Kumpaya Girgaba - painting first time [ORAL HISTORY]
Synopsis: Kumpaya Girgaba talks about learning to paint for the first time in Kurungal. Before that syhe had exclusively made baskets.
Art centre(s): Martumili Artists
Language spoken: Manyjilyjarra
Catalogue number: CSROH_171_Kumpaya_Girgaba
Transcribed By: Ngalangka Nola Taylor
Translated By: Ngalangka Nola Taylor
Location Recorded: Parnngurr
Cultural Protocols: Public Access - Verbal Consent
Full transcript: Kumpaya Girgaba: When I was in Kurungal [Wangkatjungka community] I was learning to make basket and other people they was doing painting, that’s how I learned from that side. I learned to make basket first before i started making painting. The painting that they was doing was only for them Walmajarri, Wangkajunga, Fitzroy people. My daughter Kuji and Nada and Wanina, they learned me by watching how they do basket making. I was making basket while all Fitzroy people was painting like this. I just sat and watched the others painting, I never done a painting before, I was first time to see other people doing it. So from there I came back to Jigalong stayed around there and from Jigalong I kept on going Patjarr [Karilwara]. I went and stayed with Katapi and with Giles family and from there I learned how they was doing painting there. I watched their side of doing stories, putting them in paint. And I was given a canvas to paint on for a first time and I start painting and learned from others, for me it was first time to put something on the canvas and to paint stories. From all the Karilwara mob I learned. Before that I just used to do basket making but it still was taught by other families from Fitzroy side, Kurungal. So I came back. and I’ve learned from there and I came back to do painting in my side and even taught the others to paint.
Hayley Atkins: What about Balgo?
KG: No I didn’t learn anything up there, I wasn’t sure about doing painting straight away there. Only in Patjarr my auntie showed me how to paint and watched what sort of stories to put in, I asked her and she told me what stories to put down and which part of the Country I should do, only my area and my stories on my side. So I learned from my auntie, and there I’m painting and also from there I never stop painting and first when I started I did so many, lots and lots of painting ... and so we taught each other and everybody else is doing it now …
John Carty: I thought you learned to paint Balgo side.
KG: No, I was already taught. I just went there and I came back and started to paint back in home where I live.
Video recording: 176 NOREENA KADIBIL, KUMPAYA GIRGABA
Rights: Cultural Owner & Storyteller: Kumpaya Girgaba; © 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.