Browse by

Browse by art centre

cannibal

Name: Ngilpirr Spider Snell

Ngilpirr Spider Snell - Kurtal story and Kinki [ORAL HISTORY]


Synopsis: Spider tells the story of Kurtal, where he came from and his journey during Jukurrpa (Dreaming). Spider then tells his own story, about being left at Kurtal,and being one of his lightnings. His mother found him there as a snake and that is where he was born. He grew up there and would go hunting. He brother drank from the water at Kurtal and was grabbed by the snake and pulled into the water, he let him go. Kurtal is quiet now, Spider is the only one looking after him now. He went from Kurtal to Billiluna, where he was initiated and he finished law at Wangkatjungka.He married Dolly when they were young and they still live with each other. Finally Spider tells the Kinki story.

Date: 11/16/2007
Art centre(s):
Language spoken: Wangkajunga, Walmajarri
Catalogue number: CSROH_52_Ngilpirr_Spider_Snell
Interviewed By: John Carty
Translated By: Putuparri Tom Lawford
Location Described: Kurtal
Location Recorded: Fitzroy Crossing
Latitude/Longitude: -18.17/125.59

Cultural Protocols: PUBLIC ACCESS - RESTRICTIONS ON USE
Access: PUBLIC
Full transcript:
I am jila. I will tell you about jila, I’m talking about Kurtal jila [ancestral being, and spring]. Rain came, a big one, in the early days. It rained for a while, a big rain. After the rain, grasses started to grow. That was him, the grass that began to grow, purrun purrun [grass] we call it. From the grass he turned into a man. Kurtal turned into a man from the grass, purrun purrun. From all that grass he grew into a man. From there he sent a kutukutu [rain-bearing cloud] but it came back. He sent it again, it still came back. He sent it again, this time north, it still came back, that cloud kutukutu. To the east he sent another cloud [kutukutu]. This time it didn’t come back. The cloud went into his own Country, Kurtal, and it went into the waterhole. From a grass he became a man. From there he said, ‘Kurtal wanyjurla wanyjurla’ [He’s singing here: Kurtal, where are you?] He called himself Kurtal. Kurtal is big. He is very big. From there he went to a place called Japingka. Japingka is another jila [ancestral being, and spring] too; Japingka gave him some sacred objects.

From there he went off again past Karlijita [St. George Ranges]. He came to a place call Mangunampi, [a place near Yakanarra] another jila [ancestral being]. He was there with that jila for a while. From there he took off again heading towards Broome, he been travel there. He arrived at Broome and had a rest there for a while. After hanging around at Broome he took off again, heading up the coast. He arrived at another jila called Jintirripil [somewhere near One Arm Point]. He stayed with Jintirripil for a while there. Jintirripil told Kurtal to stay with him near the sea. Kurtal tricked him saying, ‘Yes, I’ll stay with you’.

Jintirripil then told Kurtal to look for anther jila [ancestral being] call Paliyarra [near Nookanbah] because Paliyarra stole sacred objects that belonged to him and he wanted them back. Kurtal set off to find Paliyarra. After finding Paliyarra he went hunting, killing bush animals and cooking them up. He gave them to Paliyarra. Paliyarra knew what he was there for: to steal back the sacred objects he stole from Jintirripil. From there he told Kurtal, tricking him, ‘I haven’t got what you came here looking for.’ [Singing:] ‘Ngajirta Pa Mintirr Mintirr.’ He told him he got nothing. Kurtal could see through him, he could see lighting flashing inside him all that time he was telling him, ‘I can’t give you anything.’ From there he set his dogs onto Kurtal. They bit him all over. He ran around Paliyarra with the dogs after him, tripping him over. They both fell down, Paliyarra spilling the stolen objects onto the ground. Kurtal kicked them objects towards his home, into his waterhole, all them objects they used to make rain with, the same objects we still make rain with, but I am only one left now. I don’t know how I got to do it now, maybe with my grandsons.
With the dogs still chasing him he took off running, heading north to a place called Pinykurrngu [don’t know where this place]. On top of a hill he had a rest for while there, away from the dogs because he was bitten. After that he went to another waterhole called Kunjurrpung [not far from Ngumpan]. He had a look around to see if he had any objects with him for Kurtal to steal but he had none. After talking to that jila he went on his way. He came to another jila [Spider doesn’t know the name of this one], they sat down and had a chat. Kurtal went hunting for that jila. That’s what they did in the Dreamtime, to kill feed for another person. We still do that today but in the law way. After having a feed that other jila told him the same thing: he got nothing, no objects. [Singing:] ‘Ngajirta Pa Mintirr Mintirr’. He could look through him and seen lightning flashing inside him. Kurtal then made willy willies [whirlwinds] come up around them then. They all became one big willy willy and it covered them both with dust. They couldn’t see. The other jila didn’t know what was going on. With fright he dropped his objects on the ground. Kurtal kicked them towards his Country, Kurtal. Into the waterhole, they went. Yuwa [yes].

Kurtal took off again, this time north. He came to a hill and had a rest there on top, looking around where he’s going to steal the next stuff from. He climbed down and went to a place called Kilalaparri [at Christmas Creek]. He sat down there with that jila [ancestral being] and then all this little men, Murungkurr, came out of the ground and started attacking him. He was killing them with his lightning. Off he went again to another jila [Spider doesn’t know this one either]. This time he stole everything from him, all the rain-making stuff. He took them all with him till he came to Kaningarra. That jila Kaningarra was waiting for him. Kurtal and Kaningarra are yalpurru [were born at the same time]. They’re mates. Kaningarra told Kurtal, ‘Let’s lay down here then we can be together.’ Kurtal, tricking him, said, ‘You lie down over there and I’ll lay down here.’ Kaningarra then went into the ground and turned into a snake, kalpurtu [rainbow serpent], and today that waterhole Kaningarra is still there. Kurtal kept on going, carrying all them stolen objects in a coolamon to his Country. He was slowly getting weak. He fell down on one knee and that place we call it Tujulu. He then started to crawl towards his waterhole. He crawled inside with all his stolen objects for good. He went inside and turned into a snake, and he is there today, at his home, Kurtal. That’s the song ‘Kurtal wanyjurla wanyjurla’ we sing. That’s Kurtal, that’s where he went inside for good. He sent up a kutukutu [rain-bearing clouds] like the ones I made at the water hole. He his still there, even to this day.

[Now Spider is telling his story.]

I am from there. That’s where Kurtal left me. He left me and my wife Dolly [Snell], and her brothers and Mosquito, Johnny Mosquito, my brother. Kurtal put them there. And Wiyli Wiyli, my son [Richard Tax]. He put everybody there, that Kurtal. Kurtal left me further up north. I am one of his lightnings.

There was a big storm, lighting everywhere, big rain. From that place my parents found me. I was a snake, a water snake. My mother saw me and was coming up to me, creeping me up, I saw her coming and laid down for her. She hit me, killing me and she pulled me out of the ground from my ribs. She then lit a fire to cook me. She covered me in hot coals and ash. Then all of a sudden there was water where she had me cooking. Water and a tiny snake. She then threw that tiny snake away saying, ‘What happened to that big snake I had cooking here? Did it turn into water too?’ Then I was born right there at Kurtal. That little snake was my Dreaming. I was a kid at Kurtal. My mother and father went hunting sometimes for two or three days or more. I was there alone, and at night I would say, ‘Kurtal, look after me. I am alone, my parents haven’t came back yet. Can you look after me?’

In the mornings I would get up, go hunting. I was a good hunter when I was a kid, killing all kinds of animals in the desert. I used to cook them near the waterhole, chucking bones in the water. I was a good child when I was a kid, looking after my own self, and then my parents would return. Kurtal is cheeky. He doesn’t let any animals drink water. He’ll swallow them up. One time me and my brother went to have a drink. I drank first, then him. Next thing he went into the water! That snake grabbed him! I was scared. I ran to tell the old men who were sitting under a tree, calling out, ‘There’s a kid in the water! That snake got him! He swallowed him! Come and get him out!’ They all got up carrying axes with them. They ran to the waterhole saying, ‘Let him go or we will chop you up!’ From there Kurtal let him out alive. He kept him inside there for a while then spewed him out. He’s my brother. He was okay. Then they picked him up and took him to a shady tree. He’s a cheeky bugger. He don’t let anything drink water, that Kurtal, man, wanya [featherfoot/sorcerer], devil, anything. He’ll just chuck you in the water and swallow you up. Cheeky bugger.

Today he’s finished now. Nothing now. He’s quiet. He’s got no people left now, all his mob all gone. I am the only one visiting and looking after him now. Everybody all passed away now, all the old people that belong to Kurtal. Wilyi Wilyi Mosquito, my brother who died in Adelaide, the whole lot, all finished now. He’s only seeing me now, looking after him. Only one. Today Kurtal is full of water. Everywhere, it’s flooded. We went there recently. I had a swim there.

I haven’t got that story for Kinki and I never seen camels in the Stock Route. I went from Kurtal to Billiluna. I was initiated at Billiluna. I stayed there for a while finishing my law, the law that belongs to them old people. Then I went to Wangkatjungka, then I finished everything there. They told me, ‘You’ve finished your law now. You are a law man.’ I was a young fella then. I didn’t have a wife then. Because I’ve finished my law, my lamparr and yumari [father in law and mother in law] gave me Jukuja [Dolly Snell] as my wife. They gave Jukuja to me when she was a young girl. We lived together until we got old, still today. I had no trouble. We lived a good life.
I know about a white man who got killed at Natawalu [Well 40] and there’s another two that got killed at Lampu [Well 49]. One, he’s buried there. That kartiya [white man] shot that other kartiya. We were all bushmen then when that two kartiya killed each other. There’s a grave for one of them at Lampu. That fella at Natawalu speared that kartiya and then that kartiya shot him with a 44 maybe.

[Kinki story]

Little story I’ll tell you: Old man kartiya [white man] came. I don’t [know] where he came from, they shot and killed old man Kinki, and his daughter as well. They salted them and gave them to us at Jikarn [Well 50]. We thought it was goat meat. They killed them. We ate him. That old fella. My old man (that’s what I called him: father). We had a good feed. We didn’t know it was a human. We boiled some in a billycan. All that time we were thinking it was goat meat. We all ate them. Nothing was left. We thought it was goat we were eating but it was old man Kinki, poor fella. It wasn’t good meat. It had no fat and it tasted horrible. But we still ate it. They killed him and his daughter at Kaningarra. They cut them up and salted them. We ate my old man and my sister. We ate em all up. Finished. Wali [that’s all].

END
Source: CSROH_52_Ngilpirr_Spider_Snell

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.

Kumpupirntily

Story:Nyayurnangalku [cannibal beings] live below the surface of the lake in a world lit by its own sun. The Nyayurnangalku are said to resemble people, except for their large fangs and the long curved fingernails they use to catch and hold their victims. They block the wind as they move across the lake in search of human prey. Aboriginal people only travel past the lake when the wind is blowing. When boomerang-shaped clouds called wilany appear in the sky, it is a sign that the Ngayurnangalku are approaching. Aboriginal people are also careful not to light fires near Kumpupirntily, in case it signals their presence to the Ngayurnangalku. The cannibals’ own fires are scattered across the surface of the lake. An immensely powerful force lies at the centre of the lake. Aboriginal people believe it is capable of pulling planes and helicopters down from the sky, and they avoid flying directly over the area. During the Dreamtime an important gathering of Ngayurnangalku took place at Kumpupirntily. They came from Natawalu (Well 40) and Yunpu in the north, from Mundiwindi in the west, and from the country around Kiwirrkurra in the east. They came to decide whether or not they should continue to live as cannibals. Jeffrey James continues the story: 'Everybody agrees: alright we better stop eating the peoples. Then that night there was a baby [girl] born from that other group [eastern mob] … And they asked the newborn baby, and she said no: "We can still carry on and continue eating peoples." But [western] mob said "No, we’re not going to touch."' Following the baby, one group continued to be cannibals, dividing the Ngayurnangalku forever into ‘good’ and ‘bad’. The bad people remained at Kumpupirntily, but the good were kept safe by ‘bodyguards’. 'The bodyguards were saving all the people. Sandhill in the middle of the lake separates good people and bad people.' Painting Catalogue Number: JB/DS/73/MM, BA/194/MM, PR/198/MM, PR/212/MM

Media Creator:Painting by Yunkurra Billy Atkins, Photo by Ross Swanborough

Media date: 2008
Story Location: Kumpupirntily (Lake Disappointment)

Media Description:It’s dangerous, that Country. I’ve seen that [cannibal] man, he’s there and I know it. I don’t know how white people go over there. If they were to run into him he would eat them straight out. Kumpupirntily, that’s a no good place … leave it alone and have nothing to do with it at all. Just leave it how it is.' (Yunkurra Billy Atkins)

Story contributor(s):Jeffrey James, Yunkurra Billy Atkins, John Carty, Clifford Brooks

Art Centre(s): Martumili Artists
Publisher: FORM
Media copyright: Yunkurra Billy Atkins, Ross Swanborough
Source: CSROH_17B
Accession ID:20131024_FORM_MIRA_B0046_0006

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.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.

Yungkurra Billy Atkins

Yunkurra Billy Atkins - Kumpupirntily (Lake Disappointment) [ORAL HISTORY]
Synopsis: Yunkurra Billy Atkins talks about mining company's wish to mine at Kumpupirntily (Lake Disappointment), and how this is a danderous thing to do because of the Ngayurnangalku.

Date: 2008-05
Art centre(s): Martumili Artists
Language spoken: English
Catalogue number: CSROH_283_Yunkurra_Billy_Atkins
Date: 2008-05

Cultural Protocols: Public Access - Restrictions on Use
Access: Public
Full transcript: Yunkurra Billy Atkins: I don’t like the people, you know them, young fellas, white fellas, pushing Martu to say ‘yes, you can go mine that place [Lake Disappointment]’. I tell them, ‘No, don’t push them to go over there to make mines. They might get killed. You have to be careful of the cannibal.’ I don’t like those sort of people to go push people, it doesn’t matter whether they get big money or not. Tell them to keep their money, we don’t want it. The bloke who is pushing and forcing you to go over to that place, tell him it’s dangerous. That Country is dangerous. We tell those young fellas [who did the heritage survey at Lake Disappointment that they are only young teenagers]. Those two young men who just finished school don’t know anything really. Don’t even know the full story for that Country.

[Yunkurra thinks that government wants to mine that place and is allowing the company to do that]

It’s no good. I am not going over there. It’s dangerous, that Country [Lake Disappointment]. When white fellas tell me to go there, I’m not going. I’ve seen that [cannibal] man, he’s there and I know it.

Gabrielle Sullivan: Who told you the stories about Kumpupirntily? Did your parents tell you the story about Lake Disappointment?

BA: They did. They told us, ‘when you go there, you’ll see a light. Only can go there when the wind can blow. When the wind is blowing we can go there, can go past. If the wind stops you can’t go any further, because he is there’. [when the cannibal man is there he blocks the wind] When the wind stops, it’s no good. That’s what the old people were telling us.

One of my grandfathers went there chasing a dingo and spearing that dingo. This other old lady near there close to Lake Disappointment. My grandfather went to Lake Disappointment, chasing the dingo and he heard an old woman making a noise like howling, but she was crying for that dingo [that Yunkurras grandfather was spearing and chasing]

[The cannibal was a woman, there are many cannibals, men and women. In Yunkurra’s painting, it’s a man. They are hiding in the cave, only one man and one woman come out at a time.]

So that woman grabbed his arm and put her very long sharp fingernail through his wrist at the base of his hand and paralysed him. She put her fingernail right through his wrist. Then that cannibal took him to a group of other cannibals, ready to cook him up to eat. They took him and had him there and they were singing him first [maybe celebrating for the food]. My grandfather is a strong maparn man. Lucky for him. He got out of there, because of his strength as a maparn [he may have changed his form, disappeared, etc] from there he just took off and never came back and that is why he told the story to me. He told his children and my mother and father told me [might be the father’s father, because that family’s Country is around Lake Disappointment]. They were trying to kill him and eat him. I’m telling you [Gabrielle] that that cannibal mob is out there and they are no good [dangerous]. That cannibal is no good for anybody, any people, never mind if it’s a maparn person, like my grandfather, or people who own that place and think they can go back there, but the cannibal is no good for any of the people who might want to go there [including whitefellas].

I don’t know how white people [the people who did the survey, just for a quick visit, not overnight, because they know it’s dangerous] go over there, maybe because the cannibal was in the cave at that time, or he was somewhere else on the lake. If they were to run into him he would eat them straight out. That Country hasn’t got any trees, it’s just open and flat. Kumpupirntily, that’s a no good place. I don’t know why people are talking about that place at meetings, but they shouldn’t talk about it, they should leave it alone and have nothing to do with it at all. Just leave it how it is. You are wasting my time now – I was painting!

END
Source: CSROH_283_Yunkurra_Billy_Atkins
Rights: Cultural Owner & Storyteller: Yungkurra Billy Atkins; © 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: Billy Patch (Mr P)

Billy Patch (Mr P) - Ullalla Boss, Wally Dowling, John Forrest, Kumpupirntily [ORAL HISTORY]


Synopsis: Mr P talks about growing up with Ullalla Boss. Was picked up by Wally Dowling at Kunwarritji (Well 33), some of his family were stockmen with Dowling. He travelled with the stockmen to and from Billiluna before going back to his mother in Kunawarritji.

When he came to Wiluna Manga Margaret Long looked after him. They all went to Granite Peak, when Lena was a little one.

He talks about his uncle Peter Gogo and then Greg Mosquito (Kutukutu) from Balgo.

Mr P's Country is Kunawarritji and Yagga Yagga but he got married and lived in Wiluna.

He tells the story of John Forrest shooting people at Well 9, and how Martu were killed all over, in Kunawarritji too. They used to get Martu, Canning and his people, and tie them up, They would give them salt water and salt meat to make them thirsty so they would run to water, to find out where the well would be.

Bill Snell came later to fix the well, he liked Martu women, that's why they spear him.

Travelling past Kumpupirntily (Lake Disappointment) that would take spinifex and put it in the cattle's bells so it wouldn't make noise.

Date: 2007-11-07
Art centre(s):
Language spoken: English
Catalogue number: CSROH_42_Billy_Patch
Interviewed By: John Carty, Monique La Fontaine
Transcribed By: John Carty
Recorded by: Monique La Fontaine
Location Recorded: Wiluna
Latitude/Longitude: -26.59/120.22

Cultural Protocols: Public Access - Restrictions on Use
Access: Public
Notes: This transcript contains corrections and additional information given by Mr P. (Billy Patch) on 2008-09-26.
Full transcript: Billy Patch: Billy Patch, they call me. Short name is Mr P.

Monique La Fontaine: You want to tell us a little bit about when you were a little boy, and on the Canning Stock Route?

BP: I was a little boy and me and Geoffrey, Geoffrey Stewart and his mother was look after me, and my mother was – I don’t know, she was, I’m just a stock route baby. My mother was bit crippled, so she wouldn’t look after me, and from me and Geoffrey’s mother, me and him been playing round like a little kid, so I come this way and he went another way … and when I been come to my mother, and when they was travelling um, to drovin’, and my mother, mother, she didn’t, and my other family from Fitzroy [Crossing], they come. My family from Fitzroy/Halls Creek pick me up, when I was bout eight or nine. I just jumped on a … they put me on a camel, come all the way, all they way up down through Canning Stock Route … um I was enjoying myself, don’t know what going on. [Laughs]

So we come all the way up here, along the Canning Stock Route with bullock and cattle um… and round … I forgot that … Dowling, Wally Dowling. That’s the time I come on that ... first come up here on that camel, come up here, went to number, Number 1 [Well] up here. So we stopped there and another lot, um, all the workers, they look after all the cattle. Look after all the cattle and in the morning, in the morning before daybreak, when the day breaks they go to another well and we come with the camel behind. We come all the way and drover, they in the front with the cattle. They come all the way, cut another well and give it to … get the water for the cattle, and they give them a rest all day. Let him go and you know they stay round in the shade, too hot for travelling, and later on when they cool down they go and muster them and give them water, look after them all night – they take it in turns – and then they go to, the other lot go and then this one. They gotta sing a song make ‘em go to sleep. And in the morning, they off to next well. I was only that little boy. [Laughs]

John Carty: Where did Wally Dowling pick you up?

BP: Right in Kunawarritji, [Well] 33.

JC: And some of your Fitzroy family, they were stockmen with Wally Dowling?

BP: Yep.

MLF: Who was that?

BP: Um, I couldn’t remember you know … some, the one in the book, they all finish in Balgo Mission and Halls Creek and … My family, I was only that little boy, just enjoying myself travelling. I never worried about my mother. But my mother was crying, ‘Where’s my little boy gone?’ I was here. And all them in number 2 – not number 2 – Number 1 [Well] over here ‘nother side [of] town in that stock yard over there … they just put all the cattle on the train… choo choo choo train … and from there another lot go on a truck, go back to … go back on the old truck and another lot, three, two… take the horse back. They take ‘em back and another lot they go right back to Halls Creek and another lot take the, take the camel back and they don’t do droving … they go back from, I forgot that, um – Mrs Doman …

JC: From Billiluna ?

BP: Yuwa [yes], they go back and another lot take that, two or three take that horse back, they used to have their own truck [to] take the workers back, right back to Billiluna – that was Mrs Doman. From there, right, we went back on the camel, right to [Well] 33, Kunawarritji, see my mother there. So they leave me there and then keep going all my ‘nother family. From there, we were sitting down there for a while waiting … I got used to my mother and family because I was too long this way. Later on we start walking back, palya [good]? Walking back … bring my family back here. Mother and a father and … last drove, yeah we walked all the way here, I was running around, not running around, me and my mother, station to Granite Peak and all that, Yiriyiti, so we went back, we walked all the way through Jilakurru and all that … We come to one place, I don’t know about, must be number… not Number 10 [Well], Number 12 [Well] or… we camped there, staying with my … oh we whole family travelling, little mob …

JC: Who was there?

BP: Brownie Brown, all the Browns, and um, Gibbs, yeah that … he had an eye out. We travelled this way, we bringing our whole mob, we leading this way, and ah … I went back, we went to Granite Peak, sit down there for a while, we … we trying to go back along the Canning Stock Route and the last drover they come around. Last drover. I don’t know who was … last drover…

JC: Mal Brown maybe?

BP: Must be, yeah, Mal. That was last, that’s from ngana [what’s the name], that’s from ngana there? Halls Creek or…

JC: Billiluna way…

BP: Yuwa [yes], and Mulan was nothing [didn’t exist], and old Balgo was there, with my family – we’re all scattered out from there, but I don’t know how I ended up here! [Laughs]
And we come up here and I lost … my father he found out to stop here working at Granite Peak and Yiriyiti from there, I was still running around, I run into Lena’s [Long] mother, Manga [Margaret Long], and she been looked after me then, because my mother was finished and I was lost. Went back to, oh in Granite Peak and all that and Lena was little one! I used to jump on the little horse … going mustering. I used to be in the back, and Lena on the [front] …

JC: She told us that story

BP: She been tell you? I’m in the back! … Manga was … all that, Manga been look after me and later on [Peter] Gogo come around, old man, my uncle … him and um, Lady [Stephens], old lady, Mum …

[Before Annette Williams was born her mother Sunshine and father (Dusty Stevens’ brother, deceased) came across a very young Mr P trying to ‘cart water’ to his dead mother, not realising that she had passed away. They took him and looked after him. Later Sunshine sent Mr P to Granite Peak Station where Manga Margaret Long was working and she looked after him. An expert horsewoman Manga carried newborn Lena in a carry-bag at the front ‘so she could get some titty’ while Mr P held on at the back of the horse. Later Peter Gogo and Lady Stevens picked Mr P up from Granite Peak and took him to Karalundi in Meekatharra where Gogo sent him to school.]

[Tape stops to avoid car noise.]

JC: You want to go back to Well 10 … start again, playa [good]?

BP: Yeah.

JC: Start again, playa [good].

BP: Right. When I been come with my mother and father, they [whitefellas] been trying to bait for dingo, and our another dingo – quiet one – he eat the bait, he eat the bait and we don’t know what going on! We don’t know what poison is … old people, not me … I just enjoying playing around. And they’re crying and all that ‘What going on?’ Another one, when he finish, bit sad … when he been finish they end up cook it and had a feed.

You know where Number 10 [Well] is? We was gone then, gone to Number 9, Number 9, right, we went to Number 9 and Number 7, Number 7 Well. We seen old man coming, old Gogo, Peter, his family over there, my own uncle, coming with a horse and all … we gone, we was gone to Number 9 [Well] and he went up there and get that old Tilly [Gogo and Lady’s daughter]. You know that old Tilly? I met him all the time that old Gogo, my uncle. We was gone and Tilly was little one, then, Tilly Stephens. He come with a jeep. I don’t know where that jeep was going, he load us up and go to Granite Peak. I didn’t know what was going on, I can see these tree going whoosh, whoosh you know, I been put my head down! That’s the first time I see a tree going past, you know? We don’t know nothing! Anyhow, I enjoy sicking up and all that. We go Granite Peak … bit mixed story I’m telling … too many story I was…

MLF: You got a good lot …

JC: You right, we can straighten them out, you just keep talking, don’t worry.

BP: You know why? Because I was a, bit of … lost boy. Don’t know which way to go … till Manga [Margaret Long] been look after me, got too much … don’t know which way to go, because I was youngfella then, little boy, I just go where they look after me ...

JC: Where was Manga looking after you?

BP: Granite Peak, playa [good]? And later on …

MLF: Your uncle Gogo? Sorry can I just ask, he’s from Fitzroy? From Gogo Station?

BP: Yeah, when they been come, Gogo been come this way, last he come drovin’ and he stop here, you know all his brother over there in … um … three brothers they had, family all up there [in Fitzroy Crossing] …

JC: What’s those other two brothers?

BP: Um … I don’t know … anyhow, all them, when he used to stop in … where that place? Um … one community he been stop there, he passed away and I don’t know, I don’t know that name.

JC: It’s not … Spider Snell? No?

BP: Must be.

JC: And his brother, [Greg] Mosquito …?

BP: Eh? That’s his cousin.

JC: Cousin.

BP: And you’re talking to … Yuwayi [yes], that’s my father … you know, stepfather …

MLF: Mosquito?

BP: Yuwa [yes].

MLF: That old man? Your father?

BP: That’s my stepfather …

JC: Can you tell us that story?

BP: And he had my mother’s sister … old lady, you know all them Mosquito mob, well I’m their family ...

JC: Kutukutu [Greg Mosquito] …

BP: Kutukutu …

JC: Kutukutu grew me up in Balgo and all his kids are all my best mates in Balgo … Lincoln …

BP: That’s the one now … Lincoln he’s tall now …

JC: Yeah, when we took Clifford to Balgo after the CSR trip we stopped in the Mosquito camp, that’s where we stayed …

BP: That’s all my family.

JC: They told us! We’re waiting for you to tell us!

[Laughter]

BP: I never see all them boys, all my brothers … they all, they all finish ... only Kutukutu. Mum finished [Muntja Mosquito]. That’s my mother’s sister.

JC: That old one in Balgo? She was your mother’s sister?

BP: Yuwa [yes]. I went up there for nearly six months and stayed with her, and when she passed away I went back for funeral. They put me on the Kingfisher plane!

JC: That Luurnpa.

BP: Yuwa [yes] … so I, I’m not … I never come from this end. I come from ‘nother end.

JC: So if you were to tell someone what’s your Country, what do you tell them?

BP: My Country’s Kunawarritji … and Yagga Yagga … my mum and old people, that’s their Ngurra [Country] now. Too long I come this … I come up here [Wiluna] and got married this end … so I just settle down with a family. I got three, four family here. From little boy … went to school, from Granite Peak to Yiriyiti. Old man Balgo and Gogo they trick me and make me to go school, so I went to school and him and old lady, they got married here when they was droving, you know old lady, Tilly’s mother, she come from that way. Droving down they got married here and she never go back. She was a cook. So end up … they find me, I’m lost boy, my mother passed away, they took me to station and put me into school. I’m bit of a [XX – cynical?] boy, what they call that?

MLF: Say him again?

BP: They call me bit of ‘cynical’ boy …

JC: Cynical.

BP: Cynical … what they call? They look after me, and they look after me and this one … until Gogo find me and take me to station when my mother was finished. I leave all my two lot of sister back to … but they went to Jigalong. And we … um … when they come and they just meet one another that’s all … then we meet one another: ‘That’s your brother and sister,’ and we don’t know what … and so we just … I lost my sister and another sister was in [XX – Perth?] and, you know, my sister, Egan? Egan.

JC: Where she stop?

BP: He stop in [Well] 33, Kunawartiji. You know [Jeffrey James] he got his daughter …

JC: Ah, Marjorie? That’s his daughter for your sister. [Jeffrey James’ wife Marjorie is the daughter of Mr P’s sister Egan. Jeffrey James (JJ) passed away in 2008.]

BP: Yuwa [yes]. I never seen her, he been come this way, but they got frightened and went back Ngurra [Country] … they come up here.

JC: Did Wompi come this way?

BP: Nah, he went back [to Balgo] and got married. They went back before they get him to go to Perth, school. They went back, they went back - they got frightened not to go to school. Same stock route, they went back in the camel and we meet … one in Fitzroy, no not in Fitzroy, in Balgo … so we spread out.

JC: Who was that one in Balgo?

BP: That’s mum now, Mosquito mob, that’s all the family now. And they must be thinking he’s the oldest - I’m the oldest here! Kutukutu must be thinking he’s the oldest - I’m the oldest! [Laughs]

JC: We’ll have to take this … take it to Balgo and show it to Kutukutu … he can see you.

BP: And his wife …

JC: Gracie …

BP: Gracie now …

MLF: You haven’t seen her for a long time?

BP: I never seen … I only seen all them boys …

JC: We’ll show him.

BP: You just gotta tell him, ‘Oh who’s this?’

MLF: Say hello! Hello Greg and Gracie!

BP: Hello Gracie! They might be think, ‘Oh, who that? You know him?’ ‘He come from Wiluna.’ Yeah … I end up working and went to farm before I got married. I went schooling first and from there I been come back and got married and got family and every time they ring up from Balgo. ‘I’m not going back.’ He got his family, I got my own family. [Laughs] Palya [good]?

Oh I been just travelling round and when I had a family I just travelled around and do farming and shearing and do a little bit of this to keep the family going. Work for mirrka [food] and all. And that … there is a long way, but next time you write him down on paper, little book …

JC: Yuwa [yes], we’re gonna put him in a book

BP: You know what? My mother just make me walk, because she crippled, made me walk from … walk all the way … she can’t put [me] up.

JC: Too weak.

BP: Too weak and crippled … so I got to start walking, walk all the way. We went to where
Lena was talking about, where that whitefella they been spear him, [laughs] we went to that place.

JC: Tell me that story.

BP: We walked from there, nah we were walking from Number 10 [Well]… and we don’t know, ‘Oh that one’s finished’. We walking there to soak in there, soak in there, soak, um we stayed there, but he was finished.

JC: Who was that fella?

BP: Um ... I don’t know him much …

MLF: Was that too late?

JC: … Another fella … where was this, which place you thinking?

BP: That … what Lena been …

JC: Same story … that fella, that dogger … Wilkins …

BP: Palya [good] now, that’s the one…

JC: He was getting funny with a Martu woman…

BP: Yuwo [yes], and [XX] father, the leader – pshoo [killed him] - and you know where they catch him? When they finish that um, cattle dog there, I don’t know how many cattle dog he had, camel and all … they walked right to the – I don’t know where that soak, Country … this side ngana [which place?] …

JC: Which well is it near?

BP: Coming up to… um, where to? Somewhere around Yurtu ….

JC: Another story we’ve been wondering about is that, you were talking about when you to … were walking down you came through Well 9, you know like Weld Springs, couple of people said kartiya [white people] been put that stone wall there and he was shooting people, he was shooting at the Martu, do you know that story?

MLF: And burn them …

BP: That’s in … where now … Kunawarritji and this side, that’s John, John Forrest …

JC: Yeah, that’s the one. Did you hear that story from the old people?

BP: No … yeah I did. Right in Kunawarritji, he done all that.

JC: What did they tell you?

BP: Huh?

JC: What did the old people tell you about that?

BP: Oh, that’s right, I just … Number 9 [Well].

MLF: You got him …

JC: That’s the one, John Forrest was Number 9.

BP: Yes, sorry.

JC: No, you’re right.

BP: I went too fast.

MLF: You’re travelling all the way along that Canning Stock Route …

BP: They just go in … they just went hunting and all that … and he went out there – must be bout in the morning or dinnertime … and built all that, built that …

JC: That fort.

BP: Yuwa [yes] … and they had a soak that was that way and he just built all that before they come back, must be in the morning, and he … sitting down there. Right up … no, bit in the afternoon when kids, you know when the old people come? Old people come with the man in the front with the spear and all that, with marlu [kangaroo] and all that – that’s bad. He shoot all that.

Another lot come in from this end or this end, only the one soak was there, tjurnu [soakwater], they gotta come in from … to have a drink, yuwa [yes], all the time. And he had a horse in the … he had a horse in the thing. He tied that horse – if anyone come around on the other side that horse gotta make a noise, isn’t it? And he’ll turn around and shoot ‘em. Oh it’s sad. That … that place is sad. Kids and all. Never let nobody out – kill right through – kids and all.

JC: I never understood; how come he was shooting people?

BP: Hey?

JC: I never understood; how come that bloke Forrest was shooting people?

BP: Look here …

JC: How come he was shooting them?

BP: Hey?

JC: How come he was shooting them?

BP: I don’t know … he want this … Australia.

MLF: Hmmm … yeah phew …

BP: Palya [good]? He want to kill every Martu in this place. You go to station out here, phew, finish. You go to Number 9 [Well], he’s finish. You go to Windida, to all that station, all finish. Putijarra [language group] all them. You go to … um … where that place? This side, Sandfire, that’s the same there, when the people walk in there, you know – Martu walk in there to have a drink, he finish all that. Just like in Number 9 [Well] and just like in here. And I don’t know how he been done it, I reckon that he had a law to kill all ... You go to Perth, that ngana [what’s-that-place] … river or all over that. You go to south, he kill all that. Oh on the boat anyhow … fight for his Country and they just: bang. That’s all them Noongar mob got him now, right along. And he kill all my family in Kunawarritji, [Well] 33 and way out there where Sandfire is.

JC: What’s that story from Kunawarritji? We didn’t hear that one, nobody’s been talking, they’ve been waiting for you. We didn’t hear that story about people being killed near Kunawarritji. Can you tell us what you remember from the old people?

BP: Same thing. That’s the same story what I’m telling you now, at Number 9. You know
where that hill is? All that, they went out. Every time they come for a drink, kids and that, he shoot all that. So the old people said.

MLF: John Forrest again?

BP: Yeah. And I don’t know where the … which side he been burn all that. He made a lot of waru [fire] in that … kids got … man and woman … he burn all that.

JC: So nobody would know.

BP: Nobody would know. That’s the story what the old people was telling. My grand-grand-grand-grandfather, all finished there. True. Same with that other lot … all right along. That’s bad.

JC: Did you hear any stories about Canning? You know he was putting that stock route in, putting the wells, other people have different stories about what he did. Did all the old people tell you any stories about meeting Canning or that mob?

BP: Can I have smoke? No, no, he’s mad … that one you been … he done the same again.

JC: Canning?

BP: Mmm. That’s two. I think he done it first. I got a … they was telling me. That’s … he one of them too.

JC: He got charged … the cook … on the … when he was putting the wells in, 1900, 100 years ago, the cook from that expedition when he came back he told the judge in Perth, he said Canning was … some of those men they were rough with the Martu and they were stealing the women …

BP: That’s right now.

JC: They were putting the wells and ruining people’s water places and they had a big court
case, big court case - Royal Commission - and they put him on trail to find out the truth but the other man, the man who stood in the trial and spoke up for Canning was John Forrest and he said, ‘Nah, he didn’t do anything wrong ... that’s the right what he did.’

BP: That’s the one now what we talking about.

JC: That’s why that story’s interesting, because this man, John Forrest, he became the boss
of Western Australia, he became the first Premier … he stood up for Canning …

BP: And this one here … that one there, Canning, he done all that. Sorry, I done a mistake…

JC: No that … might be both

BP: And you know what? I’ll tell you. Right, they been getting all the black people, you know how they done it? Along that Canning Stock Route. Full story I’ll tell you. They get mob, they tie him up, tie him up. One by one they let him go. No water, just the salt water. They let him go and they follow him, to see where that well is…

JC: They make them thirsty and then follow…

BP: Yuwo [yes]. True. They leave him ‘nother lot in there. They let him go, till they find that rockhole, they make a well there. And they grab ‘em in the desert they grab ‘em and put him in, no water, starve him and just salt water and just give him … they gone. That’s how they been find him bore … right through.
That’s true I’m talking? Or …

JC: That’s true, that’s what they said in that court case. Canning said, ‘Yeah, we did that’ he said ‘that’s the only way we could find water so, that’s OK…’

BP: That’s what I’m telling you, true.

JC: It’s not OK …

BP: No, old people telling me.

JC: Mularr [true].

BP: Mularrpa [true], right. They tell me, I sit down with old people and they talk about it … you know them old well and all this … that one now. They wouldn’t [XX] you know that well over there Kukupanyu [Well 39]? He’s not far from there, who took him up there? Martu, they took him up there, they just follow him behind and where he got the water, water there. Righto, next one. They starve him and give him water, salty water, and all that’s how they find him. All the way. I been hearin’ lotta story on that. All that.

TAPE: SIDE B

JC: Sorry, say that … start that one again, go again …

BP: Nah, you know when they get … they let him go, they turn around and follow him up and shoot him. It was bad story.

[Talking to kids.] That’s my ‘nother grandchildren … ‘nother one there …

You know what, when they was doing like this … camel and all. Any black … any Martu they just put him in and stop him for drink, only salt. That’s how they been find him all the way up there through Canning Stock Route. ‘Long there. Another … and that one … old um, my grandmother she got a name through her, through him [Canning] … my grandmother, that old … my grandmother.

MLF: Which name?

BP: Um, she passed away.

MLF: What name she been get through him?

BP: Um … same??

JC: Is that for GB [Georgina Brown] mob?

BP: Eh?

JC: For GB, her family?

BP: Yuwa [yes]. And that’s what they call my grandpop, my grandnanna, grandmum, she got her name through that. From Kunawarritji and right up … and Peter, you know, and every time we go to Jigalong and we call … but she passed away that’s my grandmother. And her name is Jeanette. That’s her name, I found out the other day in Jigalong. And they call him … anyway they give him a name now, Jeanette, my grandmother. Been listen round over there and … that’s all that now. Sad story. They just leave starve for … give ‘em a little bit of feed and all this and no good water, salty water – they mix that water they been give ‘em - we were starving for drink. They let one out, he’ll be running for his life to get a drink. And the one with the horse, they’ll follow his track too … ‘Oh that’s the rockhole here, soak here’. That’s right through. They was telling me. I sit down with the old people. Do you know how that stock route, Canning Stock Route? They gotta go around this way and that’s a soak there – and go there. They never made it straight through. They was following Martu around. And they go and mess around with the Martu and keep going again. They don’t care a stuff.

JC: They couldn’t make that Canning Stock Road without the Martu.

BP: No, nothing. They were starving ‘em. True. I sit down and listen to old people. I never forget them. True. And they were doing bit of shooting too, when they was going. They don’t care what losses. True. I sit down and listen to some Fitzroy mob and this end … I just sit down and listen.

JC: What about … You get different stories about Wally Dowling, some good stories and some bad stories. What kind of, you knew him cause you were travelling with him as a youngfella, what was he like?

BP: He bit the same like him [Canning/Forrest].

JC: Got any stories from that side?

BP: I don’t know … Wally Dowling he was by himself and all the workers from Billiluna and he can’t say nothing … you ask them … so he bit, I don’t know … but that … I don’t know … don’t ask me for that …

JC: Yuwa [yes], he right …

MLF: Turn him off?

BP: You ask me I’ll give you answer, but …

MLF: I want to ask about Bill Snell, you know that bloke, fixing up those wells in the 50s or something …

JC: ... and then he stopped and he was living on the stock route …

BP: Yeah, that’s what he done. He want this Number 10 [Well] and … [Well] 11. Right to Number 15 … in’t it? Number 15, that’s his one, from there to back to this way. But I can’t … Bill … the one you’re talking about now, I don’t like him much. He gone … you know … he like a black woman too – Martu woman. That’s why they been spear him. Lena-ku [Lena’s] father been spear him. He bit cunning: that’s one, two, three. Don’t ask me. Only three old people, you know? I sit down and listen. You know when they’re drinking? ‘Oh he been …’ all that … I don’t know!

MLF: Was that … dogger bloke or ... ?

JC: That was Wilkins.

BP: He had cattle, he try to make a station out there … yeah.

JC: That’s Snell.

[Tape stops for a moment to wait for video tape swap]

JC: You were just talking about Snell, who had that … was trying to run some cattle up there …

BP: He trying to run cattle but old man there, old man Peter Gogo, old man? He had some cattle in there. So he got him to show him the soak and all that, so he was going half share with old man, Gogo - Peter. And that old man, Peter Gogo, he went same way, he bit of dogger too, old man he like travelling to Yiriyiti, Granite Peak to Number 6 [Well] when he come back and he had a look ‘Oh …’ all them, Lena’s father and all the family been … you know every morning he just go out … and they got sick of it, they spear him then. You know how … they just hide that gun and … (I forgot that …) ‘Right we’ll catch him.’ They went to get all the women, Martu woman, go and get camel and come back. But they been think ‘Oh, righto, righto. ’ He had a tent and he, they get that gun. Gun, they went up there and hide ‘em. And he don’t know that, he don’t know what going on. They just killed him, with a spear. He was running for … he was running for… he was running for the gun, but they got him. He went in there and ‘Oh shit!’ Got him right there. He never pull ‘em out, he just looking for gun. Gun was hiding long way. So he was finished [dead]. After that, cattle dog and them and they just gone. Somewhere … their Country that way they was goin’, they was goin’ that way. And old man come round, old man Peter Gogo come round. He just all the crow, all the crow and the cattle dog there eating it. Yuwa [yes], ngarlu [crow], crow there, nobody there, they hang him up in the tree. They was gone. They went all the way up there to Granite Peak to ring up to the police. They went with the jingana [XX], horse and cart. Early days. Got his body, I don’t know where the body is, they bring him all they way up here, I don’t know where he is, must be up here. So they got the police to follow them all the way to the soak, right to desert. They had a one black … Martu tracker, you know Tony? Not Tony, Tom? Tom Ingebong …

JC: Ah … he was working the station out there too?

BP: Nah, he stop at Blue Hill, that’s his Ngurra [Country] there. They get him to track them, track em all the way out there to desert. Somewhere around … ah … their Country, they went back. You know what they done? They was making noise, enjoying themselves, they were home in Country. You know what, all them policemen they went right around with a horse, so one made a noise looking for another mate horse … seen the policeman there, policemen there ... they look, see. Tie him up, they had a long chain. You know where they been turn from there? Right to here [Wiluna]. Can’t go toilet, they gotta make toilet right in the … that’s bad.

JC: So who did they pick up in those chains?

BP: This was … I forgot all that name.

JC: Whose family?

BP: Lena’s family. Then … I forgot all that name. All Lena’s family anyhow, her family anyhow.

JC: Can I say the names?

BP: Go on.

JC: Is that like Malloora, Yalyalyi …

BP: Yeah, Lalilali ... he done his time for that. He the one been spear …

JC: Which name?

BP: Lalilali. He the one that done it, he done that when he was young fella; he come back … he was pretty old.

MLF: When he come back from jail?

BP: Yeah.

JC: They sent him to Fremantle eh?

BP: Fremantle he was sitting down. He nearly done it about, oh when he was young fella, he came back old. He must’ve been about 20 or 30, come back about 70. And he went ... went to Karntili then, got married then come back here then ... that’s all the family now, they was all right along from Yiriyiti and … that’s her place. You know Timmy Long? Timmy? That’s all their Country now. Manga, all them, um Kadabil [family] that’s all their Country now.

JC: Jigalong side now?

BP: Yuwayi [yes], but they went to Jigalong but they belong to here. So we supporting them, that’s their Country. My Country long way. I was a wanderer boy! Ha ha.

JC: It would have been nice if you had been on the trip when we were at Kunawarritji …

BP: Yuwayi [yes] – I would have been pointing out to you – this one and this one… Ngurra [Country] there, camp here. That’s part of my ‘nother place - Savory Creek.

JC: Going in for Kumpupirntily [Lake Disappointment].

BP: Yuwayi [yes] … Not me, that’s belong to, what I been lost, passed away, my little brother. That’s all that Country now and he’s Ngayurnangalku [cannibals] there …

JC: We went past there, we camped close – it’s a hard place.

BP: You know, when they’re travelling from north. They just take all the spinifex and put him in there [in the horse/cattle bell] – no noise. Only bullock can make a noise ‘Booo’ … they tell us, ‘Don’t make a … don’t make a fire’. You know, ‘Don’t make a spinifex light’ you know, otherwise Ngayurnangalku [cannibals] will be making a fire again. Yeah. Giving a sign.

What else … you ask me? I’ll tell you a story that I only learn from old people you know … sit down and listening, all that in Jigalong … all the Watson and all them I sit down … that’s all my brother. We just sit down and … all the Watson and all them. Watsons, we just sit down, all my sister, and we just sit down. I’ll look after you, yeah. We all born in Kunawarritji and all that, through Punmu and all that and we sit down, ‘Oh that’s my Country’. ‘Oh nah, wiya [no]. I’m boss too.’ ‘Yeah alright’. We don’t, you know, ever have a row, growling for Country, that’s brother and sister Country. He’ll say, ‘That’s mama-ku [father’s]. Mama-ku ngurra [father’s Country], don’t growl’. And my sister they don’t say all that, sisters, Watson and all them. Old one, the one you been tape that’s my little sister …

MLF: Which one?

BP: The one been painting um…

JC: Which one Sheila, Annette, Vera..?

MLF: From Kunawarritji?

BP: Yuwa [yes]. Vera, init [isn’t it], you know. How she been look, picture there in the book, paper … no he right, I just had a look …

JC: You were saying there was something in this book – the ‘Wiluna’ book – is there something … anything in there either for you or ...

BP: I’ll just have a look … there’s some in here but …

JC: Hang on, I’ll show you the Canning Stock Route section, it’s more at the back … [pages turning] There’s people … there’s Wally Dowling there, that’s two people I don’t know …

BP: That’s … that’s my … there, and that’s his son … my step-mother …

JC: This one now? Can I say the name?

BP: Yuwa [yes].

JC: It says … it says that there’s Anthony Patching …

BP: Yuwa [yes].

JC: And Buddy Patching …

BP: Yuwo [yes].

JC: That’s where you got the name Patch.

BP: That’s a mother now…

JC: That’s your mother?

BP: Yuwo [yes].

JC: Step-mother.

BP: Step-mother… this one.

JC: Wara [look out] … that’s page 447 of the ‘Wiluna’ book

BP: ... And that’s my little step brother over there, he in Karratha … and another one here somewhere … two old people in here somewhere … that’s around here … that’s from before [pages turning] must be in that nother …

JC: Might be in another book.

BP: Another book-nkga [XX]. That’s her …

JC: Where was she living? That says Granite Peak Station … she was there?

BP: Yuwo [yes]. Do you know this one here, you know um Kutukutu?

JC: Mmm, that looks like his mum, doesn’t it?

BP: That’s his sister… Kutukutu-ku [Kutukutu’s] sister

JC: For…

BP: … Kutukutu-ku mother, that’s two sister now.

JC: Mularrpa [true]!

BP: Yuwa [yes].

JC: She looks like her … young one.

BP: She the older ... than, nah, she the older … mum is the oldest, mum the oldest the one in Balgo … no she the one … You don’t know?!

JC: You learnt us a lot! I’ve been trying to think and trying to put together a lot of these stories people been talking about and a lot of what you’re telling us brings it all together…

BP: That’s … she come this way and then another mum went that way, Kutukutu-ku. So she come this way … that … oh you know how them old people was, they getting married with the old people and all that and he had that old bloke um, old man over there, old man Mosquito … there’s all the family now.
And ‘nother one, I’m in there me and my brother, might be in another book …

JC: Photo?

BP: Yeah, one like this. When I was youngfella.

JC: This is a book about Meekathara … might be in there …

[Pages turning]

MLF: When you was kids there’s a photo of you and your brother?

BP: Yeah … when I was coming this way and she was, she was … before we born, she was …

MLF: Before you were born?

BP: Yuwa [yes], before we born … oh, I must have been born before … from his sister, my mother, but she the one, the one … my picture in there somewhere when I was little youngfella …

[Pages turning.]

BP: Thing was right … no he must be in there … no she must be in there.

MLF: Your mother … stepmother in that book now, she was your mother’s sister, your crippled mother’s sister?

BP: Yeah.

MLF: Right …

JC: ... And also sister for Kutukutu’s mother …

BP: Yuwa [yes] … they were sister, nother sister. They all scattered.
… another mother had a family over there, she had six, old mum [Muntja Mosquito]. That’s Kutukutu and two brother we been lost, three, only Kutukutu and another youngfella that’s from six, she had six …

MLF: Why’s she in this book with Wally Dowling?

JC: She was … not with Wally … she was at Granite Peak Station. [Sound of engine, tractor] What’s that?

BP: It’s for mosquito …

JC: Oh true … oh that’s good, we gonna get sick if we breathe that air?

BP: Yeah they go Bondini … they go reserve and right around, round the town …

MLF: Wow … I seen this smoke before … I’m thinking hey, ‘I can smell fire …’

JC: I thought his exhaust pipe …

BP: Old people going, ‘what’s that smoke coming round’ … Mosquito ku[XX], mosquito for…

JC: For anyone listening to this tape in a few years time there’s a man driving past us on a tractor blowing mosquito-killing smoke around Wiluna…

BP: So I can’t say him name … I only can say him, I don’t know what they call him here …

JC: I knew that old man …

BP: Hey?

JC: That old man, Kutukutu’s father. I knew him before he passed away…

BP: I went to his funeral.

JC: I was there! I might have seen you … it was cold, that day, remember, really cold.

BP: Yeah. All the family … all the family we don’t meet one another … they stop another side, I stop this side … they just ring up they don’t … even my sister Nora, Nora – I don’t know what they call second name … Nora…

JC: Where, in Kunawarritji?

BP: Bo, in Balgo.

MLF: In Balgo.

BP: Yeah, he was in Mulan …

JC: Nora Maggie?

BP: Yeah must be … my brother in law. She gotta white …

JC: Was she married to Kamina, Larry…

BP: Yeah. Yuwayi [yes], that’s my brother in law, but he’s passed away isn’t he?

JC: Nah, he’s still there.

BP: Someone said, ‘oh he passed away’. I don’t know about those two um, ‘nother sister … um … I don’t know that Martu name … but finish?

MLF: Ah you’ve been so good Mr P! You’re good story teller … we could sit down with you for a long time and listen all the time …

END


Video recording: 165 MR P - BILLY PATCH 1
Source: CSROH_42_Billy_Patch
Rights: Cultural Owner & Storyteller: Billy Patch (Mr P); © 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.

Kumpupirntily

Non-Indigenous name: Lake Disappointment

Traditional knowledge: Lake Disappointment [is where] that Jukurrpa come in. Ngayurnangalku [cannibal beings]. South of Balgo, they was all travelling, kakarra [eastern] mob and the west mob joined in from west of Well 40. They met up together and they all travelled together, getting all the people, killing them and eating them all. Ngayurnangalku. [The eastern Ngayurnangalku] got [to Kumpupirntily] first and they stop and wait there with their mothers, waiting for this mob to come in, west mob … This mob come in now, they all got to sit down together, meet up together, Ngayurnangalku.

They all cried together, the family, and they had a big meeting there. All ask one another questions. "What are we going to do? Are we going to stop killing the peoples and eating ’em?" They asked everybody, everybody in the reserve, kids and all, ladies and all, mens and everybody … Everybody agrees. "Alright, we better stop eating the peoples." Then that night there was a baby born from that [eastern] group, that other side here … "Oh, missing one over there. Young girl had a baby". And they asked the baby, newborn baby, and he said, "No".

That’s it, come back and tell this mob here, "The little kid said no. We can still carry on and continue eating peoples." But this [west] mob said, "No, we’re not going to touch". Mother and a father was there and two sons. That’s the bodyguard, saving all the people. He can save them too. This one here [sandhill where the bodyguards live], you can go through on that. Yeah, bad people, and the good peoples on this side, west side. Lake Disappointment. Kumpupirntily people, yeah. Kumpupirntily his name, Lake Disappointment whitefella name. (Jeffrey James, 2007)

Little baby girl. And they ask him, "Are we going to stay one and eat only malu [wallaby] and animals?" Little wanti [girl] says, "No, we going to eat human too". Little baby been say, "Hmm! Mm!" [Like a hiccup,] "Yes, keep eating them".

They started round Maraminda side and went on their knees and wailed all the way to Lake Disappointment. Ngayumangalku travelled all the way to Savory Creek from east and west, stopped at Jilakuru and near Puntuwarri. They travelled from long way and stopped at Lake Disappointment. (Jakayu Biljabu, 2009)

I’m not going over there. It’s dangerous, that Country. When whitefellas tell me to go there, I’m not going. I’ve seen that [cannibal] man. He’s there and I know it. [My parents] told us, "When you go there, you’ll see a light. Only can go there when the wind can blow". When the wind is blowing we can go there, can go past. If the wind stops you can’t go any further, because he’s there. When the wind stops, it’s no good. That’s what the old people were telling us …

My grandfather went to Lake Disappointment chasing the dingo and he heard an old woman making a noise like howling, but she was crying for that dingo that my grandfather was spearing and chasing. So, that woman grabbed his arm and put her long sharp fingernail through his wrist and paralysed him. She put her fingernail right through his wrist. Then that cannibal took him to a group of other cannibals, ready to cook him up to eat. They took him and had him there and they were singing him first. My grandfather is a strong maparn [magic] man. Lucky for him. He got out of there, because of his strength as a maparn. (Yunkurra Billy Atkins, 2008)

You can kill them and cut them up and they put themselves back together again. They a magic people. Just like a Terminator. They can eat you. I don’t want to go there. They live underground. (Kilalapari Butcher Wise, 2009)

You know, when they’re travelling from north [the drovers], they just take all the spinifex and put him in there [in the horse-bell]. No noise. Only bullock can make a noise, "Boo". They tell us, "Don’t make a fire". You know, "Don’t make a spinifex light," otherwise Ngayurnangalku will be making a fire again. Yeah. Giving a sign. (Billy Patch (Mr P), 2007)

-23.3/122.5
Related art centre(s): Other

Media title: Kumpupirntily (Lake Disappointment)
Media creator: Tim Acker
Date: 2007

Media description: Kumpupirntily (Lake Disappointment)
Media Copyright: FORM
Format: Image
Accession ID: FORM_MIRA_B0088_0010

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: Jeffrey James

Jeffrey James - Ngayurnangalku at Lake Disappointment [ORAL HISTORY]

Other Speaker/s: Clifford Brooks

Synopsis: Dusty talks about Jilakurra, his Country. The fishing is good, cold water there. The Jukurrpa for this place, the two old men, Wati Kujarra. They camp there, sit down there long time. He would camp at Jilakurru when he was a yound fella. There was plenty of tucker there, kangaroo, bush tomato. He met two drovers, Wally Dowling and Billy Dunn. He was droving right up to Fitzroy Crossing, Halls Creek. He was droving to Meekatharra, handling the bullock. He would saddle the horses and never got chucked off.

Date: 2007-08
Art centre(s): Martumili Artists, Birriliburu Artists
Language spoken: English
Catalogue number: CSROH_17B_Jeffery_James
Interviewed By: 2007-08
Transcribed By: Paulene Mackell
Location Described: Jilakurra
Location Recorded: Wiluna
Latitude/Longitude: -26.59/-126.59

Cultural Protocols: PUBLIC ACCESS
Access: PUBLIC
Full transcript:
Jeffrey James: Warla [salt lake] this is warla [salt lake], Lake Disappointment, that Jukurrpa [Dreaming] come in, Ngayurnangalku, come round Yunpu up south of Balgo. They was all travelling that other end, kakarra [east] mob and the west mob, those mob, they joined in from Kupiti up here, Well 40 west of Well 40 they met up together and they all travelled together, getting all the men people and eating them, killing them and eating them all, Ngayurnangalku.

Clifford Brooks: Cannibals.

JJ: Cannibals.

CB: Yeah, Ngayurnangalku.

JJ: They got there first and they will stop and wait there with their mothers, waiting for this mob to come in West Mob, Ngayurnangalku, they was waiting. They’re up over the hill over these [XX] ranges, Punmu hill looking, sunset, how far they that mob ... From that place called Karanjarra [they were] looking for [their] fire, that fella came back and ran down and tell that mob ‘They’re comin close!’ This mob come in now, they all got to sit down together, meet up together. Ngayurnangalku.

They all cried together, the family, and they had a big meeting there. All ask one another questions: ‘What are we going to do? Are we going to stop killing the peoples and eating ‘em?’ They asked everybody, everybody in the reserve, kids and all, ladies and all, mens and everybody. Then that night there was a baby born from that other group, that other side here, and they said ‘oh, one more we’re missing’. Everybody agrees, ‘alright we better stop eating the peoples’, and they’re, ‘oh, missing one over there, one over there, young girl had a baby’.

They asked another one, ‘are we going to stop eating the people?’ and they said ‘yes we going to stop.’ And they asked the baby, newborn baby, and he said ‘No, keep eating them!’ ‘Yuwa’ he said to the newborn baby, that’s it, come back and tell this mob here, ‘The little kid said no. We can still carry on and continue eating peoples.’ But this mob said ‘no, we’re not going to touch.’ Mother and a father were there for bodyguard, was two son of these, mother and father was there and two sons was there, that’s what this sign is for, that one and that one that’s the body guard to guide them mob from the days, you know from saving all the people you know, I just went by on other side you know he can save them, he can save them too. This one here you can go through on that, that’s what the ... is the sandhill in the middle there in the middle of the lake evil and good people. Yeah bad people and the good peoples on this side, west side, yuwa, Lake MacKay [sic. Lake Disappointment]. Sure. This the Kumpupirntily people yeah, Kumpupirntily his name, Lake Mackay [sic. Lake Disappointment], whitefella name. Yuwa, that’s it.

John Carty: Yeah that one he’s right? Story’s open they can put him on the film. Good, everyone happy?

JJ: & CB: Yuwa [yes].

END
Source: CSROH_17B_Jeffery_James
Rights: © Cultural Owner & Storyteller: Jeffrey James; © 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.

Cannibal Story

Artist(s): Yunkurra Billy Atkins

Date created: about 2003
Art Centre(s): Martumili Artists
Size: 60x121.1
Medium: acrylic and pen on board

Artwork Story: My grandfather went to Lake Disappointment … that [cannibal] woman grabbed his arm and put her very long sharp fingernail through his wrist and paralysed him. [She] took him to a group of other cannibals, ready to cook him up to eat. My grandfather is a strong maparn [magic man]. Lucky for him, he got out of there. They were trying to kill him and eat him.

Location depicted: Kumpupirntily (Lake Disappointment)

Artwork copyright: ©2013 Yunkurra Billy Atkins
Catalogue ID: BA/194/MM
Protocols: Public Access - Restrictions on use

Photographer: Jason McCarthy
Photograph date: 2008-09-06
Photography copyright: National Museum of Australia
Format: Image
Category: Artwork

Artist(s) biography:
born about 1940
Putijarra language group
Purungu skin group
Jigalong community
Martumili Artists
Yunkurra practised as an independent artist in the early 2000s, before other Martu artists were painting commercially. He is also a carver. His work was selected for the 2003 Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award, and in 2004 he held his first solo exhibition. Yunkurra was born at Palarji (Well 9) on the Canning Stock Route. While he avoided being taken away by missionaries as a child, his sister’s story of escape from missionaries was told in the film Rabbit-Proof Fence.

Accession ID: 20131014_FORM_MIRA_B0045_0064

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.

Subscribe to RSS - cannibal