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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.

Kiki and the pearl shell

Story:From the Dreamtime, [the ancestral hero] Kiki was coming from the sky, looking for a place to live. He came down near Paruku and went down in the water. 'Kiki felt hungry after travelling a long way and made plants and put them round everywhere. He made the plants grow. Plants you can grind to make flour, seeds, little grapes, some healing stuff too. He put all them frogs that people eat, bandicoots, blue tongue lizards, animals that used to live out there. What we still eat today is from that old fella. 'Kiki had a white stone in the Dreamtime and he tried to hide it in that big lake. But it kept on floating up. Bandicoot man came along and found that thing floating in the water. He stole it and threw it in the ocean near Broome. From there it turned into a pearl shell. That’s why Broome is rich with pearl shells. It [the pearl shell] started from Paruku. It didn’t want to hide.' (Yanpiyarti Ned Cox and Putuparri Tom Lawford, Ngumpan, 2008)

Media Creator:Nicole Ma

Media date: 2010
Story Location: Paruku (Lake Gregory)

Media Description:Men, women and children from Billiluna and Mulan communities perform dances for the ancestral creation being Kiki, who created the food and animals in the Country surrounding Paruku (Lake Gregory).

Story contributor(s):Yanpiyarti Ned Cox, Putuparri Tom Lawford

Art Centre(s): Paruku Indigenous Protected Area
Publisher: FORM
Media copyright: FORM
Accession ID:20131024_FORM_MIRA_B0046_0005

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.

Bugai Whylouter

Bugai Whylouter - life story [ORAL HISTORY]
Synopsis: This is a translation of Bugai Whylouter's life history.

Date: 2008-04-01
Art centre(s): Martumili Artists
Language spoken: Martu Wangka
Catalogue number: CSROH_93_Bugai_Whylouter
Date: 2008-04-01
Transcribed By: Ngalangka Nola Taylor
Translated By: Ngalangka Nola Taylor
Location Recorded: Kunawarritji (Well 33)
Latitude/Longitude: -22.34188/124.77525

Cultural Protocols: Public Access - Restrictions on Use
Access: Public
Notes: Follows on from T305. Audio file name included in transcript. Reference to audio file is included in the transcript. Bugai’s interview has been mostly transcribed in the third person.
Full transcript: [Audio File: T306]

Bugai was born near Balfour Downs, but as a little girl walked all the way to Nullagine. Her parents went to Jigalong, with the little baby. And went up to Nullagine, her mum and dad, and she went east back to the desert to Well 20 [Wangkakarlu], next to Parnngurr. And she travelled around there with her parents [still a very little girl]. Went north, around Parnngurr and north of there. She grew bigger and was still with her parents. Became a teenager, still with her mum and dad.

Bugai Whylouter: Well my husband was cheeky, used to hit me.

He speared her in the throat, she has trouble talking now because of that. And after he would leave her behind and she was still with her mum and dad, he was too cheeky. Kartarru, Wantili, Juntujuntu, around there [along the Canning Stock Route] Mamunarra, Rarrki, they used to hunt and collect seeds, they could go south and get to Wantili, and she used to go around the country west of Punmu, and they ended up going into Parnngurr and there she joined up with Biljibu and Bidu families, and Kumpaya and her family. [This is when they first saw Len Beadell and ran up the hill]. Then they got picked up and went to Jigalong.

[In the translation notebook, the following text was titled: Bugai cont., but lacked a recording number]

From Juntujuntu she walked to Mamungara and Rarrki and hunted around there. Bugai was just becoming a teenager, still travelling around with her mother and her father. She was at Juntujuntu, Wuranu, Mamungara, Rarrki, Tiwa and Wantili. At Wantili they killed a cow, they were bringing cattle through from Kunawarritji. From Wantili they went to Kartarru and then Kalypa, east of Parnngurr. They walked for a time around Wantili and Pirntupirntu, staying in the creek at Pirntupirntu. Then we went to Parnngurr, where the white people came. We were climbing the Parnngurr hill: we were frightened. Kartiya would walk around, trying to catch Martu people; we would run up the hill and hide. We watched them catch people. We were eating flour that white people gave us: it was horrible. From there, we got in the truck and went with the white people to Jigalong. Kumpaya, Jakayu and Ngamaru: we were all on top of the hill looking at the white people.

Bugai Whylouter: I learnt how to paint in Kunawarritji; I’ve been painting here. I go to Punmu, Jigalong and Parnngurr, but I always go home to Kunawarritji. I learnt how to paint in Kunawarritji.

[When I was young] I was walking around Kunawarritji and Kunkun, looking for meat with Jakayu and her family. We used to kill animals and eat them.

I learned how to paint by watching Wompi. Nangubar and Wompi really know how to paint, I watched them and learned from them [the three women often paint together now] …

My son’s name is Narany, he’s my only son.

[Bugai is bringing Troy up, but he is Nangubar’s grandson. Bugai’s eldest daughter is Betty Whylouter and she has four sons. Note: it is not clear whether Bugai talks about this or Hayley added it in.]

END
Source: CSROH_093_Bugai_Whylouter
Rights: Cultural Owner & Storyteller: Bugai Whylouter; © 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.

Katapi Pulpurru Davies

Katapi Pulpurru Davies - life, Country, and family [ORAL HISTORY]
Synopsis: Pulpurru Davies talks about hunting for food, seeing whitefellas for the first time, being filmed by Dunlop, and Matjiwa. Pulpurru also talks about her Country and family.

Date: 2008-04-21
Art centre(s): Kayili Artists
Language spoken: Nyaanyatjarra
Catalogue number: CSROH_61_Katapi_Pulpurru_Davies
Date: 2008-04-21
Translated By: Lizzie Ellis, Jan Mountney
Location Recorded: Patjarr
Latitude/Longitude: -24.61/126.31

Cultural Protocols: Public Access - Restrictions on Use
Access: Public
Notes: There were some additions and corrections made to this transcript when permission was gathered on 29 May 2009. These changes have been incorporated into this transcript.
Full transcript: Pulpurru Davies: We went and lived there at Patjarr rock-hole when there was no water. We lived there for a long time.

From Tarrtja we came and we lived here a long time at Patjarr. After a long time we saw a white man who came. Who was that white man who came here with lots of food?

We used to eat the food given by that white man for quite some time. We looked after him here. We were all living together here for a long time, that white man and us. He also had a vehicle.

John Carty: We are sitting here with Pulpuru in Patjarr on April 21, 2008 and she’s going to tell her story about living in the desert.

PD: Who was that white man who was here? The one who was giving us food? He used to give us tinned corned beef, sugar and tea leaves. He lived right here and we lived there. We all lived together in the creek. We looked after him for a long time. He was here a long time. We used to get up in the morning and put our carrying dish on our heads and walk off. He [Dunlop] used to film us from behind. That white man filmed us as we gathered fruits, grains, and berries. That other lady and I and the children used to collect food and he used to film us. We would dig for small game, dig the animals from the burrow, kill them, pick them up and walk off. We were always tracking game and killing it and collecting it and gathering berries, grains and fruits. We would track the animals as the tracks entered a burrow, dig the burrow, kill them and walk off. We used to collect desert raisins, collect all the desert raisins and put them in the shade. We would go out foraging and return to our home right there.

That man making the movie stayed here a long time and later on he went back home. We put him on a plane. There was an incident when Dr Gould was here and ceremonies were taking place. Dr Gould was involved in the ceremony and I strongly objected, saying, ‘He is not here to be involved’. That was settled.

We had lots of bush tomatoes and we were seeding them and eating them. We also seeded them and threaded them on long sticks (like satay sticks). We made quite a few like that. When we finished doing the threading, we went off again to collect more. We came from that way and collected all the bush tomatoes. For a long time we collected them and came back to camp to sleep. That man, Dr Gould, stayed with us a long time. Then my brother, now deceased, who used to be married to Manalingku said, ‘I don’t want to get into trouble’, so they put Dr Gould on a helicopter and sent him off and he went on the helicopter all the way to Kalgoorlie. This was in relation to ceremonial business. My husband was involved in getting Dr Gould on the helicopter and out of possible trouble. We used to all live together, eat together and Dr Gould slept near us, on the opposite side of the fire.

Matjiwa’s father, my brother, and Mr. Giles used to spear a hill kangaroo and it would fall to the ground and they would pick it up and gut it. All my brothers and Mr. Giles used to do that when they were young men. That’s what we used to do. We lived in this Country hunting animals and foraging for food. Then we would pack our things up and would go to another place. We would walk down towards the low-lying flood plain where water from high ground was lying. We used to go there and hunt rabbits and later come back up and go across and set off for Tarlarla rock-hole. Yakuri [another name for Tarlarla] rock-hole is over that way too, and Patjarr rock-hole. These are the places where we used to live, hunting animals and foraging. We used to always go hunting, always hunting, collecting bush tomatoes, seeding them and threading them on sticks. We used to do the seeding and the threading out where we collected them. Then we would put them in our wooden bowls and carry them home on our heads. At home we would eat all the bush tomatoes and next day would get up and go again. In the afternoons, like this time, we’d be out there, walking around, hunting, tracking animals and killing them. Tracking animals and spearing them.

I was born north of here at Untaru. I’m not exactly sure where it is. My mother didn’t see me. We used to go down to that low-lying Country, to the lake, and hunt there. Then go back home. Everyone would be heading home, all the ladies with carrying dishes on their heads, full of small game. Unfortunately, some of my family had died and were not with me at that time, so I used to walk around by myself or with other extended family, hunting and eating what I had gathered or killed. I used to say at the start of the day, ‘You lot go that way and I’ll go this way’. Then I used to go and get bush tomatoes and seed them. Then I’d keep going from that bush tomato area. I used to go hunting with my sister, the mother, oops grandmother, of this child sitting here. Tjarnangu, Nyurrpaya and someone else and I used to hunt together. We were always travelling round together, hunting and foraging.

After that time when we lived there, I can’t remember where we went next. That’s right, we used to live there close to Tarrtja and then we were given bags of flour there. So we got the flour and all our things and went to Patjarr. Maramutu [missionary] brought all that flour and he gave us some. When we first got the flour, we didn’t know how to cook it and we made a few mistakes. Then we learnt.

One day I went to collect seeds of ngukurrpa while Marnupa and Tjungupi went for kampurarrpa [desert raisins]. I collected the seed, thrashed it, winnowed it and brought it home and put it down. I was sitting down and I heard a growling noise. I thought it was an animal but it was Dr Gould in his car. The noise would increase as he drove up and over the hills and then stop when it was in the dips. He came close to us in the car and when he arrived, he gave us food. Sadly, in the morning, he left. The next day, Marnupa and Tjungupi were vomiting and I asked, ‘Why are you sick?’ Some people, when they started eating flour, a food new to them, were sick. But others, like me, were not affected. When Dr Gould gave me flour, I used to carry it around from camp to camp and use it. We used to carry everything we had, our own things and the food given to us by Dr Gould. We used to pick it up and carry it to the next camp. Some people, who were wary of the flour, gave it to others to use.

We used to always do these same things all the time. Walking around in our Country to the same water-holes, making camp, hunting, foraging. From here, we would always go that way, come back here, go round, and walk up that hill, down that gully. I would go way over that way for a long time and then I came back. We used to go to Karlipi creek bed and dig for water and when there was nothing there, we would go on. We used to come down this way, from Karlipi, walk along here and then go down that ridge to the low Country. There’s a path there where we went in and out to Karlipi soakage. We used to always walk around in that Country, always going to water-holes, collecting bush tomatoes and recently with the CALM [Conservation and Land Management] people, we went out to Mina-mina where we cleaned that rock-hole. All the CALM staff were there with us. My memory isn’t very good. I’m getting forgetful.

We used to always live here, around in this Country. We’d go off separately and meet up at different water-holes. We’d live in one place all together for a long time and sometimes we’d go off together to another water-hole, but always the same water-holes in our Country. Have you seen Patjarr Creek, the big river? There’s no water in it at the moment. The camels can’t get a drink. When people went hunting hill kangaroo, the first one would be gutted there where it was speared and then the other hill kangaroos would smell the stomach contents and come down from the rocks to investigate. They would think that it was fresh grass that they could smell. Sure enough a couple would come down and also get speared. People speared the hill kangaroos when they came down for water. My brother was one of the men who used to spear them. He’s passed on now. Many who have passed away were the ones who did the spearing. Sometimes they would go out in different directions and then hunt back towards each other.

Once, long ago, all the old people were fighting with lots of spearing and hitting. My young brother speared one of our uncles and ran away to Papunya because he was ashamed. I’ve got four uncles; one is buried quite close to here. I’ve got three brothers, Lana Porter’s grandfathers.

Lana’s grandfather would go up hunting for hill kangaroos in the late afternoon when they were lying in the long afternoon shadows. I used to hunt too with a rifle. I used to climb up and walk around on the ridge with a gun and I’d look for the kangaroos’ legs stretched out. I’d put the bullet in the gun and shoot. Once I was walking along and saw the legs. I put the bullet in and ‘Bang!’, but I missed.

We used to go down here, following the creek and keep going. We’d follow the creek along, and go round towards the water-hole. We’d sit down and have a long drink, splash ourselves and then go to sleep. Marnupa’s mother and my mother were always walking around with us.

Sometimes we would be hunting and there would be an argument, or we would hear news of a death and we’d cry in the bush. But we still lived together. Sometimes we would go off in separate groups and then later get back together again. One time we went to Kunpurangu after my grandfather died. We went there and joined up with another family group there and then went to Wuurnmankunyangka. We used to always live and walk around in the bush, going from water-hole to water-hole. It’s only now, in recent times, that we’ve been living in communities. Some of the water-holes we used to live around are: Ngamurru, Kunpurangu, and Kurrkapitjarra. I only travelled around to all the water-holes and Country that belonged to our family. We didn’t go beyond Country that was ours. Yes, we used to live in our Country.

We lived there for a long time and then we went to a place with houses, Warburton. We lived there in Warburton. Tikatika is one of the other rock-holes in our Country. Once, we put a lot of bush currants in a dish up in a tree and then forgot and left it.

END
Video format: miniDV/DVD
Video recording: 150 NOLA CAMPBELL & PULPURRU DAVIES
Source: CSROH_61_Katapi_Pulpurru_Davies
Rights: Cultural Owner & Storyteller: Katapi Pulpurru Davies; © 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 - travelling through Country [ORAL HISTORY]
Synopsis: Mulyatingki Marney talks about her life history and the place where she nearly drowned as a child (Jinturinypalangu). She also talks about eating whitefellas food for the first time, and about the time she first saw a truck (near Well 33). She also talks about the time a truck picked them up and took them to Balfour Downs and then Jigalong.

Date: 2008-04-01
Art centre(s): Martumili Artists
Language spoken: Martu Wangka
Catalogue number: CSROH_107_Mulyatinki_Marney
Date: 2008-04-01
Transcribed By: Ngalangka Nola Taylor
Location Recorded: Kunawarritji (Well 33)
Latitude/Longitude: -22.34188/124.77525

Cultural Protocols: Public Access - Restrictions on Use
Access: Public
Full transcript: [Brief biography]

Mulyatinki and her family heard a bang, saw a Toyota coming but ran away, to hide in a cave in the hills, the whitefellas left food for them, tea, sugar, but they hid until night time, then went out to get the food, went and followed the tracks of the whitefellas, their shoes left big strange marks. The white man was tracking them too, looking for them and they hid again. They had no father, they were wandering around by themselves.

[On CSR Painting 136 -Pangkapini, Minyipuru]

Mulyatingki Marney: These are all the rockholes and soaks that lie on the western, northern and eastern sides of Karlamilyi. All the rockholes and soaks that I can remember today. My family took me from Pangkapirni when I was little. They took me to Karlamilyi where I was [nearly] drowned. I was [nearly] drowned in Jinturinypalangu (a pool in Karlamilyi) when I was very small. And then I grew up in Karlamilyi.

[Before that] we lived around Pangkapirni and the Canning Stock Route. This area is sandy Country and these are the water sources all around Mulylunyjarra and Wilykunyjany, which is a very big rockhole. I lived around there. Next to Mulylunyjarra is Kalyukarntuny, which is salty. There are [ephemeral] soaks there called Parlparl, Jinturinypala, Warnka and Puntarl. There is also a permanent water source at Puntarl. Kukulyurr has permanent water and is a place where Minyipuru [the Seven Sisters] stopped, sat down to rest and then travelled onwards. They also rested here, at Juntiwa [going west, towards Telfer]. The Seven Sisters also rested at Pangkaringka and Karlajaru. They landed at Juntiwa when they were coming from Pangkaringka. And this is the permanent water and the soak at Kunari. This is Yankalypa [going towards Lake Dora] and Nartawarlu. When I was a child, travelling with my parents, we camped one night at Natawarlu and kept on going. The Seven Sisters also rested there on their travels. There is always water at Kunalimpi. That is my mother’s, uncle’s and grandparents Country. My father lived there too. Some other places where the Seven Sisters stopped to rest are Kukulurrpa and Jarnu warla [a lake]. At Pankarlpa the man who was chasing the Seven Sisters caught one of them. Some other soaks in this painting are Wurkunja yinta, Wulumaninta and Karlajarru. At Wawilypa, an old man [in the Dreamtime] made a hole. The Two Men stopped at Kanapurajanka and Parnkarlpa. At Pinjulpinja, they went into a dingo’s hole, climbed upwards and changed themselves into trees on the side of a sandhill. This is Yaralnya, a permanent water source and this is Turungalinpa, near Parnngurr.

[CSR Oral History: 107C]

MM: Hello my name is Mulyatinki and this is my painting. I was born here, on the CSR in Nyinyiri.

Old people used to take me through there. I lived with my mother and father around Punmu and then they took me to Karlamilyi. But I was born around here.

I never came back to this place.

Hayley Atkins: They took you back to show you this Country?

MM: No. I went one way from Punmu to Karlamilyi. We were walking around here and we were sitting down there and our father had died there (all at Karlamilyi). From there we walked all the way to Balfour Downs

HA: When did you first see a whitefella?

MM: At Balfour Downs.

HA: What did you think at that time?

MM: We climbed up the hill from them, but whitefellas came and got us and took us to Jigalong mission, then we stayed there in Jigalong then I grew up in Jigalong [actually she was about 17 or 18]. I got married close to Hedland (possibly Strelley). The whitefellas were Christian people. Whitefella was called Mijalam [Mr. Lamb] and Pastor Dindin. She was with her sisters and her father at this time. We were afraid of the whitefellas but they were giving us food like oranges, honey, meat, and sugar. We used to eat the sugar and the tea leaves. We threw the food away, we thought it was rubbish. The only sugar we ate was from the tree [sugarbag [sap]].

They gave us oranges to eat but we threw it away, buried it, and left it in the ground. We poured the honey on the ground and chucked it out. It took us a couple of weeks to get used to that food because we didn’t know what it was. When the whitefellas found us naked – no clothes – whitefella gave us clothing. From there we knew how to use clothing and knew what food to eat. All my sisters before they passed away told me to make a fire and put a billy next to the fire, then throw some tea leaves into the billy to make a cup of tea, and then add sugar and milk to make a cup of tea.

Sandhills. We used to go hunting and get kangaroos.

Nyamu.

END
Source: CSROH_107_Mulyatinki_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.

Jakayu Biljabu

Jakayu Biljabu - history and Country [ORAL HISTORY]
Synopsis: Jakayu Biljabu talks about her life history and Country. She talks about the time they got fruit for the first time and cooked it. She also tells stroies about aeroplanes and bulldozers.

Date: 2008-04-01
Art centre(s): Martumili Artists
Language spoken: Martu Wangka
Catalogue number: CSROH_103_Jakayu_Biljabu
Date: 2008-04-01
Transcribed By: Ngalangka Nola Taylor
Translated By: Ngalangka Nola Taylor
Location Recorded: Kunawarritji (Well 33)
Latitude/Longitude: -22.34188/124.77525

Cultural Protocols: Public Access - Restrictions on Use
Access: Public
Notes: Recording made behind clinic - some air con noise.
Full transcript: [Audio File: T323]

Morika Biljabu: Where were you born?

Jakayu Biljabu: I was born on the north side of Pitu. At the time that I was born my oldest brother was going through the Law. I was born north of Pitu at the soak called Winiji. My mother told me and my sister from Pitu I used to travel east to Nakarl, from there I travelled south and east again to Ninkul and another place called Kurlilyuwakarl [yinta]. I used to have a rest then I started walking again to the rockholes, and a place called Ninpinkajarra, north of Wikirri. And another place called Jarntukurangu [belongs to the dog] Nguji and we went west to Tuturr, from there we could go to Payiyarr. From there we went to Manjunjurn from there we went to Wikirri and stay around there. West of Wikirri could go to Purn. From there to Puyulkurra and south to Ninkurl and Pinpinjarnu.

MB: Where did you see cattle for the first time?

JB: I saw the cattle for the first time a long time ago when I was growing up, I was a teenager and I was still travelling from place to place. I was living with my family at Marlukujarra and travelling south to Jarturti, and from there to Makurti, Purlpurl, and there we used to get a lot of witchetty grubs. And from there we used to go east to Karwun. And I used to hunt along to the east and get to Maliyartu. From there I went back west to Pirrili. And next stop Larlta, hunting and eating as we travelled all through winter. Then when it came to summertime we stopped. We never used to see whitefellas. We would stay at a main water place until wintertime. In the winter, I travelled west with my family towards the Canning Stock Route Well 24 – Kartarru to meet up with the other families. I looked to the north and saw a large moving cloud of dust – it was people coming with animals [a herd of cattle], it was the first time I had seen that. We used to go travelling from place to place and hunt at the same time. One time, a teenage boy from my family [about the same age as Jakayu] fell into a well and passed away [at Kartarru].

[Added information from MLF notes Punmu March 09]:

JB: He was my cousin who drowned. There were all black and white finches in the well drinking there and all the kids were throwing sticks to get them for a meat to eat and this boy told them, ‘Move away, I’ll go in.’ He fell in and drowned.

JB: We stayed there in at Kartarru for a few weeks, at the soak and the well. We went west to Well 23 – Kalypa, with the other Martu people we met up with at Kartarru. Then we went to Martalirri. As we were going over the crest of a sandhill, we came face to face [actually, they were a considerable distance away] with the whitefellas, with their camel [they ran away before they were too close]. As they were coming up side one of a sand hill, we were coming up the other side. We were living around when Martalirri [Well 22] my husband was getting some water from the well we saw more whitefellas travelling with camels, and we took off, running to the north. From then on, whenever there were whitefellas going past, on their way to Wiluna, we ran away and only came back to that Country when the whitefellas had gone.

We were living around Martalirri and we saw a man coming from Balfour Downs station. He was walking with a rifle on his shoulder, walking, and I got up and looked, and said ‘Leave him, he’s waving at us, with a friendly wave!’, but my brother and husband had already run and stood on the top of a termite mound. They were ready and waiting to shoot the man with maparn [invisible power], and then he came closer and asked us, ‘I’m here in peace. I’m looking for my family. I’m from Balfour Downs.’ But he wasn’t a whitefella. He was looking for his friends.

Two men left the children and their mothers and went over the sand hills and looked, and saw many motor cars. One of the men took his nephew with him. Those people on the other side of the sand hill fed all of us, they gave us flour, sugar. We didn’t know how to cook the flour, but Bugai knew and she cooked it for us [made a damper] [Bugai knew how to make tea and damper from living with the drovers]. We stayed there for a while. We saw another group of whitefellas coming with cattle from Well 23, Kalypa, the cattle were kicking up a storm cloud of dust, and people were travelling in the front with camels. First we met up with the people with the camels, and the people travelling behind the cattle were still coming. They killed a cow and left it there for us. We ate the whole thing. The drovers went on to Wiluna, but we stayed where we were for a while.

When we finished eating the cow we went west to Turnmurl. We stayed there for a while and some of our group went to Yulpuu. We also went to Yulpuu and stayed there for a while.

While we were there, two men from Jigalong [one from Kelly family and one from Ward family] caught up with us. They had been following our tracks. They said we should go back and wait at Parnngurr rockhole and they would come and pick us up and take us to Jigalong, where we could see all our family who we had not seen for a long time. So we did, we went and stayed in Parnngurr.

When we were at Martalirri [Well 22], and my husband and Bugai’s father went over the dune and saw the Land Rovers, they saw so many people there, all the trucks, they were very frightened, but they walked in anyway. But one Martu bloke said, ‘oh, I am just looking for family’. They stayed with them for a couple of nights, but then the people with the trucks left. They told me before they left, ‘We are going to go and look for a truck to pick you all up.’ So they stayed there waiting. They went and waited in Parnngurr and when they were there, white people from Jigalong arrived with tucker. They returned with the truck and they left the truck about 50 km down the Talawana track, to the west of Parnngurr, and just came with the Land Rover. So they came and picked everybody up, took us out to where the truck was. They did five trips to transport everybody to the truck. Darson Wumi, Mr. Plum, and Bob Tonkinson left the truck up the road and got a land rover to go in and pick us up, bring us to the truck and drive us to Jigalong mission. Halfway along Talawana track we saw a windmill for the first time. We didn’t want to go near it because we thought those sharp rotating blades would cut us into pieces. Then we drank the water from the cattle trough – we didn’t know it was meant for cattle and wanted to take it with us as we travelled. The people from Jigalong – Darson Wumi – told us not to drink from the trough: ‘Don’t drink it from there, that’s the cattle’s drinking water.’ We said, ‘but it’s water, can’t we have a drink?’ ‘No, it’s for the cattle, don’t drink it!’

After that they got back on the truck and went all the way to Jigalong. We got there at nightfall. So many people were there. So we stayed there, and now we’ve come back to our homeland. We stayed with our families when we were in Jigalong, they looked after us.

[Audio File: T326]

We were all frightened, running, trying to hide ourselves so no one could see us walking. We were coming from Nyukurrwarta, south east past Parnngurr towards Martalirri. We were going south east. Past Parnngurr. It was in springtime, when the bloke was coming. That walypala [Len Beadell].

I sat down and then she heard a noise, thought it was an aeroplane but it was a grader. [She didn’t quite know what an aeroplane really was but had seen and had hidden from them before]. I was looking around in the sky, but then realised that the noise but it was coming slowly up the creek, and she knew it was something on the ground and I looked around and saw a gigantic moving rock coming up from the creek. It was removing trees and rocks. So when the kids saw it they all ran up the hill, (Mitchell, Neil, Ngamaru, and the others) but I got up and walked towards it and sat down. So the bulldozer that was pushing all the rocks and tress was in the front and another vehicle – a grader – was behind it. I sat down with one child [Gilbert Biljabu] while the boys were running up the hill, the person on the Land Rover chased after them, he stopped them from running. And that man stopped and got out of he car and called out to them, ‘come here’ but they stopped to look and then kept on running towards the hill. They went up on the hill to Winukurrujurnu. A person with a Land Rover followed them, chased them up the hill and the other two [bulldozer and grader] went after them. They picked the two old men up, [Mitchell and Bugai’s fathers, maybe Ngamaru’s father] and gave them food. They gave them apples, oranges, plums and when they were given the fruit they went and made a fire and cooked it. And they went to dig some yams [kanjimarra – pencil yam] while it was cooking, so when they went back to the fire they had a look but nothing was left, it was all completely dehydrated, all the food was wasted. And somebody told them, ‘you gotta eat the oranges and apples raw, only the onion and the potato should be cooked’. It’s so funny that we cooked it all until there was nothing left. But now we know. So when it was night fall the whitefellas left to go and find a place to camp. They went and camped not far from Parnngurr. They used to bring food and give it to them; sugar, flour. We would eat the sugar straight out, thought it was like tree sap [laughing]. We used to throw out the tea leaves. But Bugai and her mother they used to cook the rest of it, the flour, and used to make tea, but instead of using tea they sometime just used the sugar to sweeten the water and drank it like that. Ngamaru’s mother used to mix the sugar in the water and drink it straight out and then she got sick [vomited]. Everybody was there and I went away over the hill with the others [with Kumpaya] to Turnmu and then came back. When her husband, Ngamaru’s dad came back, she could hardly walk, they had to help her to walk slowly [because she had eaten too much sugar].

END
Source: CSROH_103_Jakayu_Biljabu
Rights: Cultural Owner & Storyteller: Jakayu Biljabu; © 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.

Preparing goanna

Detail of goanna being prepared for cooking. Canning Stock Route bush trip, July 2007.

Date created: 2007-07-21
Photographer: Tim Acker
Location: Palarji (Well 9)
Latitude/Longitude: -25.01819/122.5863

People: Vera Anderson, Kaye Bingham
Art Centre(s): Birriliburu Artists, Tjukurba Gallery

Copyright: FORM
Format: Image
Category: Image
Source: Canning Stock Route bush trip 16-21 July 2007
Accession ID: 20131220_FORM_MIRA_B0003_0018

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.

Preparing goanna

Birriliburu artists prepar goanna for eating. Canning Stock Route bush trip, July 2007.

Date created: 2007-07-21
Photographer: Tim Acker
Location: Palarji (Well 9)
Latitude/Longitude: -25.0182/123.5863

People: Vera Anderson, Kaye Bingham, Adena Williams
Art Centre(s): Birriliburu Artists, Tjukurba Gallery

Copyright: FORM
Format: Image
Category: Image
Source: Canning Stock Route bush trip 16-21 July 2007
Accession ID: 20131220_FORM_MIRA_B0003_0019

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.

Sheila Friday Jones

Portait of Birriliburu, Tjukurba Gallery artist Sheila Friday Jones. Canning Stock Route bush trip, July 2007.

Date created: 2007-07-21
Photographer: Tim Acker
Location: Palarji (Well 9)
Latitude/Longitude: -25.01821/124.5863

People: Sheila Friday Jones
Art Centre(s): Birriliburu Artists, Tjukurba Gallery

Copyright: FORM
Format: Image
Category: Image
Source: Canning Stock Route bush trip 16-21 July 2007
Accession ID: 20131220_FORM_MIRA_B0003_0020

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.

Bird's nest

A bird's nest in a tree near Well 10. Canning Stock Route bush trip, July 2007.

Date created: 2007-07-21
Photographer: Tim Acker
Location: near Well 10 (Lucky Well)
Latitude/Longitude: -24.85228/121.65285

Art Centre(s): Birriliburu Artists, Tjukurba Gallery

Copyright: FORM
Format: Image
Category: Image
Source: Canning Stock Route bush trip 16-21 July 2007
Accession ID: 20131220_FORM_MIRA_B0003_0023

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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