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Kriol, English

Name: Ngarralja Tommy May

Ngarralja Tommy May - Kurtal, Kaningarra and the Canning Stock Route [ORAL HISTORY]

Other Speaker/s: Ngilpirr Spider Snell, Jukuja Dolly Snell

Synopsis: Tommy talks about his painting Kurtal and Kaningarra, and tells the Jukurrpa story of these two. Tommy and Spider Snell talk about taking care of these two jila today, and who is left to look after Kurtal and Kaningarra. He talks about seeing bullock for the first time near Well 42. He talks about cultural and law boundaries throughout the Canning Stock Route Coutry and how kartiya doen't know about thes boundaries.

Date: 8/16/2007
Art centre(s):
Language spoken: Kriol, English
Catalogue number: CSROH_27_Ngarralja_Tommy_May
Interviewed By: Nicole Ma; ABC 7.30 Report reporters
Transcribed By: Monique La Fontaine
Recorded by: Nicole Ma; ABC 7.30 Report
Location Described: Kurtal, Kaningarra
Location Recorded: Nyarna, Lake Stretch
Latitude/Longitude: -19.0796/128.2542

Access: PUBLIC
Notes: Recorded by Nicole Ma with ABC 7.30 Report/ Landline. It is likely the male reporter asking questions in this footage is David Mark. There were notes and corrections made to this story when the permission was gathered on 3 September 2008, these notes have been included in this transcript.
Full transcript:
Tommy May: Yeah, right through.

Nicole Ma: And what do you remember about this place from before?

TM: Yeah, this place right. We walked from desert, we been right around here, all around, when I was a kid. With my mother and my uncle. One of them, his father for Tax, Richard Tax. He up in Halls Creek, eh. Old people home. Richard Tax. That’s my cousin brother. He from this Country too. I know all of his family around in Balgo and here.

NM: What do you remember before the Stock Route came?

TM: Ah, that stock road I know is before all that, whitefella, kartiya [white man] bloke in the road been just, still I reckon only lately. That road been put, [by] all those Canning mob, whoever been working on that road, lately. But we trust this bloke. Dreamtime. That really true. And before it used to be blackfella Country, they used to walkin to Kurtal and walk to, what that place um, Kulyayi, or way down another place too. They was walking down, all around, walk around. See? Before that Canning Stock Road. That Canning Stock Road they been only put it lately. Still, lately, name. It wasn’t Canning Stock Road before. Before was a, now can’t drovin there. Nothing. Before that drovin, still lately. I say only yesterday. Before was just nothing: blackfella Country. Soakwater, jila [spring], jumu [ephemeral water], rockhole, that area.

NM: And now what?

TM: Now it’s Canning Stock Road now. For anybody to use. That camel man been working for the well, still lately. Before, these two man [pointing to painting of [Kurtal and Kaningarra], Dreamtime stories and before used to be blackfella Country this.

NM: Ngarralja, when you were a little kid in your Country what stories did you hear about the stock route?

TM: Still, I heard the cattle drovers still, but nother mob tell me jila [ancestral being, spring] side still very important Dreamtime stories really. Yeah. Dreamtime for jila, all of those stories. What jila been living in there, anywhere, in the hill or rocky Country. Dreamtime was before that, that really true. And this two person was a really true. Before, early days when I been a kid, might be before I been born, these two waterholes they been looking after, cleaning all the time. They, this mob [Kurtal] they used to come down to this mob, Kaningarra, Kaningarra. I know these people for that side, for old people. That’s the looking after Kaningarra. Keep it clean and sometime make it rain. That same two for that thing, story.

NM: It’s that old man. [Spider Snell sits down]

TM: Yeah. He know these stories, two, these two [Kurtal and Kaningarra jila].

Spider Snell: [asks question in language, nganayi]

TM: No, purrku [husband], Kurtal and Kaningarra

SS: Yeah, Kaningarra, Kurtal.

TM: [pointing] This one Kaningarra, Kurtal.

SS: [pointing] Kurtal here, Kaningarra there.

TM: That’s the one we sing and dance with these two. Anytime. For KALACC [Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre], KALACC …

SS: [pointing to Kaningarra?] Shut him up, this one shut him up today, no more …

TM: No more today, nothing.

SS: No juju [song and dance] [gestures wide distance] juju, might be. [Speaks in language.]

TM: No more Kaningarra, no Kurtal, nothing.

NM: No more?

SS: Mm, all in Bayulu, what name [meaning sorry camp] ...

TM: Someone passed away in Fitzroy.

SS: Yuwayi [yes], Jakarra [Skipper].

TM: No more this one song.

SS: They been shut him away, leave it.

TM: Some day they can dance after one year, over.

SS: Only, any time [language], wati kujarra [two men] for Kaningarra there, Kurtal …

TM: This one [Kaningarra] he got no really boss. No one looking after properly. That jila [ancestral being, spring], cleaning up.

NM: No one’s looking after it?

TM: Yeah. This one [Kaningarra]. This one right [Kurtal].
[Both men pointing with their sticks]

SS: Oh, boss, right. [speaks in language] ... ngaju [points to Kurtal] this one boss [I’m the boss for this one].

TM: For this place, this place used to be before, keep it clean. Old people, jila people.

NM: [XX – indecipherable, referring to young people for Kaningarra?]

TM: They don’t know nothing. He lost that water hole. People used to live there. Kurtal help clean that special way. Very sad.

Dolly Snell: Ah, yawi [poor thing].

SS: Wayampajarti, nganayi [what’s this one]… Nyirla, Yawul [near Kaningarra] Wayampajartu [drawing in the sand] …

TM: No, these two [pointing to painting].

SS: Yeah … [XX – in language] make, Kurtal. I been shut him up.

[Dolly stands between the two men.]

NM: Dolly sit down, sit down. [Spider tells Dolly to sit in language]

[Dolly moves to left of Spider.]

NM: Stay there! [In the middle]

DS: No, I sit down here [looks at painting, camera moves to include her.]

TM: Story I did for all that road, well, putting well, still after, lately. These two first, Dreamtime. Jukurrpa [dreaming]. All of the Jukurrpa. Dreamtime, stories. And people used to walk up and down in the blackfella Country before, no worries.

SS: [In language: I took Kurtal dance to America and all around the world, everywhere. Dolly interjects and revises his story, he laughs and continues, Dolly adds to it.]

NM: Spider, do you know any stories about the Canning Stock Route?

SS: Yuwayi [yes], that one all the way.

TM: My story is finished.

SS: I’m have to go stock road, stock road any time, go. Yangurta time [XX] yawarta [horse] time.

[Dolly speaks in language referring to Tommy having made the painting they’re looking at.]

TM: My mother been taking me around here when I been a kid. To this place and this place, no worries. Show me waterhole, names.

Male Reporter: Tell me what Country you were in when you first saw the bullocks and the drovers?

TM: Ah, near Kurtal Country. Come from Kurtal to Canning Stock Route just for walk around with George Lee father, Ned Jamili. Way down desert, yeah.

Male Reporter: Were you just a boy?

TM: Yeah, me and my brother.

Male Reporter: What did you think when you saw them?

TM: See all the dust, drovers from here, and we come across for meat, for bullock. We knew some family was there. [Laughs] Married some fella, they want a tobacco, old people. That niki niki [tobacco] init? Kartiya [white people’s] tobacco.

SS: Yeah niki niki tobacco.

TM: Niki niki tobacco and flour might be, yeah.

Male Reporter: What did you think of the bullocks when you saw them the first time?

TM: No, I never come there. Frightened of big bullocks. I know one galloped at us near one place, another well the other side of Kulyayi. You might have come through, know that place? What they got here? 42. The Well. 42. Yeah, we been walk around there.

NM: You went there?

TM: Chasing all the rabbits. Did you see all the rabbits there? Rabbits, should be plenty there.

John Carty: Wallabi [Charlie Tjungurrayi] said there was a big mob but we never saw them. He said in that tali [sand hill] there …

TM: Scrub Country.

JC: Yeah, near the lake …

TM: Yeah, scrub Country [XX] place. [Film skips forward] No, no, no. [Skips forward again] Here in Balgo, and go back from Balgo to Lamboo Well there and from there we heading to another place. Through Fitzroy Crossing way. We was a kid. Lot of our people, old people, brothers, these days, brother, uncle they been already working in station. We couldn’t find anybody behind. [Chuckles] That’s why we went.

Male Reporter: So you left the Country?

TM: Yeah, but still now we think back to Kurtal. I been there now lately. Yeah.

Male Reporter: What County did you go to when you left?

TM: From here? Ah to Christmas Creek. Way down to long way to near Derby Country. Work around. Kid time.

Male Reporter: Was that when you where still a boy?

TM: Yeah, Meeda, Meeda Station. Man grow up there, ride a horse. Stock ringing job. Yep, wali, nyamu [that’s all, finished]. Yeah, me and my, I know, Richard Tax, he’s my really cousin brother. He from Kurtal Country.

SS: Desert country, Kurtal.

TM: Mariya janu [XX], he finish up in there in Halls Creek, yeah.

SS: Ngurra ngurra [Country, home is Kurtal].

TM: His Country is this place, Kurtal Country.

Karen Dayman: Ngarralja, do you still take your sons and Spider’s Grandsons back there now? You been doing ceremony at Kurtal and ...

TM: Yeah. Japeth [Rangie – Spider’s grandson], Thomas [May – Tommy’s son], they went.

SS: [In language] Japeth went there ...

TM: [smiling and pointing at Tom Lawford] This bloke was there too. [Laughs] Yeah, when that water was still full!

NM: But you said that no one is looking after it anymore?

TM: No, this place little bit [Kaningarra]. Not this place, we visit. When that no water we go a clean em this place [Kurtal]. He only shallow. He not, he ...

NM: You still wanna do that?

TM: Yeah, when he dried up. Might be dried up I don’t know.

SS: Might be dry or might be nothing ...

TM: It’s very important for us poor fella. It’s old people home there.

SS: All finish. Old people finish, langa this one there [Kurtal].

TM: Jila people. All the Lawa Lawa mob. You know Lawa Lawa?

SS: Lawa Lawa, this one father [pointing to Dolly] This one father, properly, Kurtal. And me too, but little bit outside me.

TM: That’s why you got no good road eh. To Kurtal. No you right. [chuckles]

NM: Do you want to get a road there?

TM: No, somebody might be come along behind eh, leave it quiet, eh. [To Nicole Ma:] Eh?

NM: Remember you asked me to build a road?

TM: Yeah. One time ago.

DS: You want to make it manga [girl]!

SS: Yeah, gotta make it.

TM: No nganayi [what], somebody might come along, tourist. Eh? Tourist, visiting, I reckon.

NM: To make a road they’ll all be there?

TM: Yeah.

DS: All can’t visit em kartiya [white people] langa there you know, that jila [spring].

TM: No.

DS: Yeah but one side where there might be, nother road.

TM: Not from other way.

DS: Yeah.

TM: Kulyayi side they might be come from cross way.

NM: You know they can go from the Canning Stock Route?

TM: Yeah, easy.

SS: Only one side, Stock Road …

NM: Helena Springs and then they’ll find it.

TM: Yeah easy. And they make camp there, big camp.

SS: [XX - speaks in language, says they’ll have to grade it]

TM: There was one man. One man he must be been running around there, one blackfella, in that Country, early days. That, who that bloke? Jangala bloke [Daniel Vachon] he was reading in the book eh. One Camel man come along, he had five camel I think.

KD: Carnegie.

TM: Carnegie. Carnegie, that’s the bloke eh. And he come, find that blackfella, walk around in the bush and kartiya [white man] want to find the water. Camel man eh.

And he saw that blackfella and he ask, ‘Any water?’ ‘Yeah, we know. I know, water here.’ He might be meet him in somewhere, other side eh. In Warla Country. Warla. He been ask for water, ‘Yeah, I’ll take you down to water.’ But he never tell him with English. I don’t know what he been do [chuckles] He might ‘Wiya nga katikunanta’ ‘I’ll show you.’ He might be take him to that Kurtal now. Show that big waterhole. They been stay there for five days. Story about there, camel man.

NM: Is that true?

TM: Yeah

NM: Carnegie was it?

TM: Yeah, his daughter init [isn’t it]?

KD: Helena.

TM: Helena, yeah. Man that, he had, now he lately, he’s name of, in that girl name now, that Helena Spring. Yeah. He had daughter behind, eh? Live.

NM: So he named that spring after his daughter?

TM: Yep, there now, Helena Spring.

[Film skips forward …]

TM: One been, might be one of them Lawa Lawa family, Lawa Lawa family, he been know that water. That kartiya [white man] couldn’t find water. And they been take him to that place, big water hole, [XX] he springing all the time see.

SS: Dead [?]

NM: Because why, why is it always dead [?], the water?

TM: No, he all the time, shallow thing, lotta spring water, lotta strong. He bubbling from under too. Under the gate [?] he in a good Country, not in hill, not in billabong, not in river, just in bush Country. Oh, you saw [to Nicole Ma, smiling] no, no, you never seen it properly, he was cover up [with water].

NM: Yeah, I haven’t seen it properly.

TM: Yeah.

NM: Maybe next time.

TM: Yeah, next time when dry time. But dry time you not allowed to stop there looking at the waterhole, you gotta be bush. All the woman bush, he did it [pointing to Karen Dayman?] all this mob, only man work, only be man, one time. Right down, like sunset, when everything finish, someone gotta call you out, come to waterhole, come to that place. After all the work finish. They used to do that too before when I been a kid. Stranger, only for law really, really hard. You gotta have water in drum or jerry can or whatever. Karen’s right. Yeah. All for old people for. Really punish, punish[ing work] for young people, gotta learn that way.

NM: Where are all of the old people then?

TM: No they work. They in the waterhole, gotta be work all the time. Old people. Or young people. Got to work by all the skin group too. That water got a skin group. Law for that water. Kurtal story. Mm, yeah … Yeah, Kurtal he not far from ... [ends, tape skips forward]

Male Reporter: What do you think about telling these Aboriginal stories about the Canning Stock Route?

TM: Well there is, very important thing for early days, really. This thing about before that Canning road been put up that, whoever been workin’ camel, making the wells, still lately. Mmm. I reckon it used to be blackfella Country before. All the jumu [ephemeral water], jumu like soak water.

Male Reporter: Why do you think it’s important to tell these stories?

TM: They don’t know anybody. They might be, they might be … [tape skips forward]
… and nother one round here, but they gotta come careful way, you know. Respect nother elders in front. Come there they gotta learn different way. But there they used to have a business might be, kid time, he right. Marlulu [law – boy’s initiation time]. Whoever know the Marlulu. Law time. He right. Palya [good]. Not just walk in anyway. No. Danger.

JC: Do you think that today, like when you see the map you just see the one road Canning Stock Route, that’s all kartiya [white people] see, do you think kartiya understand those boundaries you are talking about now?

TM: No, nothing.

Male Reporter: How did that road change what you are talking about, the blackfella travelling out there?

TM: He change, still lately. Might be been a lot of law ground there. Dreamtime. Whoever been live there early days really. And they been just claim all other boundaries, and nother boundary. They don’t care about. No respect really. Nothing. No. That white kartiya law not like blackfella, no. Blackfella got to respect, respect nother people, nother tribe, other language. Old people good stories. Yeah. He right. Today, lately. Any whitefella can through any … [tape jumps forward]

People get killed over there. Yeah, from not crossing, too rough, come to that nother tribe, other side. Making trouble, something wrong. Get speared, yeah. Someone might be get sing, mad. That blackfella way, early days. You gotta respect elders there. Not too rough. Not walkin anywhere.

Male Reporter: Do you know stories about people being killed because of the Stock Route?

TM: Oh, not for, before that. Before that everywhere too. You can’t come to cross to law time there, now lately too. You come too rough there nother way, and they won’t like you. Too rough. They gotta come really careful or manners, respect, he alright.

Male Reporter: And today you got tourists going everywhere.

TM: Mixed. Don’t know where they go. That’s why all the law finish. Mm. Grog too much

SS: Mmm mm.

TM: Another thing, ganja, drink too much, lotta business still there for old people. Yeah. All the marninwarntikura law [women’s law] there. I been grow up in different old people. They was telling me story, don’t, not to be do that. My time. I used I used to live in young people or old people in the, we get them, not in woman mix, kid time. That’s where you learn, get all the idea here, learn you there. Come good people, careful. That’s it. Not mad way. Someday you get spear through you. Nulla nulla [speared] in the head.

Yeah. That’s it.


Source: CSROH_27_Ngarralja_Tommy_May

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.

Jukuja Dolly Snell, Ngilpirr Spider Snell, Purlta Maryanne Downs, Manmarr Daisy Andrews, Amy Nuggett

Jukuja Dolly Snell, Ngilpirr Spider Snell, Purlta Maryanne Downs, Manmarr Daisy Andrews, Amy Nuggett - conversation notes [ORAL HISTORY]
Synopsis: These are notes taken from a conversation at Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency between Jukuja Dolly Snell, Ngilpirr Spider Snell, Purlta Maryanne Downs, Manmarr Daisy Andrews, and Amy Nuggett.

Date: 2009-11
Art centre(s): Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency
Language spoken: Kriol, English
Catalogue number: CSROH_239_Mangkaja_Group_Discussion
Date: 2009-11
Transcribed By: Monique La Fontaine
Location Recorded: Fitzroy Crossing
Latitude/Longitude: -18.17/125.59

Cultural Protocols: Public Access - Restrictions on Use
Access: Public
Full transcript: Group: [About drovers] Jinamungkurr, Spider’s sister, and Wakajiya were cookies [cooks] on the stock route.

Daisy Andrews: [On drover Tommy Bull, Mapariny Alan Dededar’s father] He was a good fuckin’ rider that old man!

Dolly Snell: [What the whitefellas used to say to old people who would work as drovers] You go get ‘em boot and whip — you goin’ Wiluna now!

Group: Mervyn Street was working in Wiluna. Raymond went with Carl Stein, station manager for Carnegie, down to Wiluna. He took most of his workers from Louisa Downs to Carnegie. Mervyn’s Gooniyandi brother went to Wiluna, kilaki side [on his paternal grandfather’s side] might be.

Hitler [Pamba – Nyuju Stumpy Brown’s second husband] was working Wiluna same time as Mervyn.

Purlta [Maryanne Downs] and Jarinyanu [David Downs] worked around Carnegie with Ben Taylor.

Amy Nugget – [Amy is mother for Rosie Williams and Dulcie Gibbs. Jakayu Biljabu is Amy’s daughter in law.]

Dolly Snell: We been sing that Minyipuru [Seven Sisters] song everywhere, long time, Wangkatjungka.

Spider Snell: Jarinyanu been puluman [bullock] drovin’. [Tommy] Bull, Jarinyanu [David Downs], Jamili [Chum Lee] – all working together Carnegie [Station].

[Spider and Jarinyanu mother’s name was Intiya.]

Maryanne Downs: My husband been grow ‘em up me from kid.

Source: CSROH_239_Mangkaja_Group_Discussion
Rights: Cultural Owner & Storyteller: Jukuja Dolly Snell, Ngilpirr Spider Snell, Purlta Maryanne Downs, Manmarr Daisy Andrews, Amy Nuggett; © 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.

Jukuja Dolly Snell, Ngarralja Tommy May, Manmarr Daisy Andrews

Jukuja Dolly Snell, Ngarralja Tommy May, Manmarr Daisy Andrews - droving [ORAL HISTORY]
Synopsis: Jukuja Dolly Snell, Ngarralja Tommy May, and Manmarr Daisy Andrews talk about drover men and women on the Canning Stock Route.

Date: 2009-03
Art centre(s): Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency
Language spoken: Kriol, English
Catalogue number: CSROH_230_Jukuja_Dolly_Snell_Ngarrlija_Tommy_May_Manmarr_Daisy_Andrews
Date: 2009-03
Transcribed By: Monique La Fontaine
Location Recorded: Fitzroy Crossing
Latitude/Longitude: -18.17/125.59

Cultural Protocols: Public Access - Restrictions on Use
Access: Public
Notes: This transcript is from fieldnotes written in a notebook by Karen Dayman.
Full transcript: Dolly Snell: Mother been bring me up in Kurtal, take me to Balgo, keep me there. I been grow up and shift from station to Fitzroy [Crossing].

Tommy May: How many people been walkin’ Canning Stock Road? People been travel across from Country side to Canning Stock Road for bullock. Get a meat take him back Country.

Daisy Andrews: Splinters [Flinders?], Jamili [Chum Lee], Pakala [Jack Gordon for uncle] handling the camel with his wife, [Tommy] Bull, Roger [Wangkajunga – Olive Knight mob - this was how Daisy described it but we also learned that Roger was also Chamia Samuels’ father], Pelican – Jamili’s brother. All the Japalyi. Gogo, Jimmy Bieunderry – Wally [Dowling] pick him up kid.

DS: All my sisters been droving. Nyuju [Stumpy Brown], two Wakajiya — mother for Jimmy Bieunderry — ‘nother sister Jinamungkurr [translated here as ‘four foot’ or ‘little bit of toes’ reference to her missing toe]. Minyayi [Dolly’s sister]. Minyayi been leave that little boy, Jungurrayi, behind.

TM: Johnny Boy, Billiluna, Wimpingkil, Roger’s son. Putting old people’s names back in the book. Nyuju husband [first one] walked all the way to Warburton. Big war between tribes – spear fight. He came from southern Canning Stock Route.

Source: CSROH_230_Jukuja_Dolly_Snell_Ngarrlija_Tommy_May_Manmarr_Daisy_Andrews
Rights: Cultural Owner & Storyteller: Jukuja Dolly Snell, Ngarralja Tommy May, Manmarr Daisy Andrews; © 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.

Jukuja Dolly Snell


Jukuja Dolly Snell - life stories [ORAL HISTORY]
Synopsis: Jukuja Dolly Snell gives a brief life story, and also talks about her husband Ngilpirr Spider Snell.

Date: 2009-11
Art centre(s): Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency, Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre
Language spoken: Kriol, English
Catalogue number: CSROH_229_Jukuja_Dolly_Snell
Date: 2009-11
Transcribed By: Monique La Fontaine
Location Recorded: Fitzroy Crossing
Latitude/Longitude: -18.17/125.59

Cultural Protocols: Public Access - Restrictions on Use
Access: Public
Notes: This transcript is from fieldnotes written in a notebook by Karen Dayman.
Full transcript: Born at Kurtal – two brothers born first. First brother went from Kurtal to Balgo to Louisa Downs to Kupartiya to Wangkatjungka. Nother one came behind – been pass away right there la [in] Fitzroy [Crossing]. But me last one nyiti [youngest]. Mother been take me right up to Balgo. Pangkupiti. My other look-out me. From Pangkupiti he been take me to Balgo now – keep me there. We been sit down there now. I tell you mother story for Lisa [Uhl]. That mother one my sister, he been pass away right. My full sister from two father. Lawalawa and his brother was father for Lisa’s mother. From there me-pala been go Louisa Down. I been seen him single woman. Ivy Nixon - sister all lived at Louisa Down – no ngamana [breasts] all single. Lawalawa passed away at jila [spring] but Dolly’s mum took her all the way to station. They came in contact with Gooniyandi people and lived with Alex Chestnut who lived at Louisa. From there from Louisa Down we came down Kupartiya [Bohemia Downs]. Working there with my nother sister, kitchen, we been working. From Kupartiya we been go Wangkatjungka. I been get married there. This old man [Spider] been travelling from Wangkatjungka and he been pick em up me from Kupartiya. I wasn’t promised to anyone. [Spider and Dolly fell in love.] Before Wangkatjungka it was called Jilajin. She was in old station. That place belonged to some families. Jilapurru is word for spinifex and there’s a lot of spinifex. We been working all the young girls, cooking bread, working kitchen. They went back to Kupartiya and Bert Lawford told them to muster the goats and take them over to Bohemia Downs – old name Mingkalkala. There were five of them at Mingkalkala. They walked over to Old Bohemia to Mingkalkala. They went for three nights with the goats and then brought them back to Kupartiya. They walked all that way – no kapi [water] – no water in between. There was an old lady there Nelly Timinakali [Tom Lawford’s great grandmother] she came with a horse – mother and her daughter Lily Forrest [who was ‘married’ to station manager Bert Lawford]. Those two ladies brought the water to Dolly and Purlta [Maryanne Downs] and Ivy Nixon and brother for Dolly and Purlta. Dolly was small, Ivy Nixon oldest – her brother next - John Charles, Purlta’s brother, Jimmy Nyanyi, all in the same age group. Dolly was single and went back to Kupartiya looking after goats and when she got back and then she lived with Spider after. When they came back with goats they yarded them up and Spider [Snell] went up to Dolly and said, ‘Come on parnany [wife] we gotta go.’ Her mum went before to Christmas Creek. Bert Lawford was manager of Bohemia Downs. Victor Jones, Christmas Creek manager. Milkin, he was ‘hard man, hard as stone’ That kartiya [white fella] Bert Lawford he been find Spider in a tree. Dolly about spider: ‘I been love ‘em him, he been love ‘em me …’ When Dolly went to Christmas Creek she had her children in the 1960s – one son, one daughter. From there they travelled to Gogo Station. They brought law to Gogo – wakaya [law] – to Gooniyandi people. Later they moved to Junjuwa mission and they became Christians in the 1960s and 1970s. END
Source: CSROH_229_Jukuja_Dolly_Snell
Rights: Cultural Owner & Storyteller: Jukuja Dolly Snell; © 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.

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.

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.

Manmarr Daisy Andrews

Manmarr Daisy Andrews - family, Country, massacres [ORAL HISTORY]
Synopsis: Manmarr Daisy Andrews tells stories about massacres. She also talks about her life history and her family's Country. She also talks about her brother's Kaningarra, and the big hole in the ground from the mining companies.

Date: 2007
Art centre(s): Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency
Language spoken: Kriol, English
Catalogue number: CSROH_141_Manmarr_Daisy_Andrews
Date: 2007
Transcribed By: Monique La Fontaine
Location Recorded: Fitzroy Crossing
Latitude/Longitude: -18.17/125.59

Cultural Protocols: Public Access - Restrictions on Use
Access: Public
Notes: Corrections made from permission in September 2008.
Full transcript: Daisy Andrews: My brother was there now, [in Old Mission] living with his wife, old girl, and he was telling me story about what he was doing in the past. He come down from Kaningarra, Canning Stock Road. ‘And where you been living?’ I been say. ‘No, I been living in Cherrabun Station.’ That’s his home, yeah.

The man used to come, white man, shooting people, killing them, long time, you know. They run away from the Country, you know, come this way. And policeman catch them and father been get shot, his own father. And my father never see that, he was working. This was long time ago. Yeah, and he been, you know, they used to have them chain la [around their] neck, dragging them, some get kill. One place there, Lumpu Lumpu, you know, that Country, my brother been go in that place, he been grow up there. It’s ‘nother side from Cherrabun, big ranges you can see ‘em. White man come shooting all the people, they all run away in the bush.

My brother, my granny been say, ‘Come on! Come on little man, me and you gotta run away now!’ And he been take my brother away, all along the creek. Finished. They been climb up big hill and just gone down, they been go other side now. Go back la [through the] bush. From there policeman been looking for them and policeman been catch them. They gone back, right back to Ngaranjarti and they bring them back from there to Christmas Creek.

[Manmarr says sadly] That’s when they used to kill them. They used to burn them, in the fire. That’s really cruel. She was telling me story, when he was little one. He was born in Canning Stock Road, Canning Stock Road, in that place now, he was born there. And Mummy bring him back this way because everybody been getting killed there. Come back to Cherrabun this side.

Carly Davenport: So he was safe, he came out.

DA: Yeah, and policeman get them, put them in the station work, just growing up there. That was the story now. End of this story, I think he got more story at Karrayili [Adult Education Centre in Fitzroy Crossing]. I didn’t know my brother. I got two brother [a set of twins] and two was get killed, just kill them and chuck ‘em in the fire, two twins, boy. Mummy just left them behind [because they were dead]. It’s very cruel [what those white people did. Boxer Yankarr, Pampirla Hansen Boxer’s father, and Potato both survived]. And it’s my granny, is taking him, only one, bring him back la [to his] mother, go back to desert, round desert. They was going in Kurlku from Kurlku they was keep going in desert way, but policeman still there got them [were still there with them], tracking them all the way. They been just get them and bring them back this way. They been save their life. Finished. They been there the station and we been go away Moola Bulla working there now, my dad, my mummy. He been have three wife, my father [XX – laughing, indecipherable]. Three daughter and one boy, son one. And my Mummy been have three of us and ‘nother Mummy mine been have one boy, one girl and himself, my brother.
And ‘nother sister mine, cousin from ‘nother Mummy, he been passed away there la [at] Bayulu, yeah, Gogo Station. So my father went to, [laughs] there’s’ nother father for my brother’s father, he went to Yiyili and robbing wife from there, [smiles] ‘nother wife, Mervyn now, granny. Mervyn Street. And Mervyn Street call me like auntie, you know, Mummy, mm mm. My big sister, he was just passed away now, his name Madeleine. That’s why I call him son, you know. Long time ago, you know, they used to go like that, visiting other places, they was used to go for friend of us, they used to have ‘em own business, old people, they never used to look for trouble, they was just friend together [chuckles]. They was finished.

And then my brother been tell me now, ‘Oh, you got big sister there.’ ‘What?’ I been say, ‘What?’ I been saying. ‘You got big sister there, his name is Madeleine.’ That’s the one now for Mervyn Street mother. Yeah. He used to always stop la [at] Guwardi [frail aged care in Fitzroy Crossing. Says sadly] and passed away. That’s the eldest sister from, like from my other father, we been have three fathers. Uncle I call ‘em eh? In a kartiya [white people’s] law! [Breaks into laughter]. That’s alright, finished now …

CD: And Daisy, for that Canning Stock Route exhibition, and you’re hopefully going to paint one painting, what sort of story do you think you might you put for that painting?

DA: [Very decisively] I’ll put that story for Kaningarra. Country side for my brother side, where he been born, where he been come from there. Yeah, she been show me the Country. ‘This the where, place I been born,’ he told me. He been have a big hole there [makes circular hand gestures and looks distressed. The hole apparently made by a mining company]. My brother he been, like he been born there and mother and father been take him away from there. Second time I been go gotta [with], first time for me to go gotta [with] Daniel [Vachon]. And me and my brother, before he been finish, his … Peter Kulapu [possibly Kurrapa Peter Skipper, Jukuna’s husband], ah, Kulanyu [?]. That was him and Jukuja, ah, Jukuna and me, we been go see that place where it was [makes circular hand gestures]. They were have the hole there. Cry too much.

First time I been go see that place. Only second time I gotta just painting now. He been show me the water, water running down, from top. ‘Mmm,’ I was say. ‘Good Country!’ He’s open that side and the hill all along. And I was thinking, you know, I can just come back, I was say, you know, looking at this Country. Because like, most I been in Bunuba people [mostly I’ve been living with Bunuba people after marrying a Bunuba man], and I’m come back and telling all the kids – mine now. ‘We gotta go there mummy, we gotta look ‘em one day for uncle Country.’ ‘Yeah,’ I been say. Yeah. All my granny, all my grandchildren, I gotta show them too so they can know the Country! That’s all.

Gotta fire [with fire they burned them], that’s all. [Says sadly,] I was sitting down there and I been say, ‘Well, parr [abbreviated from parri —boy],’ I been say lang [to] my brother, ‘Tell me the story for you.’ [Shakes her head] ‘No,’ he been say. But he been put ‘em down la [on] cassette. Can’t forget. Canning Stock Road. I was there gotta [with] Daniel you know, gonna visit that place. Make a biggest fire, finish right there and keep goin’, in that hole. We bin cryyyyyyyy. Finish. Come out this way now.

Video format: DVD/miniDV
Source: CSROH_141_Manmarr_Daisy_Andrews
Rights: Cultural Owner & Storyteller: Manmarr Daisy Andrews; © 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.

Clifford Brooks


Clifford Brooks - Canning Stock Route [ORAL HISTORY]
Synopsis: Clifford Brooks tells some the old people's stories about when they first saw the Canning Stock Route and thought it must be a snake path. He also talks about them seeing machinery and white people for the first time.

Date: 2007-07-01
Art centre(s): Birriliburu Artists, Tjukurba Gallery
Language spoken: Kriol, English
Catalogue number: CSROH_149_Clifford_Brooks
Date: 2007-07-01
Transcribed By: Monique La Fontaine
Location Recorded: Talawana Track/Canning Stock Route intersection

Cultural Protocols: Public Access - Restrictions on Use
Access: Public
Notes: Numbered differently in permission form
Full transcript: Clifford Brooks: Righto yuwa [yes]. Just givin’ you fellas a run down on long time ago when old people used to live around here. My mother’s Country just up where that well is. They used to go out hunting just about up here. And cool day one time they went for a walk, hunting, as they were coming back to the camp they run into this, this track here. Going up from the west Talawana Track going to, this well up here, and they didn’t know what it was, this track here. They thought it was a big snake went through, you know? They had the old fella to have a look at it now because there’s a something like a big animal goin’ along with a big noise, you know. But it was a bull-dozer, they had to go back and they had to jump from side of the road to other side they had to jump without touching the road. So, they didn’t know what it was. Long time they been telling me in the camp fire, ‘that road only just been put in’. Len Beadell came through here with a bulldozer and a grader. He was cutting this road. That’s when he came a cross a couple of people in the rockhole at Parnngurr [Ngamaru Bidu, Jakayu Biljabu, Kumpaya Girgaba etc]. Then, so all my family was there too in Parnngurr rockhole and that’s how they came to know this track here. Big, big, big machinery came through here, cutting up the track. They didn’t know what it was first. But only word they knew was ‘government’ that’s all. [XX – in language] Country belong to my old people [XX - repeats in language]. But they been taken away to the mission, long time, that’s why this is, I feel at home, you know, my Country here. Yuwa [yes]. Palya [good]? John Carty: When they jumped over the track, how come they couldn’t touch it, you know? What they must have been thinking? CB: Well they were thinking must have been a big snake come through, [XX - person?], you know. That to touch it might be dangerous to them. ‘Cause only snake can cut this sorta tracks and they didn’t want to put their, no foot on the ground. That snake might come back and smell him, because, yu [yes]. That’s why they had to jump. ‘Cause when they went out in the morning and they came back in the afternoon and saw this road, this one here been cut, when Len Beadell came through here with his big machineries putting the track up to Gary Junction, Highway. JC: Did they hear that sound? CB: Yeah they could hear the sound. Like in the morning they could hear it, like this time now they could hear ‘em, goin’ up, big noise. Cos they could hear the vibration on the ground you know, dff dff dff dff. And because grader came just behind it cleaning it up, bulldozer was just cutting all the trees, knocking all the trees, clearing it up. JC: Had they seen kartiya [white people] before, your mother and your uncle? CB: Nah. They never know kartiya [white people]. They didn’t know what it was. You know, they just thought it was something else. But they never seen that kind of thing at the time. They didn’t know what that snake or machine, how it came, you know. But they never seen a whitefella before. Mm. Yuwo [yes] … JC: Does this road, does it cut across the stock route? CB: Just the creek up here, and this goes straight up east, straight up Gary Junction Highway meets with Gunbarrel Highway south, and this one goes back up Well 33, meets up there. And then the road goes right back and then goes to Kiwirrkurra. Yuwa [yes]. Kiwirrkurra, then to Kintore, then straight up Pupanya [Papunya]. END
Video format: DVD/miniDV/QuickTime movie
Video recording: 5 IV - Annette at Durba, Cliffy at Talawana Rd, Cliffy Merv at well 28
Source: CSROH_149_Clifford_Brooks
Rights: Cultural Owner & Storyteller: Clifford Brooks; © 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

Anga Friday Jones - Tankil Tankil's escape from Rottnest [ORAL HISTORY]

Synopsis: Friday Jones tells the story of Tankil Tankil's escape from Rottnest.

Date: 2008-09-09
Art centre(s):
Language spoken: Kriol, English
Catalogue number: CSROH_177_Anga_Friday_Jones
Interviewed By: John Carty, Monique La Fontaine
Transcribed By: Paulene Mackell
Location Recorded: Well 1
Latitude/Longitude: -26.55781/120.18128

Cultural Protocols: Public Access - Restrictions on Use
Access: Public
Notes: This is the Tankil Tankil – ‘story all the Martu know’.
Full transcript: Friday Jones: Tankil Tankil ... I think he from Billy Snell [Snell’s Pass] Number 9 [Well]. He had a brother, name called Shovel. Shovel, Shovel, they called him Japil Japil. That’s the family now, the brother. And old Jack Stevens they call him Lalilali. Them three used to been main act, or something like that [laughs] for what spearing people. They don’t like a whitefella. They go around spear him for nothing. Oh, not nothing, for reason. For whitefella wanted to what-name to Martu girls. But they get wild, you know, they get savage, spear him. They spear and leave im like that. They dig a what’s-name and bury him and just leave him just like nothing … They must be kill bout a couple, specially on them want to look around for wanti (women), yeah, that’s why they get savage, you know, start spearing em, kill em. They really mean it too.

Joe Wilkins? I couldn’t remember his name … I think the Longs mixed up [with that story]. [Well] 9 or 10, number 10 or number 11, somewhere around there. The Longs they belong to there, they come from there, that’s when they were staying there, wandering around their Country. Yeah, so police went there, and have a look, they found the body. Yeah, yeah, old fella [Tom] Ingebong [tracked them]. He been in the bush all the time … Blue Hill, that’s where that old fella come from …
Police went with a Landrover, old Landrover, two of them go in Landrover, that’s long time. They reckon they had a trailer, they had to chain em up and bring him in a trailer … Yeah, and they locked em up in old lock up here [in Wiluna], bring him up here and then I think they took him on the train from Wiluna to Rottnest Island. I think old Jack Stevens and Tankil Tankil.

That’s when they lock him [Tankil Tankil] up in Rottnest Island. They had him long time, I think. And they got sick of it and they want to go home, you know. And they said, ‘hey, gotta get off. That big sea there,” and they in a island. And they broke a little stick, bout that long, [gestures about 3 or 4 feet], they clean him with a knife, made a point - they big maparn [traditional healer] too - clever people you know - and they got something out of here, [they pulled maparn power from their bodies], and they put him [into the stick] then they sent that stick. And they wanted that stick to stay there, to stay there, go and stay [on course]. Then they sent that stick straight across, right to the end, not straight down to [Fremantle Port] … Long way, on that side, south side [of Fremantle]. They didn’t want to go straight in, ‘cause town was there [and too many people].

They got to town. They knew. They swim across. And this maparn [traditional healer] [gestures to his stomach], he open too. Free. Just like he free [can’t be imprisoned], you know. This nyuru [stomach] is open. And he say, ‘Ah, we’ll get there no worries’. They pull him out [that maparn, and their handcuffs break] open – open. They went. They never went like [swimming], they went all the way [like they were propelled by a great force], something just sent them right up to where the end of the sea, you know. Gone. They went travel all night and day. They was happy. They go, and they come back around Kalgoorlie way, they come back here, and they went straight to their own Country. Palarji I think, Palarji (Well 9) Country. That old fella Lalilali, they both come from that way, old Palarji Country, where Glen-Ayle [Station] is, to north, that’s where they stayed there, seeing all the mob. They was all happy you know. Just like that picture [Rabbit Proof Fence] where they watching them two sister [who escaped from Moore River and travelled back to Jigalong] just went back, right back to their mob. Just nothing wrong, don’t worry ‘bout it, well nothing.

[Long way for desert people to travel across the sea], yeah, but they were clever [maparn - magic] people. Both Tankil Tankil and Lalilali. I think Tankil is that uncle [for Lena].

They knew [their way]. They got picked up round Palarji round there … [After that] they been living round that a way, then the old fella he went Kalgoorlie way. He went to Kalgoorlie ‘cause he had some people up that way … he married that place there [Tankil Tankil]. Yeah he’s Ngaju , Ngaju side, that one, round Kalgoorlie side, family from that side Ngaju. Lalilali, he belong to here, round Palarji. Ngaju people, say like what I say, we are Martu here, Noongars in Perth, well in Kalgoorlie they got Ngaju, different language … Ngaju people, they talk funny different way. Like Italian [laughs], yeah, good one.


Video recording: BTS 148 Friday Jones Tankil
Source: CSROH_177_Anga_Friday_Jones
Rights: Cultural Owner & Storyteller: Anga Friday Jones; © 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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