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.
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
Cultural Protocols: PUBLIC ACCESS
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.
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].
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.