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Name: Clifford Brooks

Clifford Brooks - Rover Thomas and his brother [ORAL HISTORY]


Synopsis: Clifford talks about how his father left his family behind at Yalta when he was young and went droving. He travelled throughout the Country and then came back looking for his younger brother (Rover Thomas) and the rest of his family. One day, decades later, they saw Rover's photo in the newspaper and the brothers were reunited.

Date: 2006-11
Art centre(s):
Language spoken: English, Martu Wangka
Catalogue number: CSROH_140_Clifford_Brooks
Interviewed By: Carly Davenport
Transcribed By: Monique La Fontaine
Translated By: Annette Williams
Recorded by: Carly Davenport
Location Recorded: Wiluna
Latitude/Longitude: -26.595/120.225

Cultural Protocols: PUBLIC ACCESS - RESTRICTIONS ON USE
Access: PUBLIC
Notes: This story has been transcribed and some of the sections in Martu have been translated, however some language gaps still exist.
Full transcript:
Clifford Brooks: Yuwo [yes]. I wanna tell you fellas what I been hear, story about my, about this old people, what been happening, and this project that is going to happen, bout the Canning Stock Route. We wanna tell you fellas bout things been happening in the past that hasn’t been recorded, what old people had it in their head. It was up here, recorded, but not written, no paper, [XX], no pencil and paper. It was up here, been recorded. And that’s how I got to get that knowledge of recording it in my head.

And this is a true story what my old man been tell me. Well, few old people been tell me different different stories. But I sort of, but I mean it took me a long time to get it to, to get it into my head. But I know that it’s true. That when my old man left his youngest brother and his mother and father, he been leave em behind in Yalta near [Well] 33. And he been go, following the droving. They been go kujarra [two of them]. He went back to look for his ngurra [Country]. Them two been go, youngfellas. They been following that droving. They been following right up until they been, til they had to branch off and go towards Jigalong way. But they used to go meet up with all the mens. Old man-pa, and he had to go back.

He been walk back through Karlamilyi River, goin back to Yalta, Yarakijikarti [?] he went looking for his young brother Rover [Thomas], old man-pa. He went looking for him, back in his home Country and [for him] paluku, mother and father, my old man-ku. He went and seen yanu [went]nyangu [nothing] — nothing. Nothing. Ngurra [Country] nyangu — nothing, empty. No track. Only track was there, wagon wheel and yawarta [horse] and bullock, that’s all. Yawarta katja [horses].

He been run into [XX] eaglehawk. They been flying around, all sort of eagles. He been get up on a sandhill and he been look down, two tali [sandhills] and in the middle of two tali: men, women and children. Walypala [whitefella] massacre, they been get shot, men, women and children. Whitefella shoot them with a rifle. Only the ones that get saved is the ones that went hunting and never came back. They camped out bush, they been only come next day kukawarnti [no meat left].

And he been tell him, he used to tell me, he didn’t know about months, day. He didn’t know. Moon. That’s all. That’s why he been tell him, ‘I’ll be back in one months. You see that moon up there? That’s when I’ll be back. I’ll pick you up on the way back, and your family, and we’ll go Country, Jigalong karti [we’ll go to Jigalong]’. And he’s alive today old Badger [XX] Jigalong. And that’s why that old fella, he knew in his heart old man-ju that his young brother was still alive, that I didn’t even know. Every time in the camp fire he used to tell me, ‘My young brother is still alive some where up north’. Back in the, kuwarri [lately] kuwarri not long, in about 90s I had a article, newspaper, read em in a paper-ku, and one old fella Wajarrijtiu [XX], ‘You know that paper, [that] face-pa? Have a look that paper, that face on the newspaper there, have a look’. And he been, ‘You know that bloke?’ I said, ‘No, I don’t know that old fella’. ‘Well you have a look at your father and you look at that face in the newspaper. That’s your young father, your father’s youngest brother that one.’

And straight away it clicked in my mind that I knew that old man was right. He was alive. And the very next day I got on the phone, I rang to Warmun, community office, I rang there and old man on the other side knew. Somebody must have told him, or something must have told him I was going to ring that day and he answered the phone and he said he knew I was ringing for him. I told him that, ‘Your oldest brother is here’, and they spoke for a little while on a two-way radio, there was no phone in that community. Them two talked. And they said, ‘can we meet?’ And I straight away said, ‘I’ll buy you a ticket. I’ll put you on the bus and you travel on that bus, you get to Hedland, jump on nother bus, you come on inland bus to Newman’. So when he arrived I got him off the bus at night, took him across to the car park. My old man was standing up and I took Rover across, and they didn’t know whether to yampulkaku [hug] or shake hand, they been cry. But I stood in the back there, I had tears coming out my eyes. I cried for them. And cos I knew, you know.

I said, ‘well, I better get something’. I told old man that, ‘I don’t drink, my old man he don’t drink, but I know that you drink’. I tell old Rover, ‘I’ll buy you wama [alcohol] and you can have a drink and you two can talk’. I took em out of the town, out bush, made a big fire and I said, ‘well, have a drink and you two can talk about it’. They been happy, talking all night, right up til day break, drinking. They been hugging one another all night now. They was really happy. From all that time. So it was about 40 years apart, they been away from each other. They only met when they was old, that’s all.

And all that time that I never had interest in paintings and arts. I was too busy, working. So, this year when I went to Turkey Creek, old people been tell me there, and my sister, Jane, she been tell me, ‘I’m doing arts now’. ‘That’s good, you should follow the old man. I’ll start up painting too’. Because I knew that in my heart, and old man tell me that, you know, ‘We gotta do painting and tell our stories through there.’ Because nobody wouldn’t believe us, so might as well do it through arts so the whole world can hear us: this is a true story that we gotta put on down on the paper. Painting Jukurrpa ngapulu [father’s Dreaming], that’s a jamumili Jukurrpa [grandfather’s Dreaming], our grandfather’s land. It’s not a thing, it’s a Jukurr [Dreaming], really, what our old people been tell us what to do. That’s why we gotta carry this so the people in other country can have a look too: what is true, that’s never been recorded. So, what we talking about kuwarri [now] is a history we gotta do. So, that’s why I do painting kuwarri ngayinpa [me now?] because of my old man been tell me, ‘tell your stories through painting’.

I’m sure other people are doing it too through painting too, to tell their story. [XX] they been telling us. [XX] So, we wanna try to get, to get together, tell our story about our Country, because it’s our life. It’s in that Country there, our jamu [grandfather], and our grannies. Yuwo [yes]. Palya [good].

Carly Davenport: Palya [good], Clifford do you want to tell a little bit about how when you went to Warmun you visited the grave, and then you and another family member wrote for [XX] grave?

CB: Yuwa [yes]. I been in Turkey Creek for that pinyi [funeral] time [ XX - ... old man-ku] and Mala my family there in Turkey Creek, sister been, they been get a headstone, they been put it in the grave there and there’s a story there. If anybody want to have a look at that story there it’s been written, in English, and it’s been written in Kija, their language in Turkey Creek. I been there last year when I had a look. It’s a true story where old man been travelling. He been patayanu patangyulpayi [looking – spelling?] for his young brother and he been looking for his mum and dad, patangyipi, [looking for – spelling?] kapali-ku [his grandmother] and for his father, [my] jamu [grandfather], that’s how that headstone there in Warmun community, gravesites got a story there. That me and my oldest brother wrote, where them two been apart from each other for 40 years. They only met lately in the ‘90s, they only met. So, it’s a history, what we gotta keep, it’s never been written on a paper, it’s been written in here [points to head]. Yuwo, palya [yes, good]!

END


Source: CSROH_140_Clifford_Brooks

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: 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: 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.

Rover Thomas and his Brother

Story:Rover Thomas is one of Australia's most important artists - his paintings sparked a greater appreciation of Aboriginal art, both nationally and internationally.

Although he found fame as an East Kimberley artist Rover was a desert man, and the story of his life is interwoven with that of the Canning Stock Route. Rover was born in the 1920s in the Country near the middle stretch of the stock route. After his parents passed away he was picked up by a drover, Wally Dowling, who took him north to Billiluna and the Kimberley. Rover became a stockman himself. He was married and settled in Turkey Creek.

When Rover was taken by drovers his brother, Charlie Brooks (Clifford Brooks' father) was away travelling. When he returned Rover was gone. Charlie set off in search of his brother from Martilirri (Well 22). On his journey he encountered a horrible scene somewhere near Well 41:

'[My father] went looking for his young brother Rover back in his home Country, but nothing, empty. No track. Only track was a wagon wheel and yawarta (horse) and bullock, that's all... He been get up on a sandhill and he been look down... whitefella, massacre. They been got shot: [Aboriginal] men, women and children.' (Clifford Brooks)

'That old fella [Clifford’s father, Charlie], he knew in his heart that his young brother was still alive. Every time in the camp fire he used to tell me … 'My young brother is still alive somewhere up north.'' (Clifford Brooks)

Charlie Brooks and Rover Thomas were finally reunited in the 1980s, a lifetime later, after family recognised the Rover’s face in a newspaper. Charlie Brooks travelled to see his brother again for the first time, Clifford Brooks describes the intial encounter between the brothers:

'So when he arrived I got him off the bus at night, took him across to the car park. My old man was standing up and I took Rover across, and they didn’t know whether to yampulkaku [hug] or shake hand, they been cry. But I stood in the back there, I had tears coming out my eyes. I cried for them.' (Clifford Brooks)

'You have got to come back to your Country. You should have come through the Canning Stock Route. You went away from here through the stock route and you should have come back here, through the stock route. I’ve been waiting for you.' (Charlie Brooks to Rover Thomas, 1986)

Media Creator:Nicole Ma

Media date: 2010
Story Location: Wiluna
-26.59/120.22

Media Description:Clifford Brooks tells story his father's reunion with his younger brother Rover Thomas after 40 years apart.

Story contributor(s):Clifford Brooks, John Carty, Jarntu Rover Thomas, Charlie Brooks

Art Centre(s): Birriliburu Artists
Publisher: FORM
Media copyright: FORM
Source: CSROH_140_Clifford Brooks
Accession ID:20131024_FORM_MIRA_B0046_0007

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.

Natawalu: the Helicopter Story

Story:Many of the people from the Western Desert followed the stock route out of the desert once the drovers began moving through the Country. Following the stock route to find things beyond the desert, many people settled in cattle stations or missions.

However, in 1957 'Helicopter' Tjungurrayi left the desert in a very different way. As a child he was seriously ill when a mining survey party landed their helicopter near his community near Natawalu. His mother’s sister Kupunyina (Kumpaya Girgaba’s mother) was also suffering from an ulcerated spear wound. Knowing about the mission at Balgo their relatives encouraged the survey crew to take them for medical attention.The kartiya [white people] flew him Balgo to get medical attention. When he failed to return his family travelled north in groups to find him.
 
First Walapayi then Brandy walked north to Balgo. Both eventually returned south, following the stock route wells, to bring their relatives back with them to the mission. Helicopter Tjungurrayi has been known by this name for so long, he can no longer remember what he was called before.

'My young brother [Helicopter] was so sick; he had sores everywhere and he was helpless, a little boy. I grabbed my little brother and showed them. So kartiya [white people] looked at his sores and said, "OK, we’ll take him", because he was so sick. So I asked the kartiya, "Are you going to bring him back?" He was speaking his language and I was speaking my language. I kept on saying, "Are you going to bring him back?" I waited, waited, waited for long and I wondered, "They’re not bringing him back!" Nothing. It was getting a bit longer, and I said to myself, I think I’ll go after him north. From there I kept walking right, long way, all the way to Balgo.' (Charlie Wallabi (Walapayi) Tjungurrayi, 2007)

Media Creator:Nicole Ma

Media date: 2010
Story Location: Natawalu (Well 40)
-21.66779/125.78843

Media Description:Josephine Nangala recounts the first time she saw a helicopter, and the story of Helicopter Joey Tjungarrayi being taken by helicopter to Balgo for medicine.

Story contributor(s): John Carty, Helicopter Joey Tjungurrayi, Charlie Wallabi (Walapayi) Tjungurrayi, Josephine Nangala

Art Centre(s): Warlayirti Artists
Publisher: FORM
Media copyright: FORM
Accession ID:20131024_FORM_MIRA_B0046_0004

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.

Camels and Poison

Story:Papunya Tula artist Charlie Wallabi (Walapayi) Tjungurrayi recalled that while camping at Kukapanyu as a young man he came across the tracks of a drover’s camel. Sharpening his spear, he fitted it with barbs and followed the tracks. He found the camel near Wajaparni (Well 38) and speared it. Then he cut the meat into pieces with a stone knife and prepared it for cooking.

Walapayi cooked the meat and took some steaks to the camp of relatives nearby. Then he brought them back to where the camel had been cooked.

'So everybody had a share of meat. I grabbed myself a shoulder blade and the rest was for the others.'

After they’d feasted, his relatives kept travelling east. Walapayi and his nephew headed west towards the Canning Stock Route, in search of more camels.

Instead of camels, Walapayi and his nephew found the tracks of white men, horses and bullocks. They also found a can of tinned meat. After eating it, Walapayi’s nephew became deathly ill. The two men were convinced the meat had been deliberately poisoned.

'He felt so funny and he was shaking like he was cold and even his voice sounded funny. He couldn’t speak properly, he was lying down mumbling. He was feeling helpless. He couldn’t move so I start fixing him up with maparn [healing power]. I did all that work on him and then I made a big fire and left him, ’cos he was feeling cold.' (Charlie Wallabi (Walapayi) Tjungurrayi, 2007)

The next day Walapayi went hunting. As the meat was cooking.

'I heard a noise, from nowhere, going: "BOOOYI! BOOOYI! Here I am!" And I said to myself, "It’s a ghost coming! I left that man back there dead, poisoned. He’s come back alive as a ghost! He’s going to spear me!" I said to him, "There’s some meat in there, you can have the other half". So he went and got the leg, the ghost did.

And I asked him, "Are you alright?" And he answered me, "I’m OK. I’m really good and better". So he wasn’t a ghost. So we started to go together walking. So we walked all the way to Lurlur and I told all the men what happened. They thought I was alright, but I was really sick from eating that poison. It was law time and I couldn’t go next to the ladies because I was on my business. But the other bloke went and told the ladies: "We’ve eaten poison. I was dead. But my uncle Walapayi fixed me". Then all the men start singing to bring me out. Corroboree.' (Charlie Wallabi (Walapayi) Tjungurrayi, 2007)

According to Martumili artist Jeffrey James, boss drover Wally Dowling held his stockman, Ben Taylor, responsible for laying dingo baits on the stock route that led to the poisoning of Aboriginal people. Desert people believed that the baits had been deliberately laid in retaliation for their having hunted working camels.

'They were chucking poison baits on this Canning [Stock Route]. So this youngfella here, Walapayi, he pick up the meat, poison bait. Soon as [head drover] Wally Dowling hear that people nearly died, he kicked Ben Taylor out for a while: ‘Never do that. Never!’ He used to chuck poison to the people, you know. Well, Walapayi pick up the bait anyway, and he nearly died.' (Jeffrey James, 2007)



Media Creator:Clifford Brooks

Media date: 2007
Story Location: Wajaparni (Well 38)
-21.95089/125.53391

Media Description:Charlie Wallabi (Walapayi) Tjungurrayi heals a patient with his maparn at Well 36.

Story contributor(s):Charlie Wallabi (Walapayi) Tjungurrayi, Jeffrey James

Art Centre(s): CSR Project
Publisher: FORM
Media copyright: Clifford Brooks
Source: CSROH_12_Charlie Wallabi_Walapayi_Tjungurrayi
Accession ID:20131024_FORM_MIRA_B0046_0003

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.

Jartarr Lily Long

 

Jartarr Lily Long - family and painting [ORAL HISTORY]
Synopsis: Jartarr Lily Long talks about her early life and family. She also talks about her Tiwa painting, and a story for the old lady Wanakalypukalypu.

Date: 2009-04
Art centre(s): Martumili Artists
Language spoken: English
Catalogue number: CSROH_273_Jartarr_Lily_Long
Date: 2009-04

Cultural Protocols: Public Access - Restrictions on Use
Access: Public
Full transcript: Jartarr Lily Long: Daddy was a martamarta [person of mixed descent] from Fitzroy side, his name Pilinti, kartiya [white people] call him Flinders. He was droving from north to Tiwa, taking horses and bullock. And he took droving horse to get my mother, take her Kimberley, took her Karlamilyi, hide the horse in the bushes. My old Warnman daddy nearly speared that martamarta daddy. My nyiti [youngest] auntie stopped him: ‘Don’t spear him! He’s a boy! [A working Aboriginal stockman]. They might come back and kill us’. He was going to steal my mother and take her Kimberley. Other drovers followed him to Karlamilyi, long way from Tiwa. They took him back, kept droving to Wiluna. That’s why I’m a light skin. My other daddy passed away in Ngumpan. I go Wangkatjungka and see my families. I always stay with Kuji and Nada. [On Tiwa painting] The hills along the top edge are called Partujarapiti. There is a story for Partujarapiti about the old lady Wanakalypukalypu. She wanted to kill the Wati Kujarra [the Two Jukurrpa Men] and collected seeds which she ground up with poison to give to the Wati Kujarra to eat. But they didn’t want to eat it. They knew she was trying to poison them. They collected witchetty grubs for her to eat but they were really hairy caterpillars, and when she ate them she scratched herself to death. This used to happen to Aboriginal people on the Canning Stock Route too. My auntie’s husband was poisoned by white people. They used to leave bullock leg with poison for people to eat, and when my uncle ate it everything turned into a needle and he was staggering around. Old people made him swallow a lizard, that’s what they used to do to make people bring it up and get rid of that poison. END
Source: CSROH_273_Jartarr_Lily_Long
Rights: Cultural Owner & Storyteller: Jartarr Lily Long; © 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.

Mulyatinki Marney

Mulyatinki Marney - biography [ORAL HISTORY]
Synopsis: This transcript is a brief biography of Mulyatinki Marney, based on Monique La Fontaine's handwritten fieldnotes with additions from Ngalangka Nola Taylor.

Date: 2009-04
Art centre(s): Martumili Artists
Catalogue number: CSROH_277_Mulyatingki_Marney
Date: 2009-04

Cultural Protocols: Public Access - Restrictions on Use
Access: Public
Full transcript: Mulyatingki Marney: Country is Kunawarritji and Nyiniari, south of Juntujuntu. Grew up in Karlamilyi and came in to Jigalong when she was a teenager. She was given a husband, promised one at Country – Joshua’s big brother. Mulyatingki had 2 girl and 2 boy, one has passed away – one son. Moved to Punmu in the 1980s when it was first set up, come in a big red truck. Mummy’s name is Telpu. Daddy passed away at Karlamilyi. Milton brother nyiti. One brother passed away. Jawarta - Donald Moko in Bidyadanga.

When Daddy passed away walked around, come Punmu, Jawarta went Jigalong and then Lajamanu. Mulyatingki walked into Jigalong, she was a teenager (come in naked one), Mulyatingki has daughter in Yuendemu one in Punmu. My Nyupa passed away Punmu. “I’m a single woman. My son is working at Telfer all the time. He got a Nyupa and 2 children. I found my husband at Strelley. I was making trouble …”

END
Source: CSROH_277_Mulyatingki_Marney
Rights: Cultural Owner & Storyteller: Mulyatinki Marney; © 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.

Nora Wompi

Nora Wompi - biography [ORAL HISTORY]
Synopsis: This transcript is a brief briography of Nora Wompi, based on Monique La Fontaine's handwritten fieldnotes.

Date: 2009-10
Art centre(s): Martumili Artists
Catalogue number: CSROH_276_Nora_Wompi
Date: 2009-10
Location Recorded: Kunawarritji (Well 33)
Latitude/Longitude: -22.34188/124.77525

Cultural Protocols: Public Access - Restrictions on Use
Access: Public
Full transcript: Skin group: Nungurrayi
Dreaming: Pussycat
Country: Kunawarritji

Born Pingakurangu Pamarr (rock/hill) rockhole. She travelled around Kunawarritji and when she travelled to Balgo with the drovers she was still a young girl. She lost her Mummy and Daddy. She had four brother – lost, one girl she lost. Wompi’s older brother is Morika’s [Morika Biljabu] Dad. Wompi has two son. Her son Philip Bell is married to Bugai Whylouter.

END
Source: CSROH_276_Nora_Wompi
Rights: Cultural Owner & Storyteller: Nora Wompi; © 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.

Bugai Whylouter, Ngalangka Nola Taylor

Bugai Whylouter - biography [ORAL HISTORY]
Synopsis: This transcript is a biography of Bugai Whylouter, and is based on recordings as well as Ngalangka Nola Taylor's knowledge.

Date: n.d.
Art centre(s): Martumili Artists
Language spoken: English
Catalogue number: CSROH_272_Bugai_Whylouter
Date: n.d.
Transcribed By: Ngalangka Nola Taylor

Cultural Protocols: Public Access - Restrictions on Use
Access: Public
Full transcript: Bugai is in her 60s now.

Father is Warnman, mother is Kartujarra.

Purungu.

Bugai was born in Balfour Downs at Pukayiyirna. Her mother and father took her to Nullagine and Jigalong and from there they went back to the desert. She stayed around Karlamilyi in Warnman country, eastern side Karlamilyi, and along the CSR. She went to Kartaru, Wantili, Tiwa, Mumungarra, Wuranu. When she got bigger she married Nola Taylor’s uncle, they went together around Karlamilyi, and along CSR, met up with Biljabu families, walked around went down again, stayed with Taylor family for a time. That was when they all joined up together [i.e. with the Bidu and Biljabu families] and met Len Beadell. Bugai says she was climbing up the hills because she was frightened. She stayed at Jigalong for a short time and then left because her husband wanted to look for Taylor family. They met up with Taylor family in Karlamilyi, went up again on eastern side of Punmu, went north to Joanna Spring and back south until Nola’s father became sicker. They stayed in Karlamilyi and eventually, the old man passed away and then they all went into Balfour Downs. Bugai had one child at that time. From there they went to Jigalong. Stayed there and then went to Strelley, 61 and then Punmu, then Parnngurr later, then met up with second husband. Bugai lives in Kunawarritji now with her husband, Mr. Bell.

END
Source: CSROH_272_Bugai_Whylouter
Rights: Cultural Owner & Storyteller: Bugai Whylouter, Ngalangka Nola Taylor; © 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.

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