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Wangkajunga

Jukuja Nora Tjookootja

Born: about 1940

Language Group(s): Wangkajunga
Community: Wangkatjungka
Art Centre(s): Ngurra Artists, Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency
CSR Project role: Artist, contributor
Skin Group: Nyapajay
Totem: Nyuraly, insect that lizards and goannas eat
Country: Piparr

Biography: Jukuja was born at Piparr. Her mother worked as a cook with drovers on the stock route. Her father took her to Billiluna, where she was promised to her husband, Donkeyman Benny, from whom she learned the songs and stories for Kaningarra (Well 48), the site for which he was the last senior custodian. Today, Jukuja is one of the senior singers for this Country.

Photographer: Tim Acker
Photograph date: 2009
Photography copyright: © FORM
Format: Image
Source: Images - Catalogue
Category: People
Accession ID: 20131016_FORM_MIRA_B0090_0060

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: Jukuja Dolly Snell

Jukuja Dolly Snell - Mulan, hiding from kartiya, and painting [ORAL HISTORY]


Synopsis: Dolly Snell tells how she was born in Kurtal and walked up to Mulan where there were no houses. She talks about how her mother told to hide from white men in a creek bed, and also told her she couldn't eat the sheep of white men. She then talks about how she started painting when she moved to Fitzroy Crossing. Dolly finishes by telling how you have to light a fire when going to Kurtal to let jila know you're coming.

Date: 2007-11-16
Art centre(s):
Language spoken: Wangkajunga
Catalogue number: CSROH_51_Jukuja_Dolly_Snell
Interviewed By: John Carty
Translated By: Putuparri Tom Lawford
Recorded by: Carly Davenport
Location Recorded: Fitzroy Crossing
Latitude/Longitude: -18.17/125.59

Cultural Protocols: Public Access - Restrictions on Use
Access: Public
Notes: The original recording of this oral history is damaged.
Full transcript: Jukuja Dolly Snell: Yeah, I was born at Kurtal. My parents kept us there, me and my three brothers. I only had three brothers. The oldest passed away at Kupartiya. He was the boss of that jila [spring] Kurtal, and the other two, they finished up here in Fitzroy [Crossing]. Then we left Kurtal, my mother, me and my oldest brother. We left them other mob behind. My other mother was looking after them. We camped half way in the morning, we set off again.

There was no house at Mulan then. My mother took us to Jalyiwan, a place not far from where Mulan is now. My mother told me, ‘daughter there’s a whitefella on a horse coming!’ I ran and hid in a creek bed. My mother was still sitting there. After he left she went and got me from my hiding place, telling me, ‘He’s gone now, that man, let’s keep walking’. We went to Pankupiti. There was a big camp there with people. They were looking after cattle and sheep. I told my mother, ‘Can you kill that animal with woolly hair?’ It was a sheep. That animal that goes ‘maaaa, maaaa’. ‘Can you kill that for me Mum? I’m hungry.’ ‘I won’t kill it,’ she said, ‘it belongs to the white man. No.’ ‘But I’m hungry!’ I said. She said, ‘No. I am taking you away.’

We went north and we arrived at Balgo in the afternoon. We stayed at Balgo for a while, a good while. After that we took off again heading west. We came to Warnku. My mother, my brother and I. We camped there. In the morning my sister Woggagia gave me a digging stick. She told me, ‘Let’s go digging for bush tucker, mangarri [food] called mulaynpa.’ ‘What is mulaynpa?’ I said. ‘See that tree over there? That’s mulaynpa [an edible root],’ she said. We dug up plenty that day. My sister said, ‘Let’s go to Sturt Creek. There’s plenty of tucker there at Sturt Creek. There’s a big water there.’ We were collecting bush tucker around the water’s edge. After collecting enough we went back to Warnku. After a while we left Warnku and went to a place called Putalja. From Putalja we went to Louisa Downs.

We stayed at Louisa for a while until a man called Billy Cox came. He said, ‘Who are you mob and where did you mob come from?’ He was speaking in English. We didn’t know what he was talking about because we couldn’t understand. There was only a few of us ladies and two man who walked into Louisa Downs Station. We had no English then. We came in from the bush. Billy Cox gave us rations and we went walking towards Kupartiya. We stayed at Kupartiya and that kartiya [white person] gave us jobs. We stayed and worked there. We were looking after the goats and milking them and we took them goats to old Kupartiya. We kept them there for a while and then we took them back to Kupartiya. After a while that manager left the station. We all then went to Kurungal [Christmas Creek, Wangkatjungka]. We stayed there for good.

We worked there in the station doing anything for the white man. I was working in the stock camps. My brother told me, ‘I’m going back to Kupartiya.’ My other two brothers were with us at Kurungal. That was the last time I saw my brother. He died at Kupartiya a while after. We all moved to Fitzroy then. I’m living here now. I never went back to Kurungal. I came here for good. In Fitzroy we started to paint. I paint my Country that I left in the bush. Daisy Andrews and I were the first two to start painting. We went to school. These mob here are painting now. We were the first ones to paint. I paint my Country my jila [Kurtal, a permanent spring inhabited by an ancestral snake being]. We took our kids to Kurtal not long ago. We showed them the jila. They saw it for the first time. These mob that go in the front are Tom Lawford and Spider [Snell].

They are the boss for that jila now.

When you go there you have to light a fire so that jila [Kurtal] can know you’re coming. He smells that smoke and he knows that people are coming to visit him. Well, Spider taught everybody for Kurtal. Kartiya [white people], and all our kids, and everybody. Them three now, Tom Lawford, Tommy May and Spider, they are the boss. They taught all our kids and other people. They’re the ones who light that fire to let the jila [ancestral snake being which inhabits Kurtal] know we coming. He’s not cheeky. He’s quietened down now. You can go and camp there on top the sand hill, and you can see that jila down the bottom. You can camp at Kutukutu [the name of two sandhills]. There’s two Kutukutu there. One on this side and the other on that side and the water in the middle.

Nyamu [finished] now.

END


Source: CSROH_51_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.

Name: Mayapu Elsie Thomas

Mayapu Elsie Thomas - Life and family [ORAL HISTORY]


Synopsis: Mayapu Elsie Thomas talks about living in Mulan and about how her grandfather was taken by two men. They kept walking on to old Balgo where they were singing corroboree. They stayed there for a while until that priest burnt down her father's humpy.

Date: 2007-08-17
Art centre(s): Ngurra Artists, Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency
Language spoken: Wangkajunga
Catalogue number: CSROH_34_Mayapu_Elsie_Thomas
Interviewed By: 2007-08-17
Transcribed By: Putuparri Tom Lawford
Translated By: Putuparri Tom Lawford
Location Described: Mulan, Balgo
Location Recorded: Nyarna (Lake Stretch)

Cultural Protocols: PUBLIC ACCESS
Access: PUBLIC
Notes: Some additions and corrections were made to this transcript when the permission was sought on 29 August 2008; these changes have been incorporated into this document.
Full transcript:
We were kids playing at the lake here. Jukuja [Nora Tjookootja] your father, wati wati [man] Langayirt. He was looking after us. Him and my father. We stayed there, we were playing around. There was a man on top a tree. You know, Lena been lose him, you know. We stayed around there for a while playing around while my father and his brother in law went spearing bullocks. Him and that Nungurrayi’s husband. All the Jangalas’ mother.

We were kids there, playing, with that one they lost at Mulan today, and that other one who died in Broome, that Nampijin [skin name] who was living with a kartiya [white person]. Us mob now and one man. We stayed there for a while. My grandfather was there too.

From there we went to another place. We went to another lake. We took my grandfather and sat him down there, Japuji, my grandfather. After a while my two mothers went looking for him but they couldn’t find him. Somebody just lifted him up and took him away. Two wati kujarra [men, two of them] took him. I don’t know where they took him. My two mothers went to look for him but couldn’t find him. They cried, my two mothers.

From there we stayed at Kulu. We lost him there near Wangu. From there we kept on going, through there, killing bullocks along the way, cutting them up and hiding the bones. From there they took me to old Balgo. They were singing corroboree there. As they were singing I was looking at this girl, Tangayi. She was walking around saying Kaltaku Kaltaku. She was calling her name.

We stayed there at Balgo for a while, [they were having corroboree] till that Father [priest] burnt my father’s humpy. He lit it, that kartiya [white man] at old Balgo. We stayed around there for a while and then he took me back to the lake. From there I don’t know where I went. I went back somewhere, that’s all.

END
Source: CSROH_34_Mayapu_Elsie_Thomas
Rights: © Cultural Owner & Storyteller: Mayapu Elsie Thomas; © 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

Born: 1971

Language Group(s): Wangkajunga
Community: Fitzroy Crossing
Art Centre(s): Ngurra Artists, Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency, Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre
CSR Project role: Senior translator, cultural adviser, artist

Biography: Putuparri is a Wangkajunga man who lives in Fitzroy Crossing. In 2007 he worked as a translator and cultural adviser on the 'return to Country' trip. He has helped to coordinate some of the project’s biggest cultural workshops on Country and provided the team with invaluable cultural guidance. Putuparri also works for the Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre, coordinating its cultural program and assisting with international repatriation. Putuparri is also an artist featured in the Canning Stock Route collection.

Photographer: Tim Acker
Photograph date: 2008
Photography copyright: © FORM
Format: Image
Source: Images - Exhibition
Category: People
Accession ID: 20131016_FORM_MIRA_B0090_0057

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.

Karntakarnta Billy Thomas

Born: about 1920
Died: Unknown

Language Group(s): Wangkajunga
Art Centre(s): Red Rock Gallery
CSR Project role: Artist, contributor
Skin Group: Jungurrayi

Biography: Karntakarnta Billy Thomas was born near Kulyayi (Well 42). It was while he was droving cattle on the Canning Stock Route that he first met Rover Thomas. They went on to work together and settle in the Kimberley, both of them finding fame late in life as Kimberley artists. Earlier Billy had worked as a police tracker, a traditional healer and a stockman — and had 12 children.

Photographer: Kevin Kelly
Photography copyright: © Kevin Kelly
Format: Image
Source: Images - Catalogue
Category: People
Accession ID: 20131016_FORM_MIRA_B0090_0074

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.

Milkujung Jewess James

Born: about 1940s

Language Group(s): Wangkajunga
Community: Ngumpan
Art Centre(s): Ngurra Artists, Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency
CSR Project role: Artist, contributor
Skin Group: Nakarra
Country: Warlkarli

Biography: My father said, ‘I’m not giving you my kids. You might take them to another place far away from here'.
Milkujung was born near Paruku. When the priest at old Balgo mission attempted to put Milkujung and her sister into school, their father fled with them to Kurungal (Christmas Creek station). There Milkujung married Majarrka boss, Wirrali Jimmy James, and raised a family. Today she is a respected law woman in her community.

Photographer: Tim Acker
Photograph date: 2009
Photography copyright: © FORM
Format: Image
Source: Images - Exhibition
Category: People
Accession ID: 20131016_FORM_MIRA_B0090_0070

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.

Mayapu Elsie Thomas

Born: about 1934
Died: 2012

Language Group(s): Wangkajunga
Community: Wangkatjungka
Art Centre(s): Ngurra Artists, Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency
CSR Project role: Artist, contributor
Skin Group: Nampijin
Country: Pinga

Biography: Mayapu was born at Pinga and grew up in the Country around Kukapanyu (Well 39). She married Karntakarnta Billy Thomas’s brother, Sheepman, and raised a family at Christmas Creek station. Today she is married to George Tuckerbox.
We used to walk until we came to the Canning Stock Road … That was where [the bullocks] travelled … along the wells … That’s where they used to spear bullocks, my father and Kuji’s [Rosie Goodjie’s] father.

Photographer: Tim Acker
Photograph date: 2007
Photography copyright: © FORM
Format: Image
Source: Images - Catalogue
Category: People
Accession ID: 20131016_FORM_MIRA_B0090_0058

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.

Kuji Rosie Goodjie

Born: about 1936

Language Group(s): Wangkajunga
Community: Wangkatjungka
Art Centre(s): Ngurra Artists, Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency
CSR Project role: Artist, contributor
Skin Group: Nampijin
Totem: Minagu
Country: Mungkaparlu

Biography: Daddy been find my jarriny [Dreaming] Nyirla side. My young husband was murdered, no reason he was killed … I been find second husband Balgo now. We went back to desert.
Kuji was born near Nyirla. After her first husband was murdered, Kuji travelled to Billiluna, where Jukuja Nora Tjookootja’s father looked after her. She married again in Balgo, and later rejoined her family at Christmas Creek station.

Photographer: Tim Acker
Photograph date: 2007
Photography copyright: © FORM
Format: Image
Source: Images - Catalogue
Category: People
Accession ID: 20131016_FORM_MIRA_B0090_0055

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

Born: about 1936

Language Group(s): Wangkajunga
Community: Wangkatjungka
Art Centre(s): Ngurra Artists
CSR Project role: Artist, contributor
Skin Group: Purungu
Totem: Karlayan,seed, tree pod
Country: Kiriwirri

Biography: I come from desert, young girl. Come for hospital … no motor car, we carried everything: swag, billycan, on our heads.
Nada was born and grew up near Kiriwirri. During a severe drought in the 1950s, Nada’s family, seeking medical attention for painful sores on her arms and legs, took her north along the stock route. They lived at Moola Bulla station, before reuniting with family at Wangkatjungka.

Photographer: Tim Acker
Photograph date: 2007
Photography copyright: © FORM
Format: Image
Source: Images - Catalogue
Category: People
Accession ID: 20131016_FORM_MIRA_B0090_0040

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.

Ngilpirr Spider Snell

Born: about 1925

Language Group(s): Wangkajunga
Community: Fitzroy Crossing
Art Centre(s): Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency
CSR Project role: Artist, contributor
Skin Group: Jangkarti
Totem: Water snake
Country: Kurtal

Biography: I am jila. I am one of his lightnings. Ngilpirr is the senior custodian of the Kurtal jila and its songs and dances; he has performed and exhibited both nationally and internationally. Like many other desert people with strong ancestral ties to Country, he sees himself as inseparable from the place that gives him his power. As one of Kurtal’s lightning bolts, he passes on this power, and his knowledge of jila law, to his grandsons.

Photographer: Tim Acker
Photograph date: 2009
Photography copyright: © FORM
Format: Image
Source: Images - Catalogue
Category: People
Accession ID: 20131016_FORM_MIRA_B0090_0017

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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