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Billiluna

Name: Mayarn Julia Lawford

Mayarn Julia Lawford - Childhood on the stock route [ORAL HISTORY]


Synopsis: Her parents Jimmy and Jinny James took Mayarn down the Canning Stock Route from Billiluna when she was small. They took goats to the drovers as meat. She was scared when she saw camels for the first time. She broke her leg on the trip and was looked after by a nurse from Wiluna. Then they brought the goats back to Nyarna, Lake Stretch.

Date: 8/17/2007
Art centre(s):
Language spoken: English, Wangkajungka, Walmajarri
Catalogue number: CSROH_32_Mayarn_Julia_Lawford
Interviewed By: Putuparri Tom Lawford, John Carty
Translated By: Putuparri Tom Lawford
Location Recorded: Nyarna, Lake Stretch
Latitude/Longitude: -19.0796/128.2542

Cultural Protocols: PUBLIC ACCESS
Access: PUBLIC
Notes: Some corrections and additions were made to this transcript when permission was sought on 3 September 2008. These changes have incorporated into this document.
Full transcript:
My father Jimmy James and my mother Jinny James, they both took me. I was small then. I don’t know, might be that high. They been take me with camel, from here now. From this place, Billiluna we went droving somewhere. I don’t know which road.

[Tom tells Mayarn to speak in Walmajarri.]

We went, they took me when I was small. We were taking goats for the drovers as meat when they were droving cattle. One kartiya [white man] by the name of Jack Barry was in charge of the goats. We went straight down on the Canning Stock Route. I don’t know where. Past Kaningarra. Long way from there. Camping along the way.

Every night we used to make yards out of wood and big grass and leaves and branches for the goats, so they can’t get away, then herded them in for the night. In the mornings we let them, gave them water from the wells and kept on going. Me, they put me in a box on a camel after, after I broke my leg. I was only a little girl then. We were having dinner somewhere and these kartiyas [white people] came, all the camel man. I got scared from seeing those camels. My mum said, ‘Look out manga [girl]! Camels are coming!’ I ran. I didn’t see that goanna hole. I tripped over and broke my leg. That mob that came with the camels had a nurse with them too. They put two sticks on my broken leg and then wrapped it with bandage. It was broken. They put that on me. Nurse coming from Wiluna side, I am from Billiluna.

We kept on going, I don’t know where. I don’t know that place. Then we had to come back from there, from half-way, because those kartiyas [white people] told us to take the goats back to Nyarna [Lake Stretch]. We came back from there with those goats. Right back to here, Nyarna. They were killer [those goats], meat to kill and eat here. We stayed around there for a while before bringing those goats back, after those kartiya fixed my leg. We then travelled back, taking them goats from … I don’t know what well and I don’t know how many nights we camped. We came back from a long way. My mum never told me where we came back from or where we went to. We finally made it to here, to Nyarna. Them other kartiyas that were here said, ‘Hey, why are they coming back with them goats?’ That kartiya Jack Barry was with us too. He spoke to the manager and told him why we had to come back. Wali nyamu [finished, that’s all].

END
Source: CSROH_32_Mayarn_Julia_Lawford

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: Taku Rosie Tarco

Taku Rosie Tarco - Coming out of the desert [ORAL HISTORY]


Synopsis: Taku Rosie Tarco tells of coming out of the desert to Billiluna, and tasting flour and bullock. She also talks about the Nada mob, and wanting to go back to look for her mother. Rosie tells about seeing camels on the Canning Stock Route as she travelled around it.

Date: 2007-11-16
Art centre(s):
Language spoken: Wangkajunga, Walmajarri
Catalogue number: CSROH_53_Taku_Rosie_Tarco_King
Interviewed By: John Carty
Translated By: Putuparri Tom Lawford, Monique La Fontaine
Location Recorded: Fitzroy Crossing
Latitude/Longitude: -18.17/125.59

Cultural Protocols: Public Access
Access: Public
Notes: Additions were given when the permission was gathered on 2008-09-02; these changes and additions have been made to this transcript. The original recording of this oral history is damaged.
Full transcript: Taku Rosie Tarco King: I travelled from my Country. I was only a kid, what you call a little girl [manga]. I went travelling and left my Country. I was travelling from that way. What’s the name of this place? From out in the bush, in the desert. We walked, a long, long way. I left my mother behind (and nyupa too). I’ve got no mother now, I had to leave her behind. My ngamaji [mother]. The people I was travelling with only took me with them, yeah.

We were travelling west, this side. We were travelling north. We went and got, what’s this thing called? That biggest water … a mighty well. We were [acts it out] drawing the water up from the well. We got that water out, you know. There was so much water. We got it out, we had water then.

I don’t know what you’d call me. I was walking, travelling, poor thing. Everyone was leaving the Country then. My aunty took me. She’s passed away now. We lost her in Fitzroy [Crossing]. We travelled all the way there from the desert. We came out and all the people there saw us. We travelled a really long way, eh? We killed goannas and wild pussycats and everything while we were travelling. We were killing them to eat. We were eating pussycats (meow!), all the way along. We left.

Yeah, but we came out of the desert at, all the people at, what do you call that place? That old Billiluna. All the people were telling me, ‘You call this place Billiluna’. We came out of the desert, straight through. At Billiluna we were staying there, and I didn’t know about flour. White man’s flour. He was telling me, ‘You have to eat it, poor thing’. He gave it to me. He looked after me, poor thing. We had no mummy.

All the way to Billiluna a big mob of us travelled from the desert. We came this way, through the Canning Stock Route to Billiluna, yeah. We came out there. There was a big mob of people at Billiluna. There were too many people to remember them all. Everywhere we sat down people came and cried with us, ‘Oh, you’ve got nothing!’ They cried when they sat with me because I was so skinny. I had no mother to look after me. And now look at me! I’m the fattest one! I had no mummy then, poor thing. We had to leave my mother and my brother behind.

Halfway on our journey we killed one bullock and ate it. I didn’t know what a bullock was. It was really big and everyone was telling me, ‘This belongs to kartiya [white people], we’re not allowed to eat it. But you can eat it.’ I said ‘Not me! I’m not going to eat it.’ I was speaking in my language, you know. I was talking in Juwaliny. That’s the language my mother spoke.

We came right up to Billiluna. We didn’t have anything, no clothes, nothing. That kartiya [white person] and all the people there gave us dresses. We only travelled wearing a panti panti [lap lap, front covering], with a little bit in the front and nothing behind. We made them for ourselves, yeah. I was a big girl when we came out at Billiluna with all the old people there. I came out of the desert to the Billiluna mob. All of us who were travelling ended up there. I didn’t know what was going on. They took me, poor thing. I sat down quiet. I didn’t talk to them, I was shame, poor thing. He gave us a dress, you know. Everything was wrong way, long way. We came out there and as a young one I got fatter then. We came from a long way away in the desert Country. We stayed there, camped with Billiluna mob and they looked after us. They looked after us. They looked after us well. I had no mummy.

I had to leave my mother behind. And my daddy, my father, passed away. I left my mother behind, I left walking. He passed away at Cherrabun, old station, near the house. Mummy passed at Timber Creek. When I came this way, we came in first. Then another mob went back and brought my mother this way too. We were first, a long time ago. I grew up there then. Poor thing, I was walking around by myself killing goanna to eat and then we stopped when we got to Billiluna. The people said to us ‘You mob have been travelling a long way from the desert.’ That man said that to me. Then they gave us a dress but we didn’t know how to wear it. We put it on the wrong way. We didn’t know how to put it on straight, poor things. We were walking from the desert all the way to old Billiluna.

I left my mother behind. Me and Nada [Rawlins] mob, we lost our mother from where we started travelling that way. My aunty and uncle were travelling and Nada’s family, all of us. We brought our husbands with us too, we brought them from that way. Juku Juku, he had two wives. But not me, I wasn’t married to him. But we lost one of our sisters who was married to him. But he wasn’t my husband. We say down there now, at that place, that side, near Halls Creek. I don’t know the name of that place, another community [Moola Bulla]. You know, we travelled a long way from there poor things.
We stopped there but we wanted to go back to our Country. We thought there might be more of our countrymen there left behind. I said, ‘I want to go back and look for my mother.’ I was telling all the Bunuba mob, these people here [in Fitzroy Crossing] – they looked after me, ‘We came here from the desert.’ Then they [Lanyi] brought one truck with a trailer and we brought the people in here one by one. The old men went and got them and brought them this way, a long time ago now. I was grown up then. I was living there, I’d gotten big [pulku], I grew up. I’d come here. Nada and my aunty who passed away in Fitzroy at the old mission and I we had all come this way.

Then I went to GoGo Station. One old man picked us up and brought us this way. We were staying at that old camp, old mission. The people were all talking to me and crying over me but I sat down quietly, I didn’t talk. I was shame, you know, I wanted to look for my mother. She might have been there somewhere. Then we went to GoGo Station, travelling there for holiday [law] time. Then someone said to me, ‘Your mother is there and your father. The two of them have come up here from the desert. They all came from the desert.’ But then we lost my mother at Cherrabun Station, old station. Close to here. I’ve got no mother, I’ve got nothing. Lost our mummy at Timber Creek. I lost my brother [Kumunjayi Skipper] too just recently here in Fitzroy. Now there’s only us girls living here in Fitzroy. We have one more sister at Looma. Penny la [lives at] Looma.

Then I went to Cherrabun Station, old station. I came and visited all the people there and they said, ‘Your daddy’s here, but somebody did something, he’s very sick.’ We lost him there, my daddy. We lost our mummy, we’ve got nothing left. I lost my brother. The only people left who belong to Japingka are us [Rosie and Penny K-Lyons], all of us little girls.

Oh sorry, sorry, that’s right. I forgot. We were sitting there near that top end [of the Canning Stock Route?]. We saw a man come there with a donkey and what do you call them? Camels. That kartiya [white man] had a big mob of camels with him. He threw something in the water. We were looking at him from there. We were watching in shock, thinking ‘What’s that big animal? It’s too big!’ That’s what you call them, camels. I never told you. That big camel and that kartiya too. He threw something in the water then he got up and made the camel sit. Then he got some water and gave it to the camel to drink. We were watching for a while then we took off. We told the others, ‘There’s a man there with a funny sort of animal. We’ll have to go, he might kill us.’ He gave water to the camel to drink. We went away in fright. That was at one of the wells, there’s kalyu, water in the wells. That was near Kaningarra road. Not Kaningarra this side. I don’t know where that Kaningarra road is on this side. Might have been the well on that side that we went to.

We were hiding, we were frightened of the camel. Then we started walking back home, all the time looking around for that man with the camel. ‘Oh, he’s gone I think.’ He got up and went away. We saw his tracks on the road. We were on the other side of the road. We stayed there for a while, all the while looking for that man with the camel. ‘He’s gone.’ Then we went away.

This is how they get water from the well. There are two handles on this thing. From there they put it down the well and bring up water. We drank from there, us mob when we were travelling through the first time. That’s when we didn’t know about camels. That’s why we ran. We were frightened of that camel. I didn’t know anything about them. That was the first time I saw one. Now they’ve got a big mob of camels in my Country, Japingka. We visited Japingka lately [for land claim trip]. We went straight there through Kulku. But I stay here now. I live here [in Fitzroy Crossing]. I never go anywhere or live anywhere else. I stay at Mindi Rardi. My home is there, close, yeah.

END


Source: CSROH_53_Taku_Rosie_Tarco_King
Rights: Cultural Owner & Storyteller: Taku Rosie Tarco; © 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.

Nyarna

Non-Indigenous name: Lake Stretch

Traditional knowledge: My father Jimmy James and my mother Jinny James, they both took me [down the Canning Stock Route]. I was small then. They been take me with camel. From this place, Billiluna, we went droving. We were taking goats for the drovers as meat when they were droving cattle. We went straight down on the Canning Stock Route. Past Kaningarra. Long way from there. Camping along the way.

Every night we used to make yards out of wood and big grass for the goats, so they can’t get away, then herded them in for the night. In the mornings we gave them water from the wells and kept on going. Me, they put me in a box on a camel. I was only a little girl then. We were having dinner somewhere and these kartiyas [white people] came, all the camel man. I got scared from seeing those camels. My mum said, ‘Look out manga [girl], camels are coming!’ I ran. I didn’t see that goanna hole. I tripped over and broke my leg. That mob that came with the camels had a nurse with them too. They put two sticks on my broken leg and then wrapped it with bandage. It was broken. They put that on me…

Then we had to come back from there, from half way, because those kartiyas told us to take the goats back to Nyarna [Lake Stretch]. We came back from there with those goats. Right back to here, Nyarna. (Mayarn Julia Lawford, 2007)

-19.678485/127.588112
Related art centre(s): Other

Media title: Tom at Lake Stretch
Media creator: Tim Acker
Date: 2007

Media description: Putuparri Tom Lawford at Nyarna (Lake Stretch)
Media Copyright: FORM
Format: Image
Accession ID: FORM_MIRA_B0088_0036

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.

Wirriyarra

Non-Indigenous name: Well 51
Historical name: Weriaddo

Traditional knowledge: Used to be, long time ago, the old people for all of mefellas, like our father and our uncle, all been ringing, long time ago, drovin’ to Canning Stock Route. They used to be mustering cattle all the way, right up to this place, Wirriyarra [Werriado] Yard, from Wirriyarra to Pulypaly. That the cutting out place where they been cutting out bullock for Canning Stock Route. Count ‘em how much, might be 400 or something like that, and count the cattle in the finger now, and ready for next morning, they take ‘em down to Delivery Yard. From Pulypaly through to Yunpu, to delivery camp. That’s the last place now, finish. That morning they been start delivering’ em to Werriado Yard windmill to Canning Stock Route now.

They been handling the cattle all the way along, drovin to Wiluna. All them wells. Long way now, that Country. From there, they used to go back to Billiluna again, you know, after long time. Very very long they been stopping there, working around there, branding or musterin’. Come back to Billiluna just about the first rain, when the rain been raining all the way on the road now. Come back, very long way Country now, come back to Billiluna.

That a very long story. But them old people, what they been there, they been all pass away, all finish. Nothing. My old man, two of my old man. Two grandpa, two Majarrka boss [Wirrali and Wurtuwaya], and uncle, old Jamili [Chum Lee]. (Yanpiyarti Ned Cox, 2007)

Native title area: Tjurabalan determination
Well data: 1906 quality: Poor

1906 total depth (m): 7

Current total depth (m): 4

Current quality of well: Caved in

Current quality of water: Clear, very smelly

Current depth to water: 3.6

Current depth of water: 0.8

Total dissolved salts (ppm): 7205

PH level: 7.5

PH level date: 2007
-20.14761/127.14631
Related art centre(s): Other

Media title: Wirriyarra (Well 51)
Media creator: Tim Acker
Date: 2007

Media description: Hayley Atkins and Putuparri Tom Lawford on a windmill near Well 51, Wirriyarra
Media Copyright: FORM
Format: Image
Accession ID: FORM_MIRA_B0088_0035

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: Yanpiyarti Ned Cox

Yanpiyarti Ned Cox - Droving stories [ORAL HISTORY]


Synopsis: Ned Cox tells stories about droving times, from Billiluna Station all the way to Wiluna and back again. All those old people are gone now, only the grandchildren left.
He went back to the new station at Mulan to work, and is living in Ngumpan community now.
After the road trains came in they didn't need drovers anymore. They were working hard for basic wages then. They started to drink then, went to Fitzroy Crossing for a beer with the manager.
Ned then talks about Wally Dowling, the boss of Canning Stock Route. He drove up to Kununurra way and passed away in Mistake Creek. He was a strong man, he never got sick. He never wore boots when he was droving.

Date: 2007-08-19
Art centre(s): Ngurra Artists, Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency
Language spoken: English/ Kriol
Catalogue number: CSROH_36_Yanpiyarti_Ned_Cox
Interviewed By: 2007-08-19
Transcribed By: John Carty
Location Described: Fitzroy Crossing, Mulan, Ngumpan
Location Recorded: Fitzroy Crossing
Latitude/Longitude: -18.17/125.59

Cultural Protocols: PUBLIC ACCESS - RESTRICTIONS ON USE
Access: PUBLIC
Notes: There are small sections of this interview were not transcribed as they were not deemed directly relevant to the project. The section that has not been transcribed has been noted in this transcript. Some small amendments were made to this story when permissions were gathered on 3 September 2009, these changes have been incorporated into this transcript.
Full transcript:
Yanpiyarti Ned Cox: Used to be, long time ago, the old people been – for all of me-fellas [us] – they been stopping there long time – like our father and our uncle – all been ringing long time ago, drovin to Canning Stock Route. They used to be mustering cattle all the way from what-name lake all the way, comin to what-name, name Lera Yard, used to be branding place there. What’s this … Kurntukurta, mustering along to Lens Bore. All the way along there. Right up to what this place, Werriado Yard, from Werriado to Pulypaly. That the cutting out place. Where they been cutting out bullock for Canning Stock Route. Count em how much, might be 400 or something like that, they been cut em out and clean em out and finish and count the cattle in the finger now, and ready for next morning they take em down to the delivery yard. From Pulypaly. From Pulypaly through the Yunpu, to delivery camp. That’s the last place now, finish. That morning they been start delivering em to Werriado Yard windmill, you know, … to Canning Stock Route now. That’s all ready now. Nother mob used to be going back. Old drovers ready the camel and everything now.

Goin to Wiluna now. All the way along, they been drovin. The old people, all the drovers. My uncle. Old [Jamili] Chum Lee, and old bull. And old George, and old Harry, my brother, Harry Tjangala. All that old fella been droving on the Canning Stock Route, taking cattle to Wiluna, all the way along. They all finished now, those old people who I been call their names. They finished. Only son left over now. They been handling the cattle all the way along, drovin to Wiluna. All them wells. I been forget them names now, all along them wells, long way now … that Country. I been long that place. Right up. One place there, middle, close up Wiluna now – they used to be cuttin out the bullock. That bullock go to Leonora, another mob bullock go to Wiluna now straight down that way. Another mob go to Leonora now … they take em, well Leonora more long way than Wiluna. Drove em up there, deliver em and they been all come back to Wiluna. Station called Carnegie. And another place like Wiluna Cunyu Station. Headland way, that road. Meekatharra, that way up. Cunyu Station.

From there, they used to go back to Billiluna again, you know, after long time. Very very long, they been stopping there, working around there, branding or mustering. Come back to Billiluna, just about the first rain, when the rain bin raining all the way on the road now, come back very long way Country now – come back to Billiluna. That a very long story. But them old people, what they been there, they been all pass away, all finish, nothing, and only son left over now … my old man, two of my old man, two grandpa for, two Majarrka [dance] boss now for that one, two old man, one for him, old grandpa for him [referring to Putuparri Tom Lawford] … and my two old man. Two fella come from Billiluna, come to Christmas Creek Station now. Stopping in another station, now here working. And uncle, old Jamili [Chum Lee], whole lot that three been come to this place now, Christmas Creek, in the Fitzroy area … Two fella been working man now, driving wagon, and after that, old man, uncle, still been droving to Leonora meatworks …

[Note: There is a section of text missing here that has not been transcribed. This includes stories about droving to Leonora Meatworks, to Broome and to Derby.]

NC: ... Only son leftover now, they been all pass away. And grandson, all the grandson left over now, this mob here. All the grandson. From there, only all the young fellas now, second mob, you know, second young fella. I been still go back to Billiluna and work around there. Where that new station been – Mulan. I liked it all around there the lake, long time til they been find em, til government been give them community now, all that Mulan and what-name now. I been still working for station that time, I been coming when it was a good lake. I‘m in this Country now. Come back again. Find my community again. Ngumpan, livin there today. Still my Country. Lake Gregory, Billiluna old station. My Country I was born right there. My mother for that Country, my father. They only been just come to this place in the Fitzroy area, comin to live down here. We can’t go back to Billiluna now, because we livin in this place. We got plenty grandchildren now, here in this Country. Can’t go back. But we can still go back there, you know, visiting around there. I been just come nother day from old station …

I can tell you … about droving to Meeda Station, me and his [Tom Lawford’s] father been young man …

And after that, when the what-name ‘road train’ been start now, nobody never drove ... truck take em to the station all the way. Truck take em down now … In Billiluna long time ago, still working hard, no money. Just work [for] ten bob, pound, quid … that what we been workin for. Hard working, little money, hard working but it was an understanding job proper hard work. You never try to pull out. We like the work, and have a damper and corned beef. That’s good enough, all the feed. But we never, never thinkin about pull out for good money or all that, never. Just only the work all the way. And after that one, now everybody been come to the school and come to get a good brains, thinking about, ‘no I’m not going to work hard like that for a little money. Might be more money.’ That’s the way people been trying to pull out all the way. Go to nother place, work there. Little money still, little money still, never understanding what was good money. That was still one pound, two dollars … right, I been pull out from this Country … now Kununurra area, Argyle Station now. Argyle mine there now this time. But Argyle Station been there. I been working there. I been go ask that manager from there and he been tell me-fella [us], ‘you-fella gonna get good money now,’ basic wages. We been start getting little bit good money now, hard workin. And putting the money in the bank now. The boss been putting em, you know money in the bank when we wouldn’t know all that. We been know, ‘this your bankbook, you can get your money, we’re putting the money in the bank for you’. We been understand little bit now. Working hard all the way in that place. Start working … from Argyle I been go to a place called Lissadell Station now. Lissadel, pull out from there, go back to Billiluna again. Work there in Billiluna and come back again. Pull out from there and come back go to Ruby Plains Station, working there for good money now. Getting good pay. We never understand now. All the way. That’s the time … that’s the time when everything, when boss been tell us, ‘you people better be having beer now.’ We never know beer. Only the manager been bring me-fella [us] down to Fitzroy [Crossing] here for beer … we never really what-name trust much, you know, we couldn’t understand much at that time. We started drinkin little by little, from big bottle, you know that! And after that we been come in to proper real, someone, one bloke I been having em there, his name Gregory, he been know, because he been get em citizen … that was a free time now. Cause everybody drinkin now today …

Tom Lawford: That kartiya [white man], you been know him, Wally Dowling?

NC: Yeah, old man Wally Dowling. He been droving that old man Wally Dowling was the boss in Canning Stock Route … he used be going no boot. He don’t use em boot. Just bare feet. Droving all the way to Canning Stock Route. Wally Dowling. After that when he was finished that Canning Stock Route, he been droving to what-name, Kununurra way. That old fella been pass away in Mistake Creek river. He never like em that Country droving. He like em Wiluna. Canning Stock Route is more long-way Country. But he never like em this part of the Country … All his grandson there in Halls Creek. Old Bob Stretch, my brother, he been pass away, his son, that his son, for Wally Dowling.

John Carty: Any stories about Wally Dowling?

NC: He was a good old fella. Strong man. When he went droving all round that Country. And some say he never liked droving in that Country, he been get his [XX] and kill himself. That kind of idea. I don’t think so, might be he been do that … He never been get sick. He was a good strong man … He walked too much. Strong man for walk. Every sandhill on that Wiluna road, he used to lead his horse along behind the bullock. Strong man. No boot. He never been have em boot. I don’t know how he did all that drovin. He was a good strong man … Droving to Wiluna all the way. So many so many years …

END

Source: CSROH_36_Yanpiyarti_Ned_Cox
Rights: © Cultural Owner & Storyteller: Yanpiyarti Ned Cox; © 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.

Video Title: Living in the desert

Video Description: This film by Morika Biljabu tracks the Kunawarritji community. Elders and children are shown weaving baskets, painting, and dancing. Artists Nyangapa Nora Nangapa, Kumpaya Girgaba and Ngarnjapayi Nancy Chapman talk about their family's Country, their travels through Country, and their first experiences with kartiya.

Date created: 2009
People: Nyangapa Nora Nangapa, Kumpaya Girgaba, Ngarnjapayi Nancy Chapman, Hayley Atkins
Art Centre(s): Martumili Artists, CSR Project

Director: Morika Biljabu
Editor: Chris Mylrea
Camera: Morika Biljabu
Sound: Music by Punmu Lakeside Band
Translator: Morika Biljabu, Nola Taylor
Executive Producer: FORM

Rights: © Morika Biljabu
Clip length:0:06:34
Protocols:PUBLIC ACCESS
Format: Video
Category: Video
Accession ID: 20131017_FORM_MIRA_B0056_0001

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.

Paruku

Non-Indigenous name: Lake Gregory
Historical name: Gregory's Salt Sea

Place description: Before white settlement, the Paruku (Lake Gregory) and Tjurabalan (Sturt Creek) regions comprised a centre of activity for both ancestral beings and river, lake and desert people.

Paruku is the traditional name of the vast lake system that appears on Canning's map as Gregory's Salt Sea (Lake Gregory on most modern maps). It was named after the first white explorer, Augustus Gregory, who came across it in 1856.

Paruku is a complex system of salt and freshwater lakes. Once part of a vast inland sea, 300,000 years ago it was 10 times bigger than its current size. The Country surrounding Paruku is abundant with ancestral stories and with plant, animal and bird life. It sustained a thriving pastoral industry, which first prompted the need for a stock route to the south.

In 2001 Tjurabalan people's native title rights were recognised by the Federal Court of Australia and an Indigenous Protected Area was declared over the Paruku region. Today traditional owners use painting and mapping to record the cultural and environmental values of their Country.

The Paruku lake system lies at the end of Tjurapalan Jukurrpa, a major Dreaming track, which binds many language groups over a wide area. The fertile country around the lake and river systems provided an abundant source of plant and animal life for local groups, and for desert peoples in times of drought. These groups met regularly at Paruku and Tjurabalan to trade and perform ceremonies.

By the early 1900s, however, the Country’s rich ecology had attracted the attention of pastoralists. The success of their operations would lead to the development of an overland stock route that would allow Billiluna cattle to be transported from Paruku to the south. Mobs (herds) of cattle from other parts of the East Kimberley would also be driven along the Canning Stock Route from Old Halls Creek to Wiluna.

Traditional knowledge: Desert people use sacred pearl shell objects, which are known to northern people as jakuli, in special ceremonies for making rain. Although pearl shell is found in the ocean, its origin in the Jukurrpa (the Dreamtime) is Paruku (Lake Gregory).

In the Jukurrpa the creation ancestor Kiki came down from the sky looking for a place to live and went into Paruku. Kiki had a shining white stone that he tried to hide in the lake, but it kept floating up to the surface. Bandicoot man was travelling past Paruku when he saw what he thought was a light shining in the middle of the lake. It was Kiki’s white stone. He stole it and threw it into the sea, where it turned into pearl shell.

The Wati Kujarra (Two Men) heroes collected a big bag of pearl shells from the sea. On their way back, lightning struck the bag and scattered the pearl shells across the Country. Since the Jukurrpa, pearl shells have been traded across the desert. Pearl shell items are used in rain-making ceremonies and other spiritual practices. They are also worn by men and women as decorative ornaments.

From the Dreamtime Kiki was coming from the sky looking for a place to stay. He came down near Paruku, went down in the water and then he came out of the water when he was feeling hungry. He made all these plants, put them round everywhere. All kind of different feeds for him to eat. He even put that feed for the people to eat too, but he put them feed there if he felt hungry after travelling a long way from different places. He made all the plants grow, some plants you can grind to make flour, the seeds you can make feed out of it, some little grapes or berries.

This Kiki made all this feed. And he put all them frogs that people eat. They dig into the sand, dig long way down to get one of those frog. All kind of animals, bandicoots, blue tongue lizards, animals that live out there now, or used to live out there, lot of them are gone now, extinct. What we still eat today is from that old fella. He made all the animals and plants for him to eat and for the people too, so the people can get a feed. All them tucker that he put out for people, some [is] healing stuff too. Different plants for different ailments. That’s why the old fella, he made all that happen for the people. (Yanpiyarti Ned Cox with Putuparri Tom Lawford, 2008)

Kiki had this stone in Dreamtime. It was [a] white stone, and he tried to hide it in the lake. [He] tried to hide that stone inside the water but [it] kept on coming up, floating up. He put it down and walked away and it would come up again. Then this other fella come along and found that thing floating in the water and took it. [He was a] man then, Bandicoot man. He picked it and he took it [and] threw it in the ocean near Broome somewhere, and that’s why Broome is rich with pearls. From there [it] turned into pearl shell. That’s why we got too many pearl shells in the ocean. It started from Paruku because it didn’t want to hide. (Yanpiyarti Ned Cox with Putuparri Tom Lawford, 2008)

Related art centre(s): Other

Media title: Paruku
Media creator: Nicole Ma
Date: 2010

Media description: Artists from Paruku Indigenous Protected Area paint their Country around the lake. Paruku is the traditional name of the vast lake system that appears on Canning’s map as Gregory’s Salt Sea (Lake Gregory on most modern maps). It was named after the first white explorer, Augustus Gregory, who came across it in 1856. Paruku is a complex system made up of both salt and freshwater lakes. Once part of a vast inland sea, 300,000 years ago it was 10 times bigger than its current size. The Country surrounding Paruku is abundant with ancestral stories and with plant, animal and bird life. It sustained a thriving pastoral industry, which first prompted the need for a stock route to the south. In 2001 Tjurabalan people’s native title rights were recognised by the Federal Court of Australia and an Indigenous Protected Area was declared over the Paruku region. Today traditional owners use painting and mapping to record the cultural and environmental values of their Country.
Media Copyright: FORM
Format: Video
Accession ID: 20131016_FORM_MIRA_B0089_0005

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.

Canning Stock Route

Artist(s): Jawurji Mervyn Street

Date created: 2008
Art Centre(s): Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency
Size: 59.7x119.5
Medium: acrylic on canvas

Artwork Story: Mervyn grew up hearing the stories of relatives who had been Canning Stock Route drovers. As a young man he worked as a stockman himself, at Carnegie Station near Wiluna, where he met many of the Martu people who had worked closely with, and were related by marriage to, his own family members in Fitzroy Crossing and Billiluna.

When I got to Wiluna I just look around and I couldn’t believe I was in Wiluna. And I met them old people. They telling me all the droving story, ‘We got family back in Wiluna, we got family right back in Fitzroy. We got a nyupa [husband or wife] from this way now. We got family’. And they been start calling their name [and I said], ‘Ah! I know them old people!’

If this road never been happening in those days, we never [would have] been here to meet. People from Wiluna meeting people from Billiluna. This road made a good relationship to people.

Artwork copyright: ©2013 Jawurji Mervyn Street
Catalogue ID: MS/210/MJ
Protocols: Public Access - Restrictions on use

Photographer: Jason McCarthy
Photograph date: 2009-05-21
Photography copyright: National Museum of Australia
Format: Image
Category: Artwork

Artist(s) biography:
born 1950
Gooniyandi, Walmajarri, Jaru language groups
Jupurra skin group
Yiyili community
Mangkaja Arts
I been hearing lotta stories ’bout this droving, Wiluna to Billiluna, and I don’t even believe myself I’m here, halfway in this road.

As a young man Mervyn worked as a stockman on Carnegie station, where he met Martu people who had worked with his family on the stock route. In 2007 Mervyn travelled the ‘old bullocky road’ for the first time.

Accession ID: 20131014_FORM_MIRA_B0045_0079

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.

Cattle at Durba Springs

Artist(s): Jawurji Mervyn Street

Date created: 2007
Art Centre(s): Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency
Size: 29.9x125.1
Medium: pencil and watercolour on paper

Artwork Story: A lotta old people telling me ’bout [how] they used to drove from Billiluna straight across to Wiluna. But they’re not in the photos, they got no name. Nothing. They got be part of this droving story.

This drawing of Aboriginal stockmen on the route was made at Jilakurru, where drovers would graze their cattle after the long trek through the arid north country.

Collection: private collection
Place of creation: Durba Springs
Latitude/Longitude: -23.75397/122.51669

Artwork copyright: ©2013 Jawurji Mervyn Street
Catalogue ID: MS/169/MJ
Protocols: Public Access - Restrictions on use

Photographer: Jason McCarthy
Photograph date: 2009-05-28
Photography copyright: National Museum of Australia
Format: Image
Category: Artwork

Artist(s) biography:
born 1950
Gooniyandi, Walmajarri, Jaru language groups
Jupurra skin group
Yiyili community
Mangkaja Arts
I been hearing lotta stories ’bout this droving, Wiluna to Billiluna, and I don’t even believe myself I’m here, halfway in this road.

As a young man Mervyn worked as a stockman on Carnegie station, where he met Martu people who had worked with his family on the stock route. In 2007 Mervyn travelled the ‘old bullocky road’ for the first time.

Accession ID: 20131014_FORM_MIRA_B0045_0043

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.

Jilji

Artist(s): Taku Rosie Tarco

Date created: 2007
Art Centre(s): Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency
Size: 119x89
Medium: acrylic on canvas

Artwork Story: Too much jilji [sandhills] in our Country.

Up and down, up and down. Kartiya [white people] get sick of it. The Canning Stock Route runs through hundreds of kilometres of rugged sandhill country. The long, reverberating lines in this painting represent the high red sandhills, or jilji, that dominate much of the Great Sandy Desert.

Everyone was leaving the Country then. We came out of the desert at old Billiluna. We came this way, through the Canning Stock Route. People cried when they sat with me because I was so skinny. I had no mother to look after me, poor thing. And now look at me. I’m the fattest one!

Location depicted: jilji
Place of creation: Mangkaja
Latitude/Longitude: -18.17/125.59

Artwork copyright: ©2013 Taku Rosie Tarco
Catalogue ID: RT/148/MJ
Protocols: Public Access - Restrictions on use

Photographer: Jason McCarthy
Photograph date: 2009-05-18
Photography copyright: National Museum of Australia
Format: Image
Category: Artwork

Artist(s) biography:
born about 1935
Juwaliny language group
Nangkarti skin group
Wangkatjungka community
Fitzroy Crossing
Mangkaja Arts
I was only a kid, what you call a little manga [girl]. I went travelling and left my Country. We walked a long, long way. I had to leave my mother behind.

Taku was born at Japingka. During a period of intense drought in the Great Sandy Desert that lasted from 1956 to 1964, she travelled north along the stock route with Nada Rawlins’s family.

Accession ID: 20131014_FORM_MIRA_B0045_0026

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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