accession ID: 20131213_FORM_MIRA_B0004_0078

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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