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Jawurji Mervyn Street

Name: Clifford Brooks, Jawurji Mervyn Street

Jawurji Mervyn Street, Clifford Brooks - Boundaries [ORAL HISTORY]


Synopsis: Cliffy and Mervyn speak about the Martu boundaries that exist across Canning Stock Route Country and how kartiya maps do not acknowledge these boundaries. The speak about how Canning and his team used Martu people to help them find water for the wells on the stock route and how the Martu boundaries defined the final path of the stock route. Tourists don't understand the boudaries when they are passing through, they can't see the songlines. The Martu story of the guides and the people who have worked on the Canning Stock Route have not bee recorded.

Date: 7/30/2007
Art centre(s):
Language spoken: English
Catalogue number: CSROH_07_Jawurji_Mervyn_Street_Clifford_Brooks
Interviewed By: John Carty
Transcribed By: John Carty
Location Recorded: Helen Hill
Latitude/Longitude: -22.76667/123.7

Cultural Protocols: PUBLIC ACCESS - VERBAL CONSENT
Access: PUBLIC
Notes: There are four minutes of dialogue at the end of Tape 7 Side A that was spoken in Martu Wangka and has not been transcribed, which means it remains without a permission. In this section Clifford Brooks talks about his father’s search for Rover Thomas and includes some interjections from Mervyn Street.
Full transcript:
Mervyn Street: Now I was just lookin at this map here [tourist map of the Canning Stock Route], and see there’s nothing there, I can’t see any language boundary in this map- nothing. So for me you know, I was thinking ‘bout that time when Canning went through this way. Must be old people been workin for that kartiya [white person] – I dunno how many know, how many been workin for that kartiya doin well – when they was just about to get to that nother language boundary might be they been know that another family – like a boundary there – they never want go in more. Might be they been get frightened to go in there. Might be that kartiya pushed em, to make em to go there.

Some place story, you know, I been just listening, some people might have been forced to go there and when they been get to that nother area might be they been get frightened two sides: from other mob, from other tribe – because they been come from nother place – and they might have been frightened from kartiya [white person] side or from Martu side same time you know? That’s why kartiya might have been chain them every night time, so they can’t get away. And in the morning they make them work. But I been listening, they gotta good story, got good history for that kartiya, but somefella reckon kartiya been doing bad again some time, nother place, nother way, you know. But I thinking old people mighta been chained, locked up in a tree, might be kartiya been use, might be their wife – might be something like that – never know. That’s why might be some martu mighta been getting a funny feeling, like it might be kartiya never doin the right thing. Sometime they been frightened to run away, but sometime nother place now, they been get killed half way in the road – never know.

That’s the way the story gone, all the way. And what is worrying me here [Mervyn is addressing the map] – that got no boundary marks, for all the language, nothing. Kartiya [white person] gottem right across from Billiluna to Wiluna, you know. Like a language group you know, how far they go the language groups. Here from Billiluna they’re mixed, my family group there like a Jaru and [XX – mulpurra?] they talk and might be Kukatja [language group] that side, and more and more language coming in this road all the way. It got a language group all the way, right through. Might be some fella, Martu, might be frightened to go to nother area, nother language area, might be they been frightened to go through there, you know. And whitefella keep going, forcing them to go. And whitefella side they been thinking there’s nothing there, but Martu side, something is there.

John Carty: How do Martu know where the boundaries are, that kartiya [white people] can’t see?

MS: They know. Because they know what tribe the next place, they know how far they stop, when they go using that area. And they know how far that nother language boundary, they know. But whitefella, they don’t know where. They just you know go – long as they look at the Country – they just go. And they like to go straight! But in the road somewhere, Martu side, they got some special thing in the road there somewhere. In a front. They gonna have to dodge around, go other way round, all around you know? When Canning been going working with them people now, another people mighta been say, ‘this not our Country now. You gonna have to get right mob to lead you la this place now. ‘Only somefella been say you not gonna use same fella all the way, this not our area. And that why Martu always been say, you know, that they don’t understand. They like to force him, keep going people – to go through there.

Clifford Brooks: Chain em up.

MS: Chain em up, if he not listening. Chain em up.

CB: So he can’t run away you know? Night time he can’t run away he chained up there. He’ll still use him in the morning, you know.

MS: He never know, might be that Martu chained up, he never know if that man used his wife in the night, never know. That kind of thing, you know. Because I been understand all the road it circle round and round, and I been thinking straightaway might be something, special place there, and they been make it clear place all the way to go, and that’s why people used that place – nothing to worry, you know – might be bad thing one side all the way you know. But that’s the main thing, when you go to another language boundary, you get a right one to lead you through there – to guide you all the way. But whitefella never think anything like that, you know, they just reckon long as they been go where the straight line is, that’s all. In the Martu side there’s no straight line. You can’t go straight when you got something, some special thing in the road - you’re gonna have to dodge around, you know.

They got good name, but I heard about and know some story not good, you know.

JC: What would Martu do, if they’re comin up, might be that hill there, or nother hill, they come up to that place and they know that’s another man’s Country now, do they stop there or?

MS: Yeah. Only people who know, who belong to that place, he got a right to do that, but not Martu from nother area. He can’t do that, he gotta respect another Martu – you know, respect. He gonna have to ask proper way, and that Martu will lead for that nother Martu that free way to go, you know, no anything in the road. He can make it good.

JC: So you can’t just walk through another man’s Country?

MS: No. If you kartiya [white person] you’re leading me there, I might say I’m not allowed to go there, but you keep on telling me to go there. I never say, ‘no’ – you might turn and what you’ll do la me? You not listening to me. And those days, like before, it was happening like that, you know, ‘oh you not listening’ – he can punish you. He can starve you for dinner, or you can camp no feed all night, or something like that. Or might be just poison you or get rid of you – if you run away.

JC: So what you were saying, some of those people who were making the stock route, they put some of those Martu in a situation like where they afraid of kartiya [white people] one side – because they might get chained up, they might steal their wife, they might get shot, anything.

MS: Yeah.

JC: But they afraid of Martu too because they’ve been taken in the wrong Country?

MS: Yeah. Wrong Country there. Yeah. And they been forced through that Country they gotta think bout ‘nother Martu might [XX] ... That Martu from nother place might be he’s thinking, ‘oh I’m doing the wrong thing because this whitefella making me to go there, I’m not supposed to be there.’ And Martu might say, ‘not me, you gotta get that one there, the right one to take you to show you to lead you right way. You get the right person from there to next language boundary – you get another Martu from there, keep going, you know. Language this one Martu all the way along, you know. That’s why maybe them Martu been frightened – they try to get away, but them whitefella keep going, force them to go there.

JC: It’s a little bit like this trip. Like you gotta have – early part, Jiglaong/ Wiluna mob, the right people who gotta talk.

MS: The right people gotta talk. Right across. When you’re lookin at this map there – it’s clean – just only that road Canning Stock Route all the way. When Martu look like that, it’s nothing there. They’re gonna have to work out some way to put boundaries so when people look here’s the language boundaries. And when we go to this trip, might be somewhere, who’s the right person to take you to lead you somewhere? Might be he’s right for whitefella, kartiya [white people] he just go you know.

CB: Yuwo [yes]. Kartiya-fella way, you’re trespassing on other people’s Country you know, other people’s land. You know that word you say “trespassing” - you can’t trespass on other peoples property. You’re breaking the law, you know. Because we’ve got our own law, and where the boundary ends is [XX] … it’s the songlines you follow, you know. That’s what the old people showed us, the old people keep it in their head, ‘this songline ah, that’s where my boundary finishes,’ you know. And that person in that group where they’re, you know, having a ceremony, ‘oh his boundary now, he can sing that area, that’s his Country.’ Well that’s what Mervyn been saying about the boundaries. We only can go so far, we can speak in that area because we – like for myself I’m a Kartujarra [language group], but I been born, I been with the Manyjilyjarra tribe, so I can speak two sides me. And my old man, he from up that side [pointing north] from [Well] 33 back here, he been right up to Lake Disappointment with the Putijarra tribe, so he made his way up this way to get through all that – so he had to … it’s already open for him to go through, for my old man. They been welcome him in every tribe. And like what’s-a-name been say, Mervyn been say, kartiya [white people] never put that in the map, where the language boundaries are. It might be in this book here [Tonkinson], old Tonkinson been put it, it’s in this book here, but there’s no line in that map you know. Like for myself, I been, I know that Country, all the language there, I can talk Manyjilyjarra I can talk Kartujarra me know, so I can talk right up to [Well] 33, to Kunawarritji you know, because of my old man on that side, father side. Mother’s side is here, from Raarki [Well 27] back that way [towards Well 23]. This last well we went through, my uncle’s.

I only been travel through here one time, from … goin up to [Well] 33. First time I came through here was in ’97, and I didn’t even know all them areas, you know. I knew them but I didn’t ... I was a young bloke travelling. I didn’t took much interest. I been listening to all them Countries when I was a kid with my old man. He tell me, ‘one day when you want to see me you’ll go to all them places there, and you have a look, and you can tell the story. If they can’t listen to you by the story, you’ll do the art. By painting you can do that’. And that’s one of the things I’m gonna do when I go back [to Wiluna], do the language groups’ painting. Tell my story through there, through the art. Probably do a really big one, show where the boundaries are for all the language groups

JC: We’ll put it next to this one [tourist map of the Canning Stock Route]!

CB: Kartiya [white people] been putting the map here, you know, he only want to put the cattle through, right up here to Wiluna, you know. And its like what Mervyn been saying, people been getting frightened come along, ‘oh I can’t go in the next man’s boundary, I might get speared, or they might do something, sing me, you know. You’ll be cripple or sick for lifetime, you won’t get healed. And the old people will say – they’ll point a bone at you, you know, you’ll be finished in one day, if they really wanted to get rid of you. So you can’t go back and tell the people what been happen. Finished’.

JC: That’s something kartiya [white people] don’t really understand. Like it wasn’t just kartiya who got speared for goin the wrong place, like Martu would spear Martu if they’re trespassing another man’s Country, wouldn’t they?

MS: Yeah.

CB: That’s right.

JC: It’s a really hard Law.

MS: That’s why I’ve been bring up this thing, looking at this map and I been thinking, ‘where’s the language boundary?’ You got a track right there, they made a good history, and where’s the boundary for all the people here? Because when you go farm they got electric fence. And that nother farmer, neighbour, they can’t jump over another people’s boundary. They got electric fence, keep that bloke one side. Martu boundaries got no electric fence, just tree … People just passing through. But looking at this map, they [kartiya – white people] gotta recognise where are all the boundaries, language boundaries.

JC: Do you think tourists understand, when they’re passing through, might be that way if there’s a boundary of hills, or sandhill, they understand what boundaries they’re passing through?

CB: I don’t think they really understand the boundaries, they just drive through thinking its free, vacant land, you know – they say its Country that anyone can travel on. But they don’t know the real history, the real true story about the Martu, what’s really underneath, the stories have really never been told, you know. I know its sacred to the Martu, but for the whitefella to really understand what this Martu land is, ‘oh, this hill, what is it sacred or you know …’ They just drive along, and drive up the hills thinking, ‘it’s only a hill there’. Like when we went past that hill over there [pointing to the sandhill with tyre marks running up it that Cam and Paul went back to film], they think its just a hill and you can drive up there and do whatever you want. Back in those old people days you’re gonna get, old people, if you go up there – you’re gone [dead] that night now. They’ll sing you just like that. They’ll come to you when you sleep. They can pull any part of your organs inside of you, they’ll pull it out of you. You’re gone. Like going into next man’s territory you know, you can’t do that really. Well in the kartiya [white person] way you can’t go into another man’s property, you’re trespassing, you go to lock-up. You’ll be prosecuted, or even shot! Yuwo [yes]. If you’re trespassing in another people’s Country, ‘specially in a farm. You got a house there next door, you can’t jump over the other side. Only if you’re welcome to go there. Same here now. Like that from Wiluna there I couldn’t speak, I only spoke quietly now. I just kept quiet you know. And I just tell Friday, I tell him, ‘hey, where’s that songline?’ That’s all I been ask him, you know, secret way, and he just tell me by myself, ‘that’s this one here now’, and I knew straight away because I knew some of the songs. But its just for myself, I keep it because I know – what my tjamu [grandfather] tell me, grandfather telling, ‘don’t tell anybody’, unless they’re a Man [initiated], you know.

MS: What is good thing for putting a boundary line, you know? Get somebody along this road – all the people who know where all the boundaries is, putting all the name, and when the tourist come they can sort of read, ‘ah, we’re in Gardujarra Country’. Next one, other sign, ‘ah we’re in Manyjilyjarra Country’.

CB: Or Putjiarra, or…

MS: When they know, when they coming driving through.

CB: It may be a good idea, you know, to just put signs [saying], ‘you’re in this territory’. ‘Oh, we’re in Manyjilyjarra tribe Country now’, so that they can respect. Put a sign there saying, ‘don’t go driving off the road and don’t go to driving doing wheelies around the claypans’, and all that stuff.

MS: Have a big sign, saying what’s the place where you’re in, and it’s got all the things there.

CB: Maybe put a sign there, you know. Its like what we said earlier, might be, to tell our story to the world, we can do it by painting, paint this Country. But we don’t want to paint other people’s Country, you gotta get permission first, ‘can we paint from the start to the end?’ You know. Maybe I can just paint in that area, my area, and other people from that side can paint that way and join it up together. Maybe this mob can join up, and nother mob can join in the middle you know, like do it in parts you know. Maybe … that’s what I think. We can paint in one area, and middle mob can, that tribe can paint that area, and that last mob can painting and put it in the painting. Join them together.

MS: Make a map out of the painting!

CB: Maybe, I’m just thinking you know like that, a good idea.

JC: I think that’s a really good idea, that the real map.

CB: Yuwo [yes].

MS: Yeah.

JC: That’s what this exhibition can be, if you mob want to do it that way, telling your story through your own maps.

CB: That north mob, Balgo and Fizroy, they painting their Country, like that picture I been see the other night, they painting they’re Country, they paint, like that one now. We get them to paint, get a painting for that one there, and maybe we can paint our one in the middle there and join em together. … and we can get maybe this mob, maybe Jiglaong or Parnngurr to join em together, join the paintings, tell their story
through there, ‘this one here rockhole, mine one belong to my grandfather...’

MS: And they can know now, they can know where’s that place not to go, where’s that place you can go – all that kind, all the way along. That map will show everything that way; it would make a really good map.

[Note: There are four minutes at the end of this track that are not transcribed. In this section Clifford Brooks talks about his father’s story looking for Rover Thomas, with some interjections from Mervyn Street]

[CSR Tape 7: Side B]

CB: Yeah, big painting from the start, today that’ll be really good for the exhibition, you know.

JC: Well it’ll be great because kartiya [white people] will be able to see, they can look at this map that they understand and then see that other map there and go ‘oh, there’s a different story’.

CB: Yeah, oh this is where … the boundaries are here, you know … we want to … what we say been a good idea … where the boundaries you know? We can tell our stories through that, you know? Might be here, put it on here … some part might be, will be cut … to make the program on the thing there shorter, you know? That’s what um, editors do, you know? They might cut all the stories out, you know? Yuwo [yes]… to make it short, you know? Yuwoo [yes].

JC: They might have to.

CB: Yuwo [yes] … that’s how some of the stories are getting get missed out, you know? Our stories are getting missed out, you know?

JC: Yeah.

CB: But … the only way for us mob is to do it by painting, do it section by section … this is the group, this is the language group here, another language group here, you know? And this is a boundary that one, we can put it all in the one … boundary side. When you look at it now, kartiya’s [white people] going through the boundary, going right through …

JC: It’s trespassing - but we call it tourism.

CB: Yuwo [yes], tourism yeah, tourism you call him.

MS: Just like a … Canning got good history of this road now for his story, made it really good history – what about all the Martu? We got no history. We been working through here, at least Martu do their best to make a road for other mob.

CB: All the Martu been used, like some of them come on the trip, they’re like a cook, old people, they been come as a cook washing plate and all that, and they been come up there … They not in the photo, they not in the book, they not in the pictures …

MS: No name, nothing …

CB: Nothing. You go to Turkey Creek now I seen a one old lady there she got a wooden leg you know … and he been sit down they and he been tell me the story, ‘well, I been droving, I been go that-a way, Wiluna’, and he got a wooden leg.

MS: Yeah.

CB: I seen her last … year before … last year when I was there. Yeah before that, yeah … I seen her with a wooden leg still walking around and he been tell me that story, ‘oh, I been to Wiluna, I been droving, I been washing plate I been come back and I been hurt my leg on that, on that trip’ … that old lady still there …

MS: In Billiluna … they know their story again, you know, old people again, but they’re not in the photos, they got no name, nothing. And we’re trying to get that story back and, you know, put their name down. They gotta be part of this droving story and this story about why Canning been making that well all the way. They got names, old people. But we want to bring them back again, story for old people.

CB: Yuwo [yes].

MS: Yuwo [yes].

END
Source: CSROH_07_Jawurji_Mervyn_Street_Clifford_Brooks

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.

Nyulku Dusty Stevens, Jawurji Mervyn Street

Jawurji Mervyn Street and Nyulku Dusty Stevens - droving and working as a stockman [ORAL HISTORY]
Synopsis: Jawurji Mervyhn Street and Nyulku Dusty Stevens talk about when Mervyn worked for Dusty when Dusty was head stockman. Annette Williams also tells some life history.

Date: 2007-07-01
Art centre(s): Birriliburu Artists, Tjukurba Gallery, Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency
Language spoken: Kriol, English
Catalogue number: CSROH_143_Nyulku_Dusty_Stevens_Jawurji_Mervyn_Street
Date: 2007-07-01
Transcribed By: Monique La Fontaine
Location Recorded: Well 1
Latitude/Longitude: -26.55781/120.18128

Cultural Protocols: Public Access - Verbal Consent
Access: Public
Notes: Correlates to edited film S3_Jilajurru 3_Droving
Full transcript: Dusty Stevens: … droving.

Mervyn Street: You been run a camp eh? Good stockman. (Time code: 0026) From first thing in the morning you make me get up …

DS: Chase the bullock all day, wild one. Work.

MS: Now you gotta tell story for droving, you know, from long time, you know, story you been telling me for droving from Billiluna to here. I want you to tell that story. (Time code: 0104)

DS: Yeah. All the nightwatching. All a 500 bullock driving long, no sleep, no sleep, truck ‘em and go back again.

MS: No, I like to say about myself, I know Dusty, and I was young here and he (Time code: 01020) was head stockman in Carnegie and Wongowal [Stations] and that’s where I met him and he told lotta story ‘bout droving and I learned some story from him and he got good story.

DS: And the whitefella can’t get wild, ‘Come on, hurry up and get up,’ nothing. They gotta listen to me what I tell ‘em … They know. Night watching …

DS: (Time code: 0206) I come from Ned [?] Creek station, 100 mile from here, truck the bullock here, go sit down …

My mum and Dad was there Jigalong side, mission you know, long time, Mt Newman before Mt Newman was a put up. We been working all round Ethel Creek. We get chucked off [a horse] get a hiding from whitefella …

DS: (Time code: 0303) Come here with a bullock, come straight across through Ned Creek and go back, and another lot come straight across form Billiluna straight across form Carnegie, into Carnegie through there Wongawal, truck ‘em there and go back. Horses go back and bullock go in the train. Go in the truck, you know, good. Good road through Ned Creek. Rabbit Through Fence [Rabbit Proof Fence] goes through there. You know when people go [law] meetings they go Rabbit Through Fence straight across to Jigalong. We meet up with men at Mandawinti and Wiluna all meet up, three four week, all old people gone now, walking, long time. Camel cart, not now. Long time.

MS: You were telling me in Carnegie droving in Billiluna, you know anyone in Billiluna?

DS: Yeah old people, they carry a swag and billycan full a water, they got a government well there fill ‘em up water… Good Country.

MS: ... Story about droving across Canning Stock Route, how he remember droving days (Time code: 0715) when they came with a big mob of cattle here and cattle used to stop here, and went on the train and then finish, no more droving you know. (Time code: 907030)

DS: They pay us money, few bob, when you want to get a tea and sugar and go, no motorcar. Tea and sugar and flour, give us ration you know, plenty tucker and you can go sit down in the creek. ‘Job finish you fellas can go and sit down now. No more work,’ like that. That’s a long time, that’s a main camp we used to camp at Bondini, that’s where we been long time sit down, you know, old people. It was the job, corroborees there. They had that well there right in the camp, used to get him with a billycan. Pull him out and pour him in and drink a tea, old people, long time. Fill him up in a billycan. Old people telling us story. Like Jigalong, we learn from them old fellas. We sit down good, no fight, sit down good, have a drink of tea, damper cooking in the ground. That’s why we learn. Whitefella give us tea and sugar in the bag. Tea, sugar, flour, that’s all. Poor old fellas can’t understand, we don’t know what we gotta say …
(Time code: 1842)

DS: I raise him up [Annette Williams]. I’m married to his mummy, that’s my daughter.

Annette Williams: We going up Canning Stock Route. Old man Dusty come from Jilakurru. That’s where his Country is. I want to go there and look at this place. It’s my first time to see his Country.

DS: I’m still going … [Dusty’s son doesn’t want him to go on the trip because of health concerns. Dusty is still determined to go]

My Country Jilakurru. My old man take me Jigalong, Carnegie Country.

AW: I’ll tell story about old man Country … When my father lost his mother and father old man Dusty mother and father took care of my father, and they went across to Jigalong and that’s where they learned how to work on station.

DS: That’s’ old timers. People need to know what they been doing, see? Coolamon, old lady carry them on the top [of their head], carry a bangarra [goanna]. That’s old timer story.

END
Video format: DVD/Quicktime movie
Source: CSROH_143_Nyulku_Dusty_Stevens_Jawurji_Mervyn_Street
Rights: Cultural Owner & Storyteller: Nyulku Dusty Stevens, Jawurji Mervyn Street; © FORM, transcript only

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.

Jawurji Mervyn Street

Jawurji Mervyn Street - stories for younger generations [ORAL HISTORY]
Synopsis: Jawurji Mervyn Street talks about the way the Canning Stock Route ended up bringing people back together. He also talks about family he has in Wiluna, and the importance of keeping stories alive for the younger generations.

Date: 2007-07-01
Art centre(s): Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency
Language spoken: English
Catalogue number: CSROH_145_Jawurji_Mervyn_Street
Date: 2007-07-01
Transcribed By: Monique La Fontaine
Location Recorded: Jilakurru (Well 17)
Latitude/Longitude: -23.73051/122.48453

Cultural Protocols: Public Access - Verbal Consent
Access: Public
Notes: Mervyn Street’s oral history material in this document was transcribed in October 2008 from footage shot on the Canning Stock Route trip in July 2007. This is a partial transcription only and it falls across more than one tape. The change of tapes is noted in the transcription.
Full transcript: [From 2ND UNIT/5V]

Jawurji Mervyn Street: I been thinking, you know, when I first come here, you know, old people came to meet, you know, all the way from, some from Kimberley to here in this area, in Wiluna area, before in the drovin’ time and that’s only time people had water, you know, comin’ through. So just like Canning made a well, put a well through. But I’m only thinking how it got through, you know, probably mightee old people from some way, from this place, showing Canning what water or well coming through this way. Because in that time people never know, you know, this road gonna be through here and since they been putting that well across and finish, and like the drovin’ day was opening out road for old people, like this time, you know.

Because when Wally Dowling came through with the drovers long here and he made it more easy for the people and that’s why old people came to meet people, you know, two side, you know: Billiluna to Wiluna. And I thinking you know, other ways if thing, all this road never been happening those days we never been here, you know, to meet, or never know, you know? Been a greatest thing you know, I reckon for people to really to come up [have] good time together, people right from there coming to here, and from Wiluna going back that way and meet people from Billiluna, meet people from Wiluna, you know. This road like a, made a good relationship to people, you know?

I was thinking, you know, coming up, otherways we wouldn’t be not here, you know, coming in this road. Because when I was down, you know, from Kimberley area we come met a lotta old people telling me bout drovin’, they used to drove from Billiluna straight across to Wiluna and long time when I was young and I went down Wiluna and I couldn’t believe I’m in Wiluna sitting down because, you know, I was, ‘This the place Wiluna now,’ I reckon. You get sick of that name, you know [hearing it so much growing up]. I didn’t know it was Wiluna now, that the way people drove form Billiluna to Wiluna. I couldn’t believe I was in Wiluna, long time ago.

[From CSR Interviews 3]

We been act close, working time and know each other properly [at Carnegie Station] and from there, I went to Windida and that’s where I met Dusty [Stevens], he was a stock camp boss for us. And few of my old people been working there and every night Dusty was telling droving story and he know some people from Billiluna and all the people in Wiluna and I was there to come to meet, you know. And that’s the time right back for me coming from Kimberley, because when I was in Kimberley and old people were telling me same thing about drovin’ and I know them old people was there telling me to [go to] Wiluna, and when I got to Wiluna and I just look around and I [think] ‘This the place Wiluna, and old people drove right across this Canning Stock Route.’ You know? Like to me and to go back to my family and tell the story and I been in Wiluna because that’s the place they used to drove all the puluman [bullock], you know, the cattle. And I met them old people they telling me all the drovin’ story right back to Wiluna. We got family back in Wiluna, we got family right back in Fitzroy [Crossing] and they been start calling their name, you know. “Ah I know them old people.” Because some went back, some had to stay. We got a nyupa [husband or wife] from this way now. We got family and all, they telling me that …

I like to share this story and not come from me, come from old people and go on and on, passed on you know, when I’m in my place I sit down with the young kids and tell them serious story so they can remember the story, otherway we’ll die out with story and no story will be left behind, you know. We’ll just go. We’ll just die and take our story with us, never know. We have story, pass the story so younger one can know the story so story can keep going all the way to another generation …

Mostly of my family, my grannies and my grandfathers all that family mostly gone you know, only me-palas [our] family. We got not many [Gooniyandi] family left behind you know, nothing [all died in massacres]. We’s only a few, not many, other family more than us you know, more than me-palas [us]. We only got little mob of family. They all our family gone, you know, finished. They gone with the songs and everything, nothing. We only left with the story, that’s all. But my father’s side, I got family in father’s side [Walmajarri and Wangkajunga]. Only thing I gonna go and sit down and really get good story you know, from my family, sit down with my family. And while I’m here now, when I’m in Wiluna Country, and they’re have just like in my family in Wiluna side, I have family here in Wiluna and all the way I come from there, nothing, never know anybody and now I’m in Wiluna I got family, see.

I’ve got my family in Kururrungku [Billiluna], it’s my father’s side family and my brother’s side family in Kururrungku, I got family there in Balgo, they know my old man, got family right across to Wangkatjungka, all the family there in Fitzroy [Crossing] area. Over from this side Kaningarra side, Ngurrarra side, I got some family, they know my father and I know them old people … and they tell me lotta story again …

You know I been just listening, hearing lotta stories bout this droving Wiluna to Billiluna and I don’t even believe myself I’m in this track you know? And I’m here half way in this road. That’s for me. Well Karen [Dayman] and Carly [Davenport] was really struggling to get me out here, I was keep saying he not my Country and all that kind of not and I gotta go there. And this the second round they came that ‘Wiluna mob wants you, the family wants you there,’ and I’m here you know. ‘Cause they wanted me to come, other ways I wouldn’t be out here, you know. I gotta come back and learn more language because I’m forgot some language. When I used to come I’m be nothing, learning little bit and now when they speak I can understand any way, not before, nothing. I was just like that, my ears [sticking out].

[From Tape 7]

In Billiluna … they know their story again, you know, old people again, but they’re not in the photos, they got no name, nothing. And we’re trying to get that story back and put their name down, they gotta be part of this droving story and this story about why Canning been making that well all the way. They got names, old people. But we want to bring them back again, story for old people.

END
Video recording: 2ND UNIT/5V
Source: CSROH_145_Jawurji_Mervyn_Street
Rights: Cultural Owner & Storyteller: Jawurji Mervyn Street; © FORM, transcript only

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.

Name: Anga Friday Jones, Jawurji Mervyn Street

Anga Friday Jones, Jawurji Mervyn Street - Kids being taken to Moore River Settlement and two girls escaping along the Rabbit Proof Fence [ORAL HISTORY]


Synopsis: Josephine Nangala explains the first time they saw a helpicopter come and land at Natawalu. They took (Joey) Helicopter away to Balgo. The family then went on foot, north, to find him. The helicopter took him because he was sick, he went with Kumpaya [Giragaba]'s mummy.

Date: 2007-07
Art centre(s): Birriliburu Artists, Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency
Language spoken: English
Catalogue number: CSROH_05B_Anga_Friday_Jones_Jawurji_Mervyn_Street
Interviewed By: 2007-07
Transcribed By: Paulene Mackell
Recorded by: Nicole Ma, Paul Elliott
Location Described: Natawalu, Well 40
Location Recorded: Natawalu, Well 40
Latitude/Longitude: -21.66779/125.78843

Cultural Protocols: PUBLIC ACCESS
Access: PUBLIC
Full transcript:
John Carty: Those blokes you were talking about, we all know that those drovers were taking young Martu women … [XX - some inaudible words] You can see it and that earlier question makes me think that maybe that’s why lot of those Martu men were getting angry.

Mervyn Street & Friday Jones: Yuwa [yes], that’s right.

JC: Talk about that one for us, do you think that’s what happening when they say when kartiya [white person] was killed that they don’t tell us the story?

FJ: That’s it yeah, that’s the same sort of problem we talking about you know, they must of been killing, something might a been, they want to kill a couple of Martu one, or Martu been killing em kartiya [white person] through here, suppose. Don’t know what for and what story they got. But I tell you bout government side you know before they, before when they see a kartiya kid [child of mixed Aboriginal and European descent] you know, might be two three kid, they used to send em away you know, the government used to send him away, send em away. Get them off the mother and send em away to Mogumber [Moore River Settlement]. I think you heard about that story, you know, they go around and the government go round and lured all them white baby [children of mixed Aboriginal and European descent] … XX - ] Get him and send him away, take him to Mogumber.

Cos those days they don’t like the whites Martu got to white kids, well might be like what we're talking about now bout this Canning Stock Route. See before they used to send the white baby [child of mixed Aboriginal and European descent] away, Martu kid, big one heh [?], they collect all the white kids they send him away to Mogumber, Moore River settlement they called it, you ever heard about that? That’s in Perth that’s before, they didn’t want the white kids to start on, heh. He go there they used to send em away.

MS: Yeah to Mogumber, from the Kimberley. Whitefella come up they sent em away to be schooled, some went all the way from family, and they grow, they sent him somewhere big city you know, just like he’s saying, this is stolen generation, built a home. They want come back [after and find out who] what their grandmother is, what their grandfather is. They want to know if they come from Martu grandmother you know and they want to go back. They want to know what their really grandmother and grandfather, you know, is happening to people in [?] and that’s what happening in those days, you know. The white kids they sent him away to school and other places you know.

FJ: Yeah they sent em away to Moore River Settlement big mission up there, big mission where they look after white kids [children of mixed Aboriginal and European descent], and they don’t know where the white kids coming from, they could be [there] long years, could be. I know one or two white kids from this Canning Stock Route, and when the government come round and collect all the white kids from the black woman they sent them to Moore River Settlement, that’s used to be a big mission where the people look after ‘em. Do you heard about that Moore River Settlement? Yeah.

JC: Didn’t hear the story just I know the name.

FJ: Yeah one of the, they sent him away and they sorta rough handled em you know. Rough handled them and I know a couple of martamartas [people of mixed Aboriginal and European descent] from this Country and they sent em to Mogumber and I know they escaped. When they sort of realized, when they in Mogumber, they realized they was wondering where’s mummy, where’s mum. They sort of think, they sort of think back, cos some was a couple of whats-name martamarta kids, they knew who they were and where they're from. They’re from me but they belong to Jigalong, alright I’ll tell you anyway, they stayed there, they kept em, rough way they lured em, in Mogumber. They couldn’t take it, they had to escape, they walked them two girls, them two girls walked, they escaped.

MS: They got to away.

FJ: They got to away, they went, they walked straight east from Mogumber and they knew that whats-name they knew that Rabbit Through Fence [Rabbit Proof Fence], they knew that Rabbit Through Fence and they ran, ‘oh … [XX - in Martu] …’ Two sisters they got happy. ‘[X – in Martu] … Rabbit Through Fence … mummy …’ They talked Martu, yeah.

MS: Yuwa [yes]

FJ: Well we go see mummy now. They was happy when they escaped and went straight to the Rabbit Through Fence [Rabbit Proof Fence]. Yes and today, they, one of them, like finished, passed away and one of them still alive today. Anyway, they knew that Rabbit Through Fence they followed that Rabbit Through Fence right from Perth, somewhere round from Perth. Well the roads were very far from Mogumber, mission, they followed it and when they got to somewhere round Wiluna, I think three of them , I’m not too sure, I think three of them yeah, and one of the tracker. Tracker followed them, one of the tracker with the horse, he followed them want to take em back, but that tracker he was a Martu too. He’s a Martu, I can’t think of his name. Anyway, he followed them and he seen them two and he seen them two, then tracker he never said nothing, cos he want them to go too you know, and he saw em and just make out alright, ‘Yeah yeah yeah’ [to the whitefellas, tricking them]. He made out right, and he seen em there, they was hiding [XX - whispers in language] but he’d seen em but he want them to go [home], that old tracker. Three of them ini [isn’t it]? Three. One, one them from Magnet or Cue, or Meekathara. Cos one day when day when they got to somewhere round Meekathara, no Wiluna, cos there was a train line going from Wiluna to Meekathara, that’s when the train was going, and he seen that other bloke say, ‘oh there’s a train, train line this one going to Meekathara, alright I’m coming far as here’, he tell them other two. Cos that’s my two jutu [sisters] that one [the two who kept going to Jigalong], my jutu. He tell them two, ‘oh you two can go home, I’m following this train line back to Meekathara’. So he went to Meekathara to his own family, to his mother and father, he followed the train line but wasn’t far, too far. Only Meekathara about, oh what, a hundred mile. I don’t know bout the kilometer they call it. Yeah, he walked and he tell them other two, ‘keep going, go to your mummy and family’… She went and they went right then to old Jigalong, old Jigalong not new one, Jundimuna they used to call him, old Jiglaong. And ah they got there, they walk in and the mother got a look, oh! And he got a yapu [rock] and seen em. He cried. He got a yapu [gestures hitting his head with the rock in grief] and them two running, run …

[NOTE: audio recording ends here – the rest is on video]

… put arms round them, they both been crying, two sisters was there. Two sisters been come, two old girls were there and them two they [XX – indecipherable few words] and crying, and old girl was hitting him [gestures hitting own head]. And after that, after that the people from Mukampa they had this little funny sort of motor car, the wooden spoke you know, you seen it?

MS: Yuwa [yes].

FJ: I seen one in the picture there, that wooden, anyway had funny sort of motor car, he come all the way from Mukampa, right down to old Jigalong, Jundi Muna, and them they spotted it, ‘whitefella, whitefella’ they sing out, ‘whitefella, whitefella coming too’ and them two seen that whitefella little motorcar and they knew that, they knew that whitefella, and them crying and that whitefella crying to get em and take them back [gestures whitefella forcefully trying to get the children] and that old lady got up with a big stick. [Gestures hitting] Yeah, yeah they trying to get em two girls and take em back chuck em in the motor car, now. That old lady, the mother that belong to those two, got up with a big stick [gestures hitting], cried and send them back. Yeah, that’s in that picture Canning Stock Route, yuwa [yes], yeah.

JC: Yeah lot a stories cross that stock route, sound like what you two been saying, like that stolen generation that you talking about both ways. Kind of started with that stock route, those white kids coming from those drovers.

MS & FJ: That’s the one now, yeah.

M: Lot of things happened in those days though, been happening everywhere. In the Kimberley area… [XX - indecipherable few words], mostly all big mob black fella, you know around the station and might be one kartiya [white person], you know. One whitefella, you know. Probably he needs somebody, probably you know likes looking at they got those young one or something. They got somebody that marry with that Aboriginal woman, and having a baby, and they sent em away you know. But he sent him away and school em in big place, somewhere, another place, and when they grown now, they don’t know their family back, you know. It’s still happening now some family still missing their, you know, they got family been taken away before and they look at their colour – they’re white and they might think they come from white father and white mother really, you know, all that kind yeah. And they start looking back when they’re some of them reading in libraries some of them reading their book you know and what they’re finding it now they might find some family, ‘here I come from, here’, and they start coming back. Some of them… [XX - indecipherable few words] they come back for their family, for their really family, what their really Country, you know. They might even … [XX - indecipherable few words] away from that time some, well they all come back with their family they’re looking for their flesh, yeah.

FJ: Yuwa [yes] family.

JC: All these different stories you get, that stock route he brought a lot of families together, like you two mob … [XX] mob and desert mob. Stock route connected a lot of family together, but it also took em apart too those drovers, and their kids they got taken away from their families here and that stock route got a lot of different stories.

FJ: That stock route got a big name

MS: … [XX - inaudible few words] … just like a salt water split in half and people go to another island here.

END
Source: CSROH_05B_Anga_Friday_Jones_Jawurji_Mervyn_Street
Rights: © Cultural Owner & Storyteller: Anga Friday Jones, Jawurji Mervyn Street; © FORM, transcript only

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.

Canning Stock Route

Artist(s): Jawurji Mervyn Street

Date created: 2008
Art Centre(s): Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency
Size: 59.7x119.5
Medium: acrylic on canvas

Artwork Story: Mervyn grew up hearing the stories of relatives who had been Canning Stock Route drovers. As a young man he worked as a stockman himself, at Carnegie Station near Wiluna, where he met many of the Martu people who had worked closely with, and were related by marriage to, his own family members in Fitzroy Crossing and Billiluna.

When I got to Wiluna I just look around and I couldn’t believe I was in Wiluna. And I met them old people. They telling me all the droving story, ‘We got family back in Wiluna, we got family right back in Fitzroy. We got a nyupa [husband or wife] from this way now. We got family’. And they been start calling their name [and I said], ‘Ah! I know them old people!’

If this road never been happening in those days, we never [would have] been here to meet. People from Wiluna meeting people from Billiluna. This road made a good relationship to people.

Artwork copyright: ©2013 Jawurji Mervyn Street
Catalogue ID: MS/210/MJ
Protocols: Public Access - Restrictions on use

Photographer: Jason McCarthy
Photograph date: 2009-05-21
Photography copyright: National Museum of Australia
Format: Image
Category: Artwork

Artist(s) biography:
born 1950
Gooniyandi, Walmajarri, Jaru language groups
Jupurra skin group
Yiyili community
Mangkaja Arts
I been hearing lotta stories ’bout this droving, Wiluna to Billiluna, and I don’t even believe myself I’m here, halfway in this road.

As a young man Mervyn worked as a stockman on Carnegie station, where he met Martu people who had worked with his family on the stock route. In 2007 Mervyn travelled the ‘old bullocky road’ for the first time.

Accession ID: 20131014_FORM_MIRA_B0045_0079

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.

Cattle at Durba Springs

Artist(s): Jawurji Mervyn Street

Date created: 2007
Art Centre(s): Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency
Size: 29.9x125.1
Medium: pencil and watercolour on paper

Artwork Story: 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 be part of this droving story.

This drawing of Aboriginal stockmen on the route was made at Jilakurru, where drovers would graze their cattle after the long trek through the arid north country.

Collection: private collection
Place of creation: Durba Springs
Latitude/Longitude: -23.75397/122.51669

Artwork copyright: ©2013 Jawurji Mervyn Street
Catalogue ID: MS/169/MJ
Protocols: Public Access - Restrictions on use

Photographer: Jason McCarthy
Photograph date: 2009-05-28
Photography copyright: National Museum of Australia
Format: Image
Category: Artwork

Artist(s) biography:
born 1950
Gooniyandi, Walmajarri, Jaru language groups
Jupurra skin group
Yiyili community
Mangkaja Arts
I been hearing lotta stories ’bout this droving, Wiluna to Billiluna, and I don’t even believe myself I’m here, halfway in this road.

As a young man Mervyn worked as a stockman on Carnegie station, where he met Martu people who had worked with his family on the stock route. In 2007 Mervyn travelled the ‘old bullocky road’ for the first time.

Accession ID: 20131014_FORM_MIRA_B0045_0043

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.

Jawurji Mervyn Street

Born: about 1950

Language Group(s): Gooniyandi, Walmajarri, Jaru
Community: Yiyili
Art Centre(s): Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency
CSR Project role: Artist, contributor
Skin Group: Jupurra
Totem: Sugar bag
Country: Imanara, Mararra River

Biography: I been hearing lotta stories ’bout this droving, Wiluna to Billiluna, and I don’t even believe myself I’m here, halfway in this road.
As a young man Mervyn worked as a stockman on Carnegie station, where he met Martu people who had worked with his family on the stock route. In 2007 Mervyn travelled the ‘old bullocky road’ for the first time.

Photographer: Paul Elliott
Photograph date: 2007
Photography copyright: © Paul Elliott
Format: Image
Source: Images - Catalogue
Category: People
Accession ID: 20131016_FORM_MIRA_B0090_0018

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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