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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

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].

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.

Name: Doolmarria Louise Mengil

Doolmarria Louise Mengil - Being part of the Canning Stock Route Project [ORAL HISTORY]

Synopsis: Louise talks about her experience as an emerging curator on the Canning Stock Route Project. She explains how she has learned how to look at a painting, and about mapping paintings to the CSR. She talks about the curatorial process and what it has been like working with Wally, Terry and Hayley. She says curating is like a sport - it's competitive. She talks about her hopes for the future and how the curators have helped each other: we're all inspiration to each other.

Date: 4/12/2008
Art centre(s):
Language spoken: English
Catalogue number: CSROH_189_Louise_Mengil
Interviewed By: Clint Dixon
Recorded by: Clint Dixon
Location Recorded: Old Masonic Hall, Nedlands
Latitude/Longitude: -31.98/115.8

Access: PUBLIC
Full transcript:
Clint Dixon: Can you introduce yourself?

Louise Mengil: My name’s Louise Mengil. I’m 24, on Saturday. My skin group is Nangala [?] and I live in Kununurra.

CD: Since the last meeting, what have you learnt?

DLM: Heaps. I’ve learnt how to look at paintings in a different version, I’ve learnt how to compare works that are emerging, I can tell an emerging artist from a well known artist, so I’ve learnt heaps since the last trip.

CD: Can you explain how you did things differently? Mapping?

DLM: Ok, well that’s all new to me as well, but it’s all part of the experience that I’m learning. So, it was … laying the map of the Canning Stock Route was a layout to where the paintings fit in, and where the stories came in. So when we did that it was more to see what we had to play with, basically, so what paintings we could see were in each area and which country and how it related … yeah, so basically how it related to the Canning Stock Route and how we go about putting it into the exhibition.

CD: Out of the 100 plus paintings, how many are left?

DLM: Seventy-five paintings we’ve actually chosen, so far - without the paintings that haven’t come from the art centres yet, so there’s more to come and we’re thinking of having eighty paintings in the show, so we’re going to compare the new works with what we’ve got now and if it’s stronger than some work which means we have to take some out, so we can replace them.

CD: What's it like working with Wally?

DLM: It’s amazing. I’ve learnt so much from Wally, I mean, I practically now do the gallery presentation in our art centre. So, going from not knowing how to look at painting and then coming down here, learning within a week, learning so much and then going back and having that little bit more knowledge to be able to get to where I am now is huge. But Wally is an inspiration for me, he’s a hard worker, he’s like a guidance, he shows us, he explains to us, he sort of like … he doesn’t leave it all up to us. So he’s basically like a really good teacher at guidance.

CD: What's it like working with Terry and Hayley?

DLM: Personally I think they’re great and I like everything about them. They’re two different people, Hayley is very quiet and shy but also educated in a different way. They’re both older than me and they have a little bit more knowledge in the cultural background than what I have. Yeah, working close with them is good, so, I have no problems.

CD: And working with Terry?

DLM: Um … he’s funny. He’s a bit competitive in some ways, like, I consider him as a mentor as well but also a competitor, it’s sort of like doing a sport, like … doing this is like a sport as well for me. And me trying to tie in with what he knows is really, really hard, but it’s good because I learn a lot from him as well.

CD: How do you choose your paintings?

DLM: I tend to choose my paintings through connections. So I connect through a painting, it mightn’t even be by an artist who is famous, it could be an artist who’s just started off. For instance, Hayley Atkins, I connected to her paintings because she had this emotion that goes through it and I felt it from just looking at it and … when I first seen it I didn’t even know it was hers, and then when I asked it was like, it’s Hayley’s, and it was like, wow. You know, she’s got a natural … she’s a natural artist, so ... it’s more a connection thing for me, not what it looks like.

CD: You don’t go by a strong visual or stories behind the painting?

DLM: Yeah, stories definitely and um … it’s got all to do with my feelings. I guess I could appreciate a painting on my wall if I can connect and feel the emotions, the strength of it, if it’s … if it’s just something that I can see and it looks pretty there’s sort of no touch to it. Yeah, it’s more a feeling than a story background. So, yeah.

CD: How much do you know about the CSR now?

DLM: Well I know that it happened a hundred years ago and that all these horrible events that happened, about how people were moved up and down the Canning Stock Route. How a famous, painter, artist, Rover Thomas, how he ended up in Turkey Creek, or Warmun as people say. I’ve learnt heaps, considering I didn’t know anything.

CD: What were some of the funniest things that have happened?

DLM: I don’t really know, I think every day is a laugh for me. Maybe because … oh, there was one instance where Clint was bouncing around doing a ballerina dance and John singing along to it – I think that’s the most funniest thing.

CD: Where do you see yourself after the project finishes?

DLM: After the whole project? I see myself with a degree, I see myself with accreditation, with a … curator’s background and hopefully able to have the experience and knowledge to run the art centre in Kununurra.

CD: Can you tell us about your favourite painting?

DLM: The artist is Clifford Brooks, we don’t actually know what the story is, but it’s to do with the Canning Stock Route, it’s ochre based, which I’m … it’s a personal thing for me as well because where I come from ochre is used for practically everything – art, artefacts, ceremony, everything. So, it’s personal for me, but the strength of the painting and just to see the fusion of the ochre, or pigments, how it stood up against acrylics was amazing to see, I didn’t even know it was ochre until they told me.

CD: How do you help each other? [The young curators]

DLM: It works three ways. I help Hayley in trying to come out and be a little bit more … coz I can see there’s more to Hayley than what she does. I mean, I used to be that person at one stage, and um, we encourage Hayley to talk about stuff because she has every right to. She has history, background with the Canning Stock Route and it’s nice to be … she’s got strong emotions and feelings about what happened, about her country, about her family, so I sat down with her and just said express all your feelings, but use it towards anyone that wants to know about it basically, and she did, she was, wow, you know, I didn’t think she could speak that much but she did a whole day of talking and she interacted with about everyone who came through that door. And when I seen her do that I had to tell Terry to step back a bit and let her go, let her have that chance and that experience to sort of open up a bit more.

Whereas Terry, he sort of was an encouragement for me, he always used to encourage me, ‘look, don’t be shy, get up there and do an oral presentation’. There was a time last year, or in the last meet that we had, one of our artists had an exhibition down here and she wanted me to do a speech for the opening and I was like no, no, it’s so embarrassing, I can’t do it, I’d choke, and Terry was like ‘don’t worry about who’s there. Think about your grandmother, think about the work and think about your voice, tell them what you’re here to tell them’. So, he’s more of an encouragement to me, and it sort of goes down to Hayley. So I’m sort of in the middle and it’s really nice. We’re all inspiration for each other, like the whole team is great. I think that this whole project is an awesome experience for me, I see a lot of hard working people, I see fun people as well and people who’s just very laid back which I like, so, yeah.

CD: How did you get involved with FORM and the CSR project?

DLM: Well, it was funny. The position I’m in now was supposed to be for another arts broker within the arts centre. He couldn’t make it, due to whatever his excuse was, and Cathy approached me, our manager at the art centre approached me and asked me if I wanted to do it, because she didn’t want to pass up the opportunity, and I was like, well, I don’t even know what you’re talking about but I’ll go along anyway. And I’m actually glad that I did because I’m enjoying it, I’m learning stuff, I’m having experience. It’s great, it’s a great opportunity and I’m grateful that it happened to me.

CD: What's it like working with Clint?

DLM: Very fun, he’s very funny. There’s not a day you don’t go without laughing.

Source: CSROH_189_Louise_Mengil

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.

Nada Rawlins


Nada Rawlins - life story [ORAL HISTORY]
Synopsis: Nada Rawlins gives a brief life story and talks about her family.

Date: 2007
Art centre(s): Ngurra Artists, Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency
Language spoken: English
Catalogue number: CSROH_265_Nada_Rawlins
Date: 2007
Transcribed By: Karen Dayman

Cultural Protocols: Public Access
Access: Public
Full transcript: Nada Rawlins: I come from desert, long way. Early days, long time, young girl. Yama [?], sore, arm [forearm] and leg, come for hospital. We been come this way then to Wangkatjungka. Old people pass on, mother and father passes on in bush, long way. Stepfather been grow up me from little one. Mother got sick at Fitzroy [Crossing] … my dead father had four wives. Two been finished [passed away], young one finished at Wangkatjungka, one at Bidyadanga. Big family. My little sister she finished, too much grog, daughter from this sister in Ngumpan, Janet Pink [Spink?]. My mother got too many grandchildren, son one, my daughter at Junjuwa Nita Williams. That boy one at Jigalong, he been visit me last week, they call him Mark. [Big red truck took Nada to hospital for her sores from Billiluna.] No small mutikas [?]. Lots of people put at Yiyili, lots of people finished, old ones, young ones. END
Source: CSROH_265_Nada_Rawlins
Rights: Cultural Owner & Storyteller: Nada Rawlins; © 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.

Bugai Whylouter, Ngalangka Nola Taylor

Bugai Whylouter - biography [ORAL HISTORY]
Synopsis: This transcript is a biography of Bugai Whylouter, and is based on recordings as well as Ngalangka Nola Taylor's knowledge.

Date: n.d.
Art centre(s): Martumili Artists
Language spoken: English
Catalogue number: CSROH_272_Bugai_Whylouter
Date: n.d.
Transcribed By: Ngalangka Nola Taylor

Cultural Protocols: Public Access - Restrictions on Use
Access: Public
Full transcript: Bugai is in her 60s now.

Father is Warnman, mother is Kartujarra.


Bugai was born in Balfour Downs at Pukayiyirna. Her mother and father took her to Nullagine and Jigalong and from there they went back to the desert. She stayed around Karlamilyi in Warnman country, eastern side Karlamilyi, and along the CSR. She went to Kartaru, Wantili, Tiwa, Mumungarra, Wuranu. When she got bigger she married Nola Taylor’s uncle, they went together around Karlamilyi, and along CSR, met up with Biljabu families, walked around went down again, stayed with Taylor family for a time. That was when they all joined up together [i.e. with the Bidu and Biljabu families] and met Len Beadell. Bugai says she was climbing up the hills because she was frightened. She stayed at Jigalong for a short time and then left because her husband wanted to look for Taylor family. They met up with Taylor family in Karlamilyi, went up again on eastern side of Punmu, went north to Joanna Spring and back south until Nola’s father became sicker. They stayed in Karlamilyi and eventually, the old man passed away and then they all went into Balfour Downs. Bugai had one child at that time. From there they went to Jigalong. Stayed there and then went to Strelley, 61 and then Punmu, then Parnngurr later, then met up with second husband. Bugai lives in Kunawarritji now with her husband, Mr. Bell.

Source: CSROH_272_Bugai_Whylouter
Rights: Cultural Owner & Storyteller: Bugai Whylouter, Ngalangka Nola Taylor; © 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.

Putuparri Tom Lawford

Putuparri Tom Lawford - songlines, technology [ORAL HISTORY]
Synopsis: Putuparri Tom Lawford describes songlines and boundaries, and talks about how much learning there is in becoming a law man. He also talks about technology, and how sometimes it is needed, but that it can also distract from learning about Country.

Date: 2012-06
Art centre(s): CSR Project, Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre
Language spoken: English
Catalogue number: CSROH_279_Putuparri_Tom_Lawford
Date: 2012-06
Transcribed By: Mollie Hewitt
Location Recorded: Newman Creek

Cultural Protocols: Public Access
Access: Public
Notes: This was filmed on the repatriation trip to Newman in 2012. It was transcribed for subtitles, and it is therefore incomplete (and missing interviewer questions) and includes time codes from the film footage.
Full transcript: [Time Code: 22.49]

[Tom Lawford drawing in the sand]

Tom Lawford: Big Country, Australia. Canning Stock Route is just one bit, one little bit there. We will only focus on this bit.

These are the lines right, songlines that travel up and down the Countryside. And across, they go across. And every little circle, this is different tribes, this is their Country. And this mob can’t intrude into their Country, they can’t trespass. They got their own stories. Every little square. This is their own area and you can’t trespass.

[Pointing to his map drawn in the sand] You got up north here, Halls Creek, Billiluna, Halls Creek. And Wiluna down south. And you got the Stock Road. The Canning Stock Road cuts through all these different places. And there is Wells, some say waterholes, in people’s Country.

There are wells on the Canning Stock Route but they are people’s water. Where the Canning Stock Route cut through it took over our water and they made wells. And in a way Alfred Canning, he trespassed onto people’s land, Country.

He took over their waters for animals, to feed cattle. So these lines here, they are all songlines. That is how people are connected, they follow these songline – down, up and across.

[Tom is asked to explain songlines.]

Songlines are ... there’s Dreaming songs for the public and for women and children to hear and there are secret, sacred songlines only for men only. And these songlines they follow a being – like a person. Say this being travelled across this Country and they followed a songline through and the songline even travel across the border – to the territory [Northern Territory]. And then people follow it and then these guys from across the border [of the Northern Territory] they take it on.

Yeah and these songlines have different languages. One songline, one language sing it and then it change for another mob, another language sing it. But it is the same [story].

Well the Canning Stock Route, it broke the Country up. Most of these songlines up north, across here and some down here.

People were living in harmony, in peace. They had their own areas. One mob got their little square there. And the Canning Stock Route it cuts through different people’s land.

[Time code: 27.25]

[Tom is asked about how you know where the boundaries are for different people’s Country.]

Landmarks. Like that hill over there. So if you go over that hill over there it could be another tribe’s Country. You can only go as far as this creek but don’t go beyond that creek.

Well it’s in us because we are Wangkajunga tribe and our area is here [pointing at the sand map] and it’s Martu tribe here and you got another tribe here. And your tribe, you know how far your boundaries are.

It is right across Australia. There is too many tribes, right down to Tasmania.

Well some other tribes, some storyline or songline they cut through that tribe and through other tribes too. You know this songline comes from that area, through this area, cuts through and finishes in this mob area here.

That song itself will tell you. When they are singing a song, it’s a story, it will tell you how far it comes from this tribe to another tribe. And that is the good thing about all Western Desert people, it that we got the one songline that follows on. Even though we come from different parts of the Great Sandy Desert.

We still do that, practice that during our law time. Like the ladies got their own, you can’t interfere with women, men can’t.

That is why you gotta keep it [all that knowledge] in your head. You gotta know, because without that, what would you be? You would just be like a leaf blowing in the wind. You’d be nothing. That is why it is really important to learn from the old people, keep learning. Because, in our culture you don’t count yourself as a man, as a law man, until you know everything. Not half.

[Tom is asked how you become a law man.]

You can’t claim it for yourself, saying, ‘I’m a law man.’ You gotta go through everything to say it. Then the old people gotta go, ‘you’re right, you’ve finished your thing’. Not on your own, they gotta say it. You gotta finish your culture to be how they are. You can be fifty or forty to be a law man, could be eighty. Not twenty or thirty. Not until they say you are one.

[Time code: 32.20]

Some sacred stuff when you keep coming you get taught the real stuff. It gets harder and harder.
Even coming here, to a place like this you are learning. THE COUNTRY IS TEACHING YOU. EVEN THE TREES CAN TEACH YOU.

You gotta cut away technology from your head. Leave the mobile phone and computer aside. And then you have gotta think about your home, for your culture. If you keep that in your mind, and think about what you want to be and how you want to be, without these other interruptions, you can make it in life.

Mobile phone won’t get you anywhere, technology won’t get you anywhere. But we have to use technology, everything is changing, the Country is changing. If you go back to Country, back out to the bush we need a GPS now to find our way back. Most of the old people are all gone now to show us the way through the Country. We need the technology now and then, but not all the time.

To live in this world now you need have both, you have to learn white man way and your own way to live in this world. Otherwise you will never survive.

Yeah I feel it [responsibility]. But looking at things now, how things are changing, you can feel it. And what’s happening to our mob you know, with alcohol and drugs, with rubbish things that are killing them slowly. And it is a big responsibility. Especially when you got kids like these mob here, you gotta be there for them, not for you. You gotta be there for the next mob coming up.

Video recording: 03_DAY_THREE
Source: CSROH_279_Putuparri_Tom_Lawford
Rights: Cultural Owner & Storyteller: Putuparri Tom Lawford; © 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.

Yungkurra Billy Atkins

Yunkurra Billy Atkins - Kumpupirntily (Lake Disappointment) [ORAL HISTORY]
Synopsis: Yunkurra Billy Atkins talks about mining company's wish to mine at Kumpupirntily (Lake Disappointment), and how this is a danderous thing to do because of the Ngayurnangalku.

Date: 2008-05
Art centre(s): Martumili Artists
Language spoken: English
Catalogue number: CSROH_283_Yunkurra_Billy_Atkins
Date: 2008-05

Cultural Protocols: Public Access - Restrictions on Use
Access: Public
Full transcript: Yunkurra Billy Atkins: I don’t like the people, you know them, young fellas, white fellas, pushing Martu to say ‘yes, you can go mine that place [Lake Disappointment]’. I tell them, ‘No, don’t push them to go over there to make mines. They might get killed. You have to be careful of the cannibal.’ I don’t like those sort of people to go push people, it doesn’t matter whether they get big money or not. Tell them to keep their money, we don’t want it. The bloke who is pushing and forcing you to go over to that place, tell him it’s dangerous. That Country is dangerous. We tell those young fellas [who did the heritage survey at Lake Disappointment that they are only young teenagers]. Those two young men who just finished school don’t know anything really. Don’t even know the full story for that Country.

[Yunkurra thinks that government wants to mine that place and is allowing the company to do that]

It’s no good. I am not going over there. It’s dangerous, that Country [Lake Disappointment]. When white fellas tell me to go there, I’m not going. I’ve seen that [cannibal] man, he’s there and I know it.

Gabrielle Sullivan: Who told you the stories about Kumpupirntily? Did your parents tell you the story about Lake Disappointment?

BA: They did. They told us, ‘when you go there, you’ll see a light. Only can go there when the wind can blow. When the wind is blowing we can go there, can go past. If the wind stops you can’t go any further, because he is there’. [when the cannibal man is there he blocks the wind] When the wind stops, it’s no good. That’s what the old people were telling us.

One of my grandfathers went there chasing a dingo and spearing that dingo. This other old lady near there close to Lake Disappointment. My grandfather went to Lake Disappointment, chasing the dingo and he heard an old woman making a noise like howling, but she was crying for that dingo [that Yunkurras grandfather was spearing and chasing]

[The cannibal was a woman, there are many cannibals, men and women. In Yunkurra’s painting, it’s a man. They are hiding in the cave, only one man and one woman come out at a time.]

So that woman grabbed his arm and put her very long sharp fingernail through his wrist at the base of his hand and paralysed him. She put her fingernail right through his wrist. Then that cannibal took him to a group of other cannibals, ready to cook him up to eat. They took him and had him there and they were singing him first [maybe celebrating for the food]. My grandfather is a strong maparn man. Lucky for him. He got out of there, because of his strength as a maparn [he may have changed his form, disappeared, etc] from there he just took off and never came back and that is why he told the story to me. He told his children and my mother and father told me [might be the father’s father, because that family’s Country is around Lake Disappointment]. They were trying to kill him and eat him. I’m telling you [Gabrielle] that that cannibal mob is out there and they are no good [dangerous]. That cannibal is no good for anybody, any people, never mind if it’s a maparn person, like my grandfather, or people who own that place and think they can go back there, but the cannibal is no good for any of the people who might want to go there [including whitefellas].

I don’t know how white people [the people who did the survey, just for a quick visit, not overnight, because they know it’s dangerous] go over there, maybe because the cannibal was in the cave at that time, or he was somewhere else on the lake. If they were to run into him he would eat them straight out. That Country hasn’t got any trees, it’s just open and flat. Kumpupirntily, that’s a no good place. I don’t know why people are talking about that place at meetings, but they shouldn’t talk about it, they should leave it alone and have nothing to do with it at all. Just leave it how it is. You are wasting my time now – I was painting!

Source: CSROH_283_Yunkurra_Billy_Atkins
Rights: Cultural Owner & Storyteller: Yungkurra Billy Atkins; © 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.

Jartarr Lily Long


Jartarr Lily Long - family and painting [ORAL HISTORY]
Synopsis: Jartarr Lily Long talks about her early life and family. She also talks about her Tiwa painting, and a story for the old lady Wanakalypukalypu.

Date: 2009-04
Art centre(s): Martumili Artists
Language spoken: English
Catalogue number: CSROH_273_Jartarr_Lily_Long
Date: 2009-04

Cultural Protocols: Public Access - Restrictions on Use
Access: Public
Full transcript: Jartarr Lily Long: Daddy was a martamarta [person of mixed descent] from Fitzroy side, his name Pilinti, kartiya [white people] call him Flinders. He was droving from north to Tiwa, taking horses and bullock. And he took droving horse to get my mother, take her Kimberley, took her Karlamilyi, hide the horse in the bushes. My old Warnman daddy nearly speared that martamarta daddy. My nyiti [youngest] auntie stopped him: ‘Don’t spear him! He’s a boy! [A working Aboriginal stockman]. They might come back and kill us’. He was going to steal my mother and take her Kimberley. Other drovers followed him to Karlamilyi, long way from Tiwa. They took him back, kept droving to Wiluna. That’s why I’m a light skin. My other daddy passed away in Ngumpan. I go Wangkatjungka and see my families. I always stay with Kuji and Nada. [On Tiwa painting] The hills along the top edge are called Partujarapiti. There is a story for Partujarapiti about the old lady Wanakalypukalypu. She wanted to kill the Wati Kujarra [the Two Jukurrpa Men] and collected seeds which she ground up with poison to give to the Wati Kujarra to eat. But they didn’t want to eat it. They knew she was trying to poison them. They collected witchetty grubs for her to eat but they were really hairy caterpillars, and when she ate them she scratched herself to death. This used to happen to Aboriginal people on the Canning Stock Route too. My auntie’s husband was poisoned by white people. They used to leave bullock leg with poison for people to eat, and when my uncle ate it everything turned into a needle and he was staggering around. Old people made him swallow a lizard, that’s what they used to do to make people bring it up and get rid of that poison. END
Source: CSROH_273_Jartarr_Lily_Long
Rights: Cultural Owner & Storyteller: Jartarr Lily Long; © 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.

Putuparri Tom Lawford


Putuparri Tom Lawford - Ngumpan workshop 2008 [ORAL HISTORY]
Synopsis: Putuparri Tom Lawford talks about the Ngumpan workshop in 2008. He discusses the importance of learning to make artefacts and also discusses the Kaningarra dance that was performed for the first time in a long time.

Date: 2008
Art centre(s): CSR Project, Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre
Language spoken: English
Catalogue number: CSROH_291_Putuparri_Tom_Lawford
Date: 2008
Transcribed By: Monique La Fontaine
Location Recorded: Mount Newman Creek

Cultural Protocols: Public Access - Restrictions on Use
Access: Public
Notes: This transcript is transcribed from Karen Dayman’s fieldnotes.
Full transcript: [Speaking about the Ngumpan workshop in September 2008] Putuparri Tom Lawford: It was good for young ones and old people. Old people were happy because all the young ones been dancing and learning artefact making, karli [boomerangs], ngurti [coolamon] and mukurru [hitting sticks] and collecting materials for ceremony. They been passing down to their grandkids so they can carry on that dancing. Dancing is the easy part, what we need to do now is get them to learn the songs for the dances. Kaningarra was never performed for a long time, so what we did at Ngumpan was get the old fellas together and we talked about trying to get Kaningarra back, the dance, the songs. There’s only one old fella [Spider Snell] who still knows how to sing that song as well as the old ladies - all the bosses for Kaningarra have passed away. Spider wanted to pass it onto the rightful owners before he passed away. So it was good, all the old people been singing it and teaching it to Pampirla [Hansen Boxer] because he’s a Kaningarra man and he can carry that on. Old ladies been crying, it was like they were bringing something back from the dead. Spider’s a Kurtal man, we need to keep that carrying on because Kaningarra and Kurtal are like brothers in the Dreamtime. What I liked about that workshop was the young ones, the young kids, they were all humbugging me for dancing and making boomerang, they been waiting for us in town to take them out there. We go from generation to generation: from old people to our generation, and from me to younger generation. We had more kids there than adults. The little ones were really interested, and the young men were too. We had kids and we had teenagers, and they all wanted to have a go. And it made the old ones happy too to see their grandkids, sons and daughters up there dancing. If we had more time to get everybody involved, it would be good to focus on the girls next time, so the girls don’t miss out. We hope they keep it in their heads for the future. Some of the boys were learning how to make artefacts properly for the first time. After Ngumpan them young boys felt proud dancing in front of all their CFountrymen and different people from all over the Kimberley at the big KALACC festival at Mt Barnett, dancing their own dance from their ancestors, with the karli [boomerangs] and mukurru [hitting sticks] that they made with their own hands at Ngumpan. And it made old people and me proud too. END
Source: CSROH_291_Putuparri_Tom_Lawford
Rights: Cultural Owner & Storyteller: Putuparri Tom Lawford; © 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.

Putuparri Tom Lawford


Putuparri Tom Lawford - advising on the Canning Stock Route Project [ORAL HISTORY]
Synopsis: Putuparri Tom Lawford talks about his work as a cultural advisor on the Canning Stock Route Project, and speaks at length about the issues that surround the exhibition.

Date: 2009-11
Art centre(s): CSR Project, Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency, Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre
Language spoken: English
Catalogue number: CSROH_214_Putuparri_Tom_Lawford
Date: 2009-11
Location Recorded: Old Halls Creek
Latitude/Longitude: -18.251269/127.782303

Cultural Protocols: Public Access
Access: Public
Full transcript: Nicole Ma: Maybe what we should do is just say who it is and the day. Putuparri Tom Lawford: So I look straight at that camera, or there? NM: Let’s see you looking at Carly. It’s good if you could do both, because you’re talking to her and you’re talking to the audience too so whatever you feel like. Carly Davenport: So we’re talking to Tom Lawford on the 18 November at Palm Springs I think it’s called, just outside of the top of Halls Creek … So Tom, you’ve been working on the project the longest out of everyone in terms of the full team. What, what do you think’s been the best thing that you’ve seen in working with all the other people from all the different areas coming together? TL: Best thing is seeing all their hard work coming together, one big area in Canberra and all the old people handed on that stuff, we got some sent with us and yeah, it’s all getting exciting, and yeah. CD: And you started working with the Return to Country trip in 2007 as cultural advisor and translator and you’ve been in that role ever since, and from that first big trip to Country, how have you seen the project grow? TL: Well from a little trip, it turned out to be a big trip and today it’s getting more big, and too all this stuff will be not only here in Australia but travellin’ round a good way to showcase Canning Stock Road where people come from and what it mean to them. CD: And what do you think it means to them? TL: The Canning Stock Road is place of spiritual, like a Dreaming place for old people and this fella just came along and put wells in there, and all that area is Countrymen people, but Dreaming place too. And another that thing he did, that road it move people away to different towns. And another way – it’s a good thing too so people know where they come from, and their families, and they can travel on the stock road to meet people they know quicker. CD: And for telling the story for history the right way, because a lot of people are telling us this, this is the right way it should be told for Fitzroy Crossing people, what do you think they value in the project? TL: Well, Fitzroy people, they’re from that area anyway, the Canning Stock Route area, and they all left to come into stations and town and, like it’s, to them it’s like showing where they come from and where they belong to, where there heart is really, what they paint, what people paint – it’s not line or anything, it there Country, how they see it and this project, yeah, gonna do real good for them and it’s gonna open a lot of eyes – white people eyes – to find out the history of the Canning Stock Route through Aboriginal people. CD: And do you think that Fitzroy Crossing people are really happy for that message to go all around the world? TL: Yeah, yeah, they all happy and welcome. CD: And tell us a little bit about your role, it’s been a really important one for everything we’ve done form the beginning, anything you wanted to say or talk about … TL: What I’m doing on the project really is making sure what you mob say or do is the way that we feel is culturally not the wrong way. Like getting stories from one people sometimes, you know they, don’t like telling stories, like they can tell you a story, good stories, but some people don’t tell you other stories because too sad or something, but yeah, my job is to make sure that everything is working smooth, and going on … following that one line, not turning off and anyway. CD: Yeah, you’ve really helped with helping for trust with all the old people especially, and young people to go yeah, that project, that team, they’re doing alright, and Putuparri’s working with them, and if they get off track, he’ll make sure they get curators on the right track, so it’s been really valuable. How’ve you found the young curators on the project so far? TL: Yeah they alright, they learning too, they alright, yeah they getting there. You know, you got Louise from Kununurra and she’s from, we’re all from a different tribe and a different area and working on this Canning Stock Route Project, and yeah she’s doing real good, getting there. CD: And Murungkurr Terry Murray? TL: Yeah, he’s an alright bloke, he, yeah, happy go lucky bloke, and he don’t like to talk too much but, he doing the best he can and yeah, and them three young curators, Hayley, Louise and Terry, they make them old people proud with what they’re doin’, and they should be proud because they, they up there, the main people. CD: Tom in your work for [KALACC - ?] and lots of different things, for that movie and all around the world, you’ve been doing lots of different things for your people. How do you feel, as a custodian of this project, that this message will be received from people around other countries? TL: Yeah, well I’m sure that a lot of people from other countries heard about the Canning Stock Route, but not through what we’re doing, what we’re doing is from a different way of what they’re seein’ or heard about the Canning Stock Route, like it’s through Indigenous people, through our people, how they are seeing the Canning Stock Route come to life. CD: Do you wanna talk a little bit about some of the histories, and things that you, that happened out there at all? TL: Yeah, I know a little bit about what happened, a lot of killings mainly, there’s all that, and our, most of our old people was working for all them mob, taking cattle up to Wyndham, and they were meeting people on the road, black people, bush people, and telling them you gotta go back this way, there’s a big mission there, and taking people back. CD: People were treated really roughly weren’t they? TL: Yeah, some people were treated real rough, and a couple of ladies got treated real bad too, there too, from Canning and his crew. CD: Do you reckon that arts a really good way of getting those stories out for people to accept and learn and talk about? TL: [nods] This project we’re doing, this project is doing what – the history thing, but real history that’s coming up through the project, through painting and stories, that’s where people will see what happened on the Canning Stock Route. They think, tourist think it’s just a road. You can travel on the Canning Stock Route, but the Canning Stock Route got a lot of history from Wiluna to [XX - ?]. CD: And your role, really importantly as translator, you know many languages, do you wanna talk a little bit about the different languages and the different groups, so the people can really understand that it’s not just one people? TL: Yeah, for the Canning Stock Route, there’s too many different language groups in a room , you know you got Martu people, [XX - ?] people, [XX - ?], [XX - ?] , you know, [XX - ?] all mixed and they all from one area, from the one road, but they’re all living in towns, you know some live in [XX - ?], Fitzroy, down here near Halls Creek, they all everywhere, but all from that Country and they all got stories to tell in their own different language group, that’s why I do translate all their stories into English from all their different language group and make sure that it’s all right story not other story. CD: Has that been a really big job for you? TL: Yeah, big job – sometimes it hard, sometimes easy but we have to do it, to figure it out. Some good stories, some sad stories, But that’s how life goes, I guess. NM: What would, if there was one thing that people would take away from looking at this exhibition, what would you hope that that would be, the one main thing? TL: What I hope the people take away from this exhibition is the truth of what the Canning Stock Route is about , and yeah, the truth really. How the Canning Stock Route came about. How it moved people all around the Kimberly area. CD: How important is leadership for all the young people for all the different jobs? How important do you think it is for these young ones to work in the arts, work in film? TL: I reckon it’s important because art tell you too many stories, old people, stories they paint, that little painting or big painting tell you too many stories about that Country and it’s important because young people now days don’t understand that, you know. And the mob now growing up need to understand that isn’t just a painting, they look at it like ‘ahh, look at this painting, it’s just lines over this dots and this scribble everywhere’, but all them things got stories, got meaning and, like that old lady when she paint that tree Well 35 story, and when you have a look at it, that’s not a painting. But that painting’s got history, too many stories, and that’s what these young people they don’t understand. I think through this project it might make them more understand. CD: You were the main facilitator, you were the dude that put the whole Ngumpan workshop together, and some of the things you said at the time were pretty important when it came to the old people exchanging to the younger people, can you say anything about that intergenerational sharing? TL: Yeah, that woman, with the [XX - ?] woman, [XX - ?], [XX - ?], there’s one dance that hasn’t been performed for a number of years, because it’s Country on the Canning Stock Route, and we decided that we should ask this old fella, grandfather, [XX - ?], teach this other old fella, old Hanson Boxer, that dance and yeah, and teachin’ and singing them all singin’, and we had a meeting there, a lot of old ladies, Mon was there, Me, Tim I think, just talking about all the dances, [Kaningarra - ?], that dance and talking about to open up again so people can learn and sing and dance again, and it happened at Ngumpan, yeah. Hansen Boxer he danced a song and old people. What made me notice was, old people, they only really the ones who know how to sing it, and they aren’t gonna be there too long and we need to do more teaching, that’s what, were I work, back in Fitzroy, we’re talking about recording all these songs, the whole lot from [XX - ?] right down to [XX - ?] and the new one and other stuff too, you know record. CD: For that Ngumpan workshop there, it was the biggest group of people wasn’t there? TL: Yeah well, we cater for about 40 or 30 people but more than that came, we had too many kids, yeah all the kids were there doing something dancing – that’s teaching yeah, from old people down to the young ones and they’re all , yeah, they like dancing all them kids. CD: Was it true that all them young boys were lined up at the petrol station trying to get into cars? TL: Yeah, when we went into town to pick up a couple of stuff from [XX - ?] and fuel up, there were all these blokes, or one bloke come ask me for a lift to [XX - ?], and I said, ‘yeah come on, you can come’, and I thought it was one, then we had a car load. All these young boy from [XX - ?]. We take ‘em back and they all camped there, camped at the spring. They all had come for this workshop and plus we had ladies there teachin’ young girls how to make coolamon, boomerang making stuff, and collecting little [XX - ?] or little grass [XX - ?], yeah we camped there, one week. CD: And through this project time, do you wanna remember and list all the places and communities that you’ve been workin’ with [XX - ?], you’ve been to a lot of different parts of the Western deserts together, just so the audience can understand how you’ve been moving around. TL: Yeah, well from [XX - ?] to Cotton Creek, [laughs] ahh, from Cotton Creek to 33, yeah from everywhere [XX - ?], [XX - ?], [XX - ?], Fitzroy, this project here it take me everywhere, I thought, to me really this project was only in our area, but he went right down, goes through too many language groups, and you know you got , probably get people living in Perth and they probably come from that area, parents or grandparents come from [XX - ?]. And yeah, it’s in a way real good meeting up with people, other people from that one road, through the project. And these girls are, Hayley and Louise, and young Morika, for them too, you open their eyes too so they can meet other people, make them more proud in what they’re doing. CD: You’ve been to Perth as well, next year when we launch this exhibition you’ve got a really important job, because if anything, you know you’re keeping an eye on all of us, making sure everything’s happening properly. You’re very much the statesman for the project, for the politicians, leaders from around all the other states who will be coming and do you wanna … ? TL: Yeah well next year I’m gonna be the main part, so I’ll be making sure that people like John [laughs], and everybody doing the right thing. And yeah, we’ll have ministers and all kind of people there. All them people, who don’t even know about the Canning Stock Route, and with what they seen, they’ll find out what the Canning Stock Route is really. CD: Also a good chance to talk to them about any other ideas or things that KALACC is needing or wanting, what the old people are saying, you’re gonna have a direct communication. TL: Yeah well, when we’re talking in [XX - ?] too yeah, yeah like [XX - ?] and all kind of people I think through this project, them kartiya people might see what we do through FORM with this CSRP and then we got Kimberley people and Pilbara people, they’re strong people, strong minded people, so we gotta talk to them more. NM: Probably that’s a lot of what people don’t know that there are strong people there, you only hear the bad news. TL: Yeah, because what we do at KALACC, we do other stuff too – bringing back remains, and this and from Canberra mob too, so then find out that we people, we know nothing we got, we can talk to them and through this project we got one road, one, like all the people, all from that CSR they got one mind and one heart. One wangka [language], that’s what will make them see. CD: That’s beautiful. NM: Yeah. TL: That’s why this project got started, because there’s so much talent, so much strong talent and people in the region in a remote area, and that’s what the rest of the world needs to know. And particularly through KALACC and Mangkaja, that valley, in that valley there’s just so much happening. TL: Yeah, not too many stuff happening in Fitzroy at the moment. CD: Families are strong there though. TL: Mmm. CD: That’s the other thing that comes out from this project, really naturally, people sharing their stories. TL: Yeah, like this project, he like a family, like one big family, we all go together like one big family, from one area. Even though we come from other language group, different language groups. We’re all one. And from that one is that one history of all the whole road. CD: Wow, that’s cool NM: Fantastic. END
Video format: DVD/MiniDV/Quicktime movie
Video recording: 106 Kimberley Approvals, Tom, Louise IV's, Nov 09
Source: CSROH_214_Putuparri_Tom_Lawford
Rights: Cultural Owner & Storyteller: Putuparri Tom Lawford; © 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.

Murungkurr Terry Murray

Murungkurr Terry Murray - family and Country [ORAL HISTORY]
Synopsis: Murungkurr Terry Murray talks about discovering family connections through the Canning Stock Route Project, and the way he has family linked from waterhole to waterhole.

Date: 2009-10-27
Art centre(s): CSR Project, Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency, Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre
Language spoken: English
Catalogue number: CSROH_211_Murungkurr_Terry_Murray
Date: 2009-10-27
Location Recorded: Parnngurr
Latitude/Longitude: -20.492731/118.537344

Cultural Protocols: Public Access
Access: Public
Full transcript: Murungkurr Terry Murray: Ok cut … I mean go with it! [laughs] … sorry about that!

TM: Today we’re in Parnngurr, all day we are just having big meetings. Finalising the ... going through the book, the Canning Stock Route Book and talking to artists about what’s going in the book, the Canning Stock Route book, then signing off on the story lines, what paintings are hanging in the collection in Canberra at the National Museum – Canning Stock Route Project. Today was a big day for us. Trying to finalise everything and that everyone is happy, from the TO’s [traditional owners], the artists.

Nicole Ma: Were they happy?

TM: Yeah they were happy, and giving us more story on their painting and also on their biography and artist history, where they been born and what area they paint on the Canning Stock Route.

NM: What was the most interesting story for you today?

TM: Oh just, family connections, from my aunty. How, coming through the desert and how they are related to my mob, all still family connection from jila to jila.

NM: Have you heard that story before or was it new to you?

TM: I heard this story before, but coming from my aunty here in Parnngurr (about) the connection, I been told the story up in Mangkaja there. And coming here on this Canning Stock Route project, and yeah hearing the same story and how everybody is related.

NM: Was that special for you?

TM: It’s special. I had a laugh and good feeling in inside.

NM: Did she tell you about your [XX - ?]

TM: [She was] telling me about my grandfather and how he went walking through the desert picking new wives – walking from Japingka through to Wirnpa – getting wives and going back up – and how everybody is related today. Yeah it was a bit funny hearing it …

NM: Ah, so he walked along the stock route getting new wives all along the way?

TM: Nah, not the stock route, you know Lake Percival and Wirnpa, and how they are overlapping with the [XX - ?] people. How some lines of waterhole, jila, Great Sandy Desert. How Martu and Ngurra people all connected.

NM: Yeah, that’s interesting

TM: Yeah, it’s interesting. You know all this week we been talking about history. Before Canning made those lines of well it was all family groups, tribes and language groups that were related – how that connection in the Western Desert. Family tribes meeting other family in different jila and different waterholes in the desert.

So it’s a big movement now. How Canning made those lines on Martu Country you know, now days we are living, everybody moved – separated to different part of the Western Desert to different towns: Fitzroy Crossing, Newman, Jigalong, Balgo, Broome, Bidyadanga. And that connection is still alive today in the heart of the desert. We all still got that family connection and language connection. We all one mob. All one [Martu] people. And yeah ... Canning Stock Route is another history. It’s the European version, but now what we’re talking about is how this land, the Western Desert, is connected with Martu, with Aboriginal [people]. How daily lives were all connected back through song and dance and Dreaming and the desert.

Video format: DVD/MiniDV/Quicktime movie
Video recording: 103 Kimberley Approvals, Nov 09
Source: CSROH_211_Murungkurr_Terry_Murray
Rights: Cultural Owner & Storyteller: Murungkurr Terry Murray; © 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.


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