Wijiji Anna Johns
Wijiji Anna Johns - life history [ORAL HISTORY]
Synopsis: Wijiji Anna Johns talks about being stolen by the nuns and raised in a dormitory. She escaped when she was married and then moved to Mulan to set up a community. She also talks about painting.
Art centre(s): Paruku Indigenous Protected Area
Catalogue number: CSROH_246_Anna_Johns
Location Recorded: Mulan
Cultural Protocols: Public Access
Notes: Transcribed from fieldnotes by Monique La Fontaine. This transcript shifts between narration and direct speech from May.
Full transcript: Wijiji bush name
Balgo Country Mangkayi Area
Anna was born at Old Mission. And my first language was english because I was stolen by the nuns. They been schooling me there, they took me away ever since I was 1 ½ years old. I don’t know my Mummy and Daddy. But I know my step-father and mother – my dad’s brother and my mum’s sister – husband and wife. I was schooling there until I got married in 1968. That’s how I got out of the dormitory. I stayed in Balgo for while then went to Billiluna. Worked in Mongrel Downs came back to Balgo longtime after that came here now [Mulan] to setting up community with my husband Rex and starting up community for people, for family, that’s how we here now. I worked in school and stayed there with kids. Then I started doing art with Lulu this time in 2000. Like doing landscape and some kids are better than me. Anna has 5 kids.
Rights: Cultural Owner & Storyteller: Wijiji Anna Johns; © 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.