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.
Art centre(s): CSR Project, Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre
Language spoken: English
Catalogue number: CSROH_291_Putuparri_Tom_Lawford
Transcribed By: Monique La Fontaine
Location Recorded: Mount Newman Creek
Cultural Protocols: Public Access - Restrictions on Use
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
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.