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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)

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.

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.

Video format: miniDV/DVD
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.

Name: Charlie Wallabi (Walapayi) Tjungurrayi

Charlie Wallabi (Walapayi) Tjungurrayi - Helicopter being taken to Balgo [ORAL HISTORY]

Synopsis: Charlie Tjungurrayi tells the story of when a helicopter landed at Natawalu and people got food. He also talks about how (Joey) Helicopter got taken to Balgo because he was sick, and how Charlie travelled to find him.

Date: 2007-08-08
Art centre(s):
Language spoken: Kukatja
Catalogue number: CSROH_15_Charlie_Wallabi_Walapayi_Tjungurrayi
Interviewed By: John Carty
Transcribed By: Ngalangka Nola Taylor
Translated By: Ngalangka Nola Taylor
Location Recorded: Natawalu (Well 40)
Latitude/Longitude: -21.66779/125.78843

Cultural Protocols: Public Access - Restrictions on Use
Access: Public
Notes: Includes reference to another story told by Charlie (CSROH_12).
Full transcript: Charlie Wallabi (Walapayi) Tjungurrayi : See that dunes, tali, over there? That was our camp. We used to camp there. From there we used to go hunting. Time to time we used to stay longer and hunt. Used to get lots and lots of kuka [meat], goanna and other small animals, which we used to chase after before we could catch them. Marla [little wallaby], and rabbit and other kind of meat. We used to get a lot of kuka. And then all of a sudden we heard a noise when we were eating that sounded different and we said to each other, ‘What was that noise and where is it coming from?’ When it got closer the air was making a funny noise and we thought it was a big bird. And it came closer and closer and came over us, flew past. The people on the helicopter were watching us as they flew over. We watched it go past, over us, for a second time and then it landed next to the jurna [soak]. So the kartiya came back for a second time because he [must have] met some puntu [Aboriginal people] before. Just one chopper came down with a lot of kartiyas.

I was coming back from hunting. And the plane circled round me and I stopped to watch and showed them that I had goannas, holding it up to show them. I was standing on top of the dune. They were circling around, I was holding up the goanna. So after circling it went back and landed on this wala [saltlake — where he’s sitting at Natawalu]. I went back to my camp and I dropped everything. I had my kuka and I went back up to there. But the others they were too scared to go and meet them, they were hiding. But I bravely walked towards them and went and stood next to them and asked. But others were still away on a hunting trip, and people that come back from hunting were scared and frightened. After showing myself, how I was brave, I went back next day, and asked them for mirrka: Give me some food’. I was showing them with hand signs: ‘Food, [gesturing hand to mouth] that you can eat.’ I drew some pictures on the sand to show them, ‘Like this sort of food.’ So the kartiya looked at the picture then went around and got something. So he went and gave me one and showed me how to eat a piece himself. But my one, I just kept it in my hand. If I were to eat it straight away, I might die. [Note: see CSROH 12 — poison meat story]

So, I watch him eat it first. Might be poison. Making sure I kept it, I didn’t want to put it in my mouth straight away. I watched him carefully that he chewed and swallowed. And then I gave my piece back to him to watch him eat it and make sure it was ok. I asked him first, ‘You eat it first, my piece.’ So he took half of it. I was making sure it was alright to eat. So he took two piece: first and second one from my piece. Then I took that piece and watched what was in it and then bit it off slowly, chewing and eating it. And then I said, ‘Oh he did take the piece! He did eat it and swallow it he didn’t spit it out!’ And then I start talking in my language, and saying that ‘This is our Ngurra, our Country. We are here in our country, doing hunting and getting small animals in our own home. Snake and all, wallaby, pussycat, fox, you name it. Our own bushmen food.’

So others watched me, and they all wondered what I was doing. And then I called them in. ‘Come here!’ They was all hiding and peeping out to see what I was doing, watching me. And I showed my piece: ‘I’m eating this! [Mimics eating, biting cautiously.] Come here!’ So they got up slowly and walked towards where we were, coming closer. So they all came down to this wala [?] and I told them, ‘Don’t be afraid or scared. I’m not scared to eat this and die.’ So he left some tucker for us and the chopper people went back to where the chopper came from, to Balgo, and went and got the other chopper and together they came back to Natawalu, two helicopters. The first one came and saw that there was only a few of us and when he came back with the other chopper there was a lot of us. And he thought, ‘Oh, before we only saw a few people, now there’s a big mob. Why are there so many puntu around?’ He was thinking they must have all come out from hiding in the cave. And even we wondered. There’s so many kartiyas, we wondered if they came back with their backstops, to get us and eat us.

So I was feeling scared inside but I kept on talking to them, trying to make myself feel better. So they gave us a lot of food, even the dry flour. The others were still scared, they were still hiding. Even young people, and some old people. So I called them out. ‘Come down here! They giving us a food! We’ll all eat and we can all die together!’ So they start coming, two by two, sitting down next to it, pair of twos. I was talking my own language to them kartiyas even though they couldn’t understand me and I couldn’t understand them. As they came down one at a time and then two and two, and two and one, and some could come in three, and got bigger, puntu coming down from the tali, from each Ngurra. Kartiya was watching more and more people coming and getting close to where they were. And the kartiya looked at us when we got closer and sat down, and he was putting out food for everyone. And I was wondering why he was putting tucker out for each people and speaking in English, not putting it in big pile for all the Martu. And none of the Martu spoke English so they just got there and sat down and waited, they couldn’t answer back.

And once they all went down, and everyone just went down slowly in a group from each Ngurra until they were all down there, puntu were wondering, ‘Why they all want us down here?’ And I was saying to myself, ‘Oh, they getting out food for us and they probably going to kill us after feeding us.’ But I start speaking in my language saying, ‘I’m the only one bravely talking on behalf of all this people. You’re probably going to feed us all and kill us and eat us.’ So he ended up giving a bag of flour to each families so they could take it home and cook for themselves. So we went and took it home, cooked it, ate it and we kept going back for more. So the chopper left to go, and they kept on coming back for us. We didn’t move from the Ngurra. We stayed in the one Ngurra Natawalu.

So we wondered how they keep coming back and seeing us still around and alive? We think we’ll all go away from them, leave this Ngurra. But the womans decide to say, ‘No, we can’t leave all the tucker behind. We got so many we can’t carry them all.’ Drum of flour, big one. Even kartiya showed how they used to cook porridge. They cooked up one porridge and gave some for me to try or taste it. I looked at it first and said, ‘Do I have to eat this?’ So we had it in one big plate. I was on the other side and I make sure I watch him eating it first and then I started putting it in my mouth. So I think, ‘I’ll be the first one to die. He’s probably feeding me so I’ll fall over dead and he’s going to eat me.’ ‘Cause I was the only one around them to taste everything. I put myself up for testing all the food. Everything that I had to taste. He even showed me how to eat. I had to put it in my mouth and then swallow it down. I watched him slowly even though we ate together in one plate. And I said, ‘He’s probably trying to kill me. He was just feeding me so I can eat and die and after when I’m dead he’s going to put me in the waru [fire] and eat me.’

So kartiya people came back for a second time. And my young brother [His name was Helicopter Tjungurrayi] was so sick, he had sores everywhere and he was helpless, a little boy. So we went and showed kartiya. Even though I wasn’t speaking English I said in my language, ‘Look at this little boy, he’s got a lot of sores, big sores’. And I called out my little brother, ‘Come closer!’ And he couldn’t walk properly, he limped over closer. He couldn’t walk over, so he crawled in. So I grabbed my little brother and I showed him to them. ‘See, this is all the sores he got.’ So kartiya looked at his sores and said, ‘Ok, we’ll take him,’ because he was so sick. So kartiya picked him up and put him inside [the helicopter]. So I asked the kartiya, ‘Are you going to bring him back?’ And he said, ‘Yuwayi, I’ll bring him back.’ I think he probably said, ‘Yes, I’ll bring him back,’ even though I couldn’t really understand his kartiya language. We couldn’t understand each other anyway. He was speaking his language and I was speaking my language, but I’m sure we could still understand each other.

I kept on saying, ‘Are you going to bring him back?’ He probably said, ‘Yes, I’ll bring him back.’ I waited, waited, waited for long. And I wondered, ‘They’re not bringing him back! Nothing!’ But it was just because we couldn’t understand each other. It was getting a bit longer, and I said to myself, ‘I think I’ll go after him, north’. So I start walking north to another water, camp the night. And I kept on walking to another soak, another well. I kept on going. I came to this big well, and I climbed up on the ladder and looked down. It was deep down, and I wondered, ‘I don’t think I’ll go down. This is too deep! I might go one way if I go down to get it! I might drown and be dead.’ I just left. I walked and I camped at another water. And then the next day I start travelling and kept going and I came to another water, Kulyayi [Well 42]. And I looked at it and I said, ‘Oh its got water in it!’ I was happy to get water because the water was up higher and I could reach it easier.

I drank the water and then I decided to go hunting, I went along and found a fresh track of pussycat. I followed that pussycat till he went up the tree and he went into the yurltu, the hollow inside. From Kulyayi I followed, up the dunes, and followed the pussycat into the hollow. I climbed up slowly and saw the pussycat inside and said to one bloke, ‘Pass me a spear so I can spear it from the hollow. Pass me one with the hook so I can spear it.’ So I speared the pussycat and I pulled it out and got him from the hollow. But the cat was still alive, he was just biting on the spear, so I threw it down on the ground with the spear. From the top of the tree I threw it down. So I went down and killed the pussycat, picked it up and I was just about to start walking off and I saw somebody behind the tree peeping, and I thought to myself, ‘Who’s this man going to kill me?’ So I grabbed hold of my spear, and put a mangkuju, spear thrower, on and I walked up to him ready to throw the spear.

When I got closer he wasn’t moving. He was all stiff, not even moving, he didn’t respond to me, probably dead, I wondered. Even though he was on his belly, looking as if he was creeping, he was still looking up straight in the air, even though he was dead. So I said to myself, ‘What I’m going to do with him? I think I’ll dig and bury him.’ So I start digging shallow grave, enough to fit him in. It’s like digging for a dog. So I grabbed a stick and tossed him, turning him over to the hole, and placed him how I found him, on his tummy instead of on his back. And I covered him half way, left some of him uncovered. So I covered half of his body from his foot up to the shoulders, his head was still coming up. So when I walked off and turned around and looked, I saw his kurti [spirit] was sitting. That was his spirit. So his spirit started looking like a kangaroo. And we all asked each other, ‘Let’s kill that kangaroo!’ It wasn’t too far, it was so close to us, and we was just ready to spear. So that marlu [kangaroo] shifted to another place. Didn’t go far, it was still close. Then we all throw the spear at him but he got up, shifted into another spot, sat. That kangaroo wasn’t a little one, it was SO big! So I tell the others, ‘It’s so big shall we leave it?’ We left that kangaroo and we walked off back to the kapi [water] Kulyayi. We came back and camped the night and started the next day, kept on going north. From there I kept walking right, long way, all the way to Balgo.

And first time, face to face I met up again with stockmen, people that I know, even my father-in-law [at Balgo], and I wave my hand to them and I asked them when I stopped there, where those people [my brothers and mother] I asked them [stockmen]. And they told me, they just there, east, with mans ladies kids and all, everybody there. I saw Bonney and my other brothers they was there before I came in. And they also gave me a clothes and shirt, so I slept a night there and next morning I went east, I was west side of Canning Stock Route and I wanted to go east. So when I went nearly all the way to Balgo I got clothes and I seen house for the first time from long way. I didn’t go in I just saw houses and I stopped to camp a night. And next day I walked in and I seen jamu [grandfather] chopping wood, for fire. I creeped up close and stopped and watched, and I went ‘BOOO!’, and he was surprised and looked around and I showed myself waved my hands, I’m here. So then I walked up to him and said I came from long way, I walked closely and that old jamu then took me to show me where the family was and everybody came from every corner of the camp, kids, young and old.

[Then one of the ladies in the background tells Charlie: nyamu - finish now, but he gets upset with them and says] ‘I want to tell the truth about my life! How I was a bushman and I walked in and I went straight where the mans were not up to the kids! I’m talking right way, I’m not talking liar! I never do nothing wrong …’

[He pulls off his microphones in a rush then and gets up to walk away. John says, that was a palya wangka, Wallabi laughs sheepishly and tape ends]


Video recording: 8 IV - Well 36, atmos
Source: CSROH_15_Charlie_Wallabi_Walapayi_Tjungurrayi
Rights: Cultural Owner & Storyteller: Charlie Wallabi (Walapayi) Tjungurrayi; © 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: Kamara Brandy Tjungurrayi

Kamara Brandy Tjungurrayi - Lost looking for family and station work [ORAL HISTORY]

Other Speaker/s: Elizabeth Nyumi (Brandy’s daughter)

Synopsis: Brandy Tjungurrayi talks about how he started walking from Kunawarritji, and how he was lost looking for his family. He tells how he was never frightened of helicopter.

Date: 2008-04
Art centre(s):
Language spoken: Kukatja
Catalogue number: CSROH_65_Kamara_Brandy_Tjungurrayi
Interviewed By: Monique La Fontaine, Tim Acker
Transcribed By: Putuparri Tom Lawford
Translated By: Putuparri Tom Lawford
Location Recorded: Balgo
Latitude/Longitude: -31.84885/115.82492

Cultural Protocols: Public Access - Restrictions on Use
Access: Public
Full transcript: Brandy Tjungurrayi: I walked from Kunawarritji, me. On foot to Nyipil, from Nyipil to Kinyu, from Kinyu I then went to Kilkil. From there on to Liberal then on to Kukapanyu then on to Natawalu.

Monique La Fontaine: were you at Natawalu when Helicopter…

BT: Yeah you ask that other lady for that story.

Elizabeth Nyumi: No, she asking if you seen Helicopter jumped on that helicopter.

BT: Yes, I did see him. To tell you the truth them other mob just saying it, I saw him go. Only me.

EN: Did the whole lot see him go?

BT: I was the only one seen him go. [Talking to Nyumi:] Where did you see him go from?

Elizabeth Nyumi: I was on top of the sand hills when I seen him go.

BT: I’ll just tell the story straight: I seen him go. I was the one who put him on.

MLF: What they think that helicopter was?

EN: Did they get frighten of it?

BT: We wasn’t frightened. From Natawalu I then went to Tiru. No kartiya didn’t take me, nothing. I went on my own, walking. I then went to Kulyayi then Katajillkarr and then to Jimpirrinykarra then on to Jintijinti, from there on to Kujuwarri,then on to Kartalapurru , then on to Kurninarra and on to Lampu.

MLF: Kaningarra?

BT: Yeah Kaningarra, then Lampu, then Jikarn. I then went down to Kilangkilang. From there through Nyalku then to the old station then to Balgo.

MLF: Old mission?

BT: Old mission. I stayed there for a while then this kartiya told me, ‘Alphonse you go back and bring your family back here’. He gave some tucker, some flour and other stuff and went back looking for my mob back through that same road I came on following the wells. At Kukapanyu I saw my father, they just came in when I got there this one here for father too. From there this drover came and picked us up and took us to Kurrungu, that’s where I stayed then. He gave me a job, I was working for him, I worked everywhere there, then when they was starting to drove cattle on the CSR droving cattle. That’s where I learned to ride a horse. He gave me one, a Billiuna horse. We worked everywhere there then till we knocked [off] for holidays for Christmas I think. We worked on the stock route too, branding cattle’s ear marking them and everything else, I was branding them, that was my job putting that hot iron in the fire and branding them. We did that at the old station at Lake Gregory, there was a big yard there, a big round one. That’s where I got that name Brandy. He gave me that name, my name is Brandy now because of them cattle that I was branding. I was given that name by a kartiya called Len, he gave me that name.

MLF: Can Brandy tell us about the CSR, or if he seen drovers droving or when he was growing up and walking around there?

EN: Did you see any bullocks on the CSR?

BT: Yeah we was spearing them and eating them, sometimes they used to leave us one there.

EN: She’s asking you where did you grow up?

BT: I grew up on my own Country, around Jupiter Well, our Country.

MLF: Young boy or man.

BT: Young boy, my father was from Jupiter Well, that’s where his dreaming from. My grandmother got him from there, jarriny [dreaming] from there. From there now I walked around to here. Walking around bush till they put us on a camel to here. I came here and I stayed here till today, I’m here. From Billiuna to old Balgo, from Old Balgo to the new one here. Natawalu kartiya, name [Well] 44.

[Nyumi talks about drinking oil or diesel]

BT: They used to rub that oil all over themselves, hair and all. These mob mad people, not me, I had brains, I didn’t do that.

MLF: And what he reckon?

BT: I saw them when I came back from hunting, they told me to rub myself with that oil. I said no, you mob drink it, I don’t want to die from that thing. That’s where he went from Helicopter, from Natawalu, mother and son. They left us with a bucket of sugar too, them kartiya.

EN: What about that coffee story?

MLF: Tell us about that coffee story, I want to hear it again, it’s a funny story.

BT: I don’t know I called it kirrangu, that coffee kirrangu grows on trees at Natarwarlu.

EN: They was calling coffee kapi.

BT: They was calling it kirrangu, that one when it grows on trees. We called it kirrangu. That’s where we put Helicopter and his mother on the chopper. We saw them later when we came along behind. Helicopter was the first one here, then us mob later might be after Christmas. No wagon, just camels we were walking with them. One kartiya went and sold cattle at Meekatharra, he then came back and took us with him.


Video recording: 169 HELICOPTER, LOOMOO, EUBENA 2.5 BALGO
Source: CSROH_65_Kamara_Brandy_Tjungurrayi
Rights: Cultural Owner & Storyteller: Kamara Brandy Tjungurrayi; © 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: Helicopter Joey Tjungurrayi

Helicopter Joey Tjungurrayi - Walking through Coutry [ORAL HISTORY]

Synopsis: Joey Tjungurrayi talks Nyinmi, his Country, and also talks about his father's Country. He talks about his travelling, and also when he came to the old mission for the first time. Joey also tells the Kaningarra porcupine story.

Date: 2008-05-01
Art centre(s):
Language spoken: Kukatja, Walmajarri
Catalogue number: CSROH_66_Helicopter_Joey_Tjungurrayi
Interviewed By: Monique La Fontaine, Tim Acker
Transcribed By: Putuparri Tom Lawford
Location Recorded: Balgo
Latitude/Longitude: -31.84885/115.82492

Cultural Protocols: Public Access - Restrictions on Use
Access: Public
Notes: Language changes noted in transcript.
Full transcript: Tim Acker: Sitting here with Helicopter Tjungurrayi, 1st of May. We gonna do little bit story about that helicopter. Chopper, you know last year we been do that stock route.

Helicopter Tjunurrayi: Hmm.

TA: We been go sit down Kilykily, travel up and all that Stock Route story.

HT: Yuwayi [yes].

TA: What we want to hear is all those artist talking about their families.

HT: Hmm.

TA: For how they been, where they been travel on that stock route, and other family’s they been meet their history.

HT: Yuwayi [yes], yuwayi.

TA: You can tell one story for nyuntu hey.

HT: Yuwayi yuwayi, only me self.

TA: Just yourself, your story, what story for you.

HT: From Kilykily?

TA: Your story for nyuntu, whole story.

Monique La Fontaine: Nyuntu, nyuntu kura for story.

[Speaking in Walmajarri]

HT: Yeah, I will tell my story or what.

TA: Kukatja way you can tell him proper.

HT: Ahh, what about from Kilkil?

TA: Na na, you been born Nyinmi.

HT: Yeah, yeah, yuwayi, Nyinmi.

TA: Nyinmi and then travelling.

MLF: You been travel Natawalu.

HT: Ahh, Natawalu. No, wait, my Country is Nyinmi, Nyinmi side. But he not really my Country Nyinmi, but he’s right.

That for, he for that other one, that one. Jampijin’s for Jangala’s for Jakamarra’s for and for all the Jupurrula’s family side, it belongs to us. But my Country is Nyakin. Nyakin is my Country, that’s my land, Nyakin.

TA: Nyakin.

TA: Nyakin.

[Speaking in Kukatja]

Yuwayi, Nyakin, west of Nyinmi. Jupiter Well is my grandfather’s, na na Nyinmi, Nyinmi and Nguti, ah there’s three there, but Nyakin is my Country. My father got [me] from there. Yuwayi, at Nyakin he did, and my mother too. From there they had me and grew me up and father took me around. We travelled around that area everywhere, here and there. We travelled everywhere. We went right up to Nyujunjarra. Around there we walked around. From there we go to Ulkurr then back to Nyujunjarra. From there we used go to Nyila, just walking around with my family. Then we used to keep on going from there right up to Kukapanyu. Hang around there for while then from there we walk back, right back to Nyila. We stayed around there at Nyila, walked around there.

We walked around everywhere: north, east and south. Walked around every, sometimes up to Minyurr, that’s [our] Country too but my Country is Nyakin. They were just taking me around them countries, my mother and father. They took me everywhere. Around Kukapanyu we walked around and around Julkulu. That’s not my Country Julkulu, we were just walking around there, going hunting, going walkabout from Jupiter Well. We went there hunting. Our Country is Nyila, more closer in a different area, rabbit Country. From a rabbit Country we came eating rabbit along the way, that meat rabbit, we were just walking around going walkabout anywhere, close up country, long way Country, then we always go back home, right back to Nyila. Then from there back to Pinangu. Back to Pinangu we go through Nyila then around there we go walkabout, hunting.

Then we go hunting around Well 33, north of Well 33 on the Canning Stock Route then around Kilykily, Pangkapini. I know that Pangkapini, we stayed there. We always went hunting through there, through Kilykily and Pangkapini and then we go to Wataparni to that rockhole and then on to Kukapanyu. From there we head up north, there’s a living water there, then back home to our Country, through Kumparr, Intaramalu, right back to Nyila, our ngurrara, Nyila is our Country.

Yuwayi, that’s where we were travelling, through them places. We sometimes walk around closer to Country and sometimes we travel further from our Country, north, east, south, just going to waterholes and our living water, rabbit Country. We kill them, eat them right there. Yuwayi, I was walking around everywhere in that Country, that was the last time. I went to Nyinmi and to a living water north from there, then back to Nyinmi then on to Natawalu. From Natawalu that’s where they picked me up and brought me here.

They took me away. We landed at Billiluna, then from there we went to the old mission. That’s the first time I went to a mission. I never knew nothing. From there we shifted to Balgo for good and I’m still here. This is where I grew up from a kid. Yuwayi, nyamu.

MLF: Tell us a little bit where you been go la helicopter to Balgo when that helicopter been come down from Natawalu.

HT: Yeah, that’s the one I been talk now today.

MLF: Yeah.

HT: From that when I been go there

MLF: And your mother.

HT: I’ll tell ‘em again today

TA: Yeah.

HT: I went, ahh, big mob of us, we went big mob of us, that’s big mob of people we went to Nyinmi, we stayed there for a while. We then went to Ngurti, from Ngurti we went to the Canning Stock Road. We went the same way we always travelled to them water holes on the Canning Stock Road, stopping to drink at living waters along the way until we came closer to Natawalu. At Natawalu, that’s where we saw a helicopter for the first time, right there at Natawalu for the first time.

Then in the morning they gave us feed. They told [us] to go to Natawalu, ‘There’s big mobs of people, there, they’ll give you feed.’ We went to Natawalu then, they gave us feed and we stayed there. The others went hunting, they took us when they were away, me and my mother. The helicopter was nearby, they carried me and put me on the helicopter right there, me and my mother. Then they took me to what this place ...

MLF: Halls Creek?

HT: No, no, na, this um, in the desert…

TA: Kilykily kilykily?

HT: No, no, no, this um, wait…

MLF: Kaningara?

HT: Kaningara yuwayi, Kaningarra. at Kaningarra they put us down. For the first time I saw a tractor, it was little, like a little porcupine. I didn’t know, I thought it was a porcupine, but it was a tractor. I went and looked at the well then we kept on going to Kurrurungku [Bililuna]. For the first [time] I seen big mobs of people. [The helicopter pilot mob] went to look for the hospital, [the kartiya at Billiluna] said that it was at Balgo, “That-a-way, take him there,” that kartiya said.
They took us to the old mission, we didn’t land at the airport, we landed near the houses. Them people from the old mission, it was the first time they saw a helicopter too, even me, first time they seen me too. Then they was talking to me asking who my parents were, yuwayi. I told them who they were, then they knew me through my parents. My tjamu was there, all the Tjapanankas. They all died now. I stayed there for a little while at Balgo, then he took me to Halls Creek, then I went on a plane to Derby. After I got better they took me back to Balgo and I’m still here today. I started working here now, chopping wood for the kitchen. Sometimes we rode horses, sometimes we cut timber for the yards, at stockcamps for yards.

Then this fella picked me up to go drilling, drilling for water. We did two bores at Tjumunturru. Then we went around here drilling for water. Yuwayi nyamu.

MLF: Nyamu palya [that was a good story].

HT: Yuwayi, playa [yes, good].


Video recording: 169 HELICOPTER, LOOMOO, EUBENA 2.5 BALGO
Source: CSROH_66_Helicopter_Joey_Tjungurrayi
Rights: Cultural Owner & Storyteller: Helicopter Joey Tjungurrayi; © 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: Eubena (Yupinya) Nampitjin, Wuntupayi Jane Gimme

Eubena (Yupinya) Nampitjin - Jarntu story [ORAL HISTORY]

Synopsis: Eubena Nampitjin talks about growing up at Kinyu and its rockholes and tunnels, and of walking with the stockmen and Jane Gimme. She tells a Jarntu story, and of Rover Thomas at Kinyu. Eubena also talks about seeing a helicopter from Natawalu and being frightened. Eubena then talks about family and working with drovers.

Date: 2008-04
Art centre(s):
Language spoken: Kukatja
Catalogue number: CSROH_68_Eubena_Nampitjin
Interviewed By: Monique La Fontaine, Tim Acker
Transcribed By: Putuparri Tom Lawford
Translated By: Putuparri Tom Lawford
Location Recorded: Balgo
Latitude/Longitude: -31.84885/115.82492

Cultural Protocols: Public Access - Restrictions on Use
Access: Public
Full transcript: Jane Gimme: Tell your story when you where little around Kinyu way or where you grew up.

Eubena Nampitjin: At Kinyu, that’s where I grew up. My fathers took me around there and Julkurlu, and around Libral at the well. That’s where I grew up, around that country. My two fathers, they grew me up around that country. They took me everywhere. My other father, he died at Warnawanilja. I stayed there with him for a while after he died, there were three of them, my fathers. Two fathers died, only one was looking after me now. He looked after me until he passed away at Nyirla. My own father, the other two they already passed away. He grew me up and took me everywhere. My mother died and my fathers died. My father, he took me everywhere until he died. They all died near Nyirla. My father, he didn’t die of anything. We were lost now, no mother and father just me, one girl, and two boys. All their other childrens have all died too. There were only us left from our fathers. Both of my fathers died out bush. My own father he died here at Balgo. My own father he was taking us, me and my brothers, Ikarrara and what the other one call your uncle name.

JG: Bilabu.

EN: Bilabu. There was only us. He had me, one girl, and two boys. They were only small, my brothers. I was looking after them as a big sister. You mob were small then. I was taking you mob. I was with my husband then, we were all walking together. My two fathers took me and left me, my two fathers. I don’t know where the other one was. I was only following my other two fathers, I was taking big mobs of kids with me, these two too: Bilabu and Ikarrara.

JG: You tell your story now about where you grew up around Kinyu.

EN: I was walking around Kinyu. I grew up at Kinyu. Kinyu is the one that grew me up, tju tju tju Kinyu. I grew up there with my sisters, they all finished now, only me, one. My mother was taking me around. My family and my husband, we walked to Nyirla. We camped there, got up in the morning and followed a road coming this way. We walked a long way, then we had a rest halfway. After resting we kept on going. We walked until we came to Mulan. We got into Mulan, to all the Walmajarri mob.

[DVD 2]

JG: Yeah, nyamu.

EN: Call that person, what’s his name, for these two? You mob already cried for one of them. This one here is from a long time, you mob cried for this one, for Ikarrara. Finished, he died.

JG: Nyamu.

EN: This one, my brother, he died, my papa, our brothers died, finish. Ikarrara was the only one alive until he died. Now there’s only me. I lost my daughters too.

MLF: Nyamu kulu.

EN: Nyamu. I looked after husband right up until he died.

Tim Acker: Can Eubena talk about the first time she saw kartiya?

MLF: When you saw a kartiya what did you mob do, were you frighten?

Monique La Fontaine: and bullock?

MLF: When you saw a bullock or a horse what did you do?

EN: Bullocky?

MLF: Yeah, for the first time when you saw them did you mob get frighten?

EN: We got frighten all right.

MLF: Were you mob frighten because they were different or the kartiya had white skin?

EN: We saw the bullock as meat because we killed them before.

JG: No bullock when you first seen it, were you frighten?

MLF: Where were you?

EN: No, I seen a bullock.

JG: Were you frighten?

EN: No, we ate them quietly.

JG: Were you frighten?

EN: No, we ate them. We knew about them. People told us, “This is kartiya meat, bullocky”. Even the kartiya, he gave us meat. That kartiya told us to go this way, “There’s big mobs of people there,” he said. He even took us there.

MLF: Was Eubena working on the CSR too?

JG: Were you working on the CSR taking bullocky?

EN: Wiya. All the stockmen was taking them.

JG: Was daddy working too?

EN: No, he wasn’t working. All the other boys was.

JG: Who mob?

EN: Me and my husband, we worked later on. We worked around there until I had kids. They were big girls when I had you. You’re the youngest, that’s where I had you, at Balgo. Then I came here to Balgo, to all the no-good men. You are for here, for Balgo, you and your sister Aggie [and Stella]. I lost my girls. I only had one, your big sister, now she’s gone. Then you and Aggie came along. I got no son. I’m lost, nyamu.

MLF: What country for Eubena? Is Eubena’s country on the CSR? Is Kinyu Eubena’s country? Any other rockholes too?

JG: Yeah, Eubena’s country is, she was born in Nyirla. She was born in a creek. Her sister took her to Kinyu when she was a little baby. She grew her up, her sister.

EN: I only had one husband.

JG: Your mother didn’t grow you up, eh? Your sister did.

EN: Wiya. My sister didn’t grow me up, I grew up on my own.

JG: You didn’t grow up on your own.

EN: From killing and eating bullocky, I grew up alone.

JG: No, from when you were little, your mother didn’t grow you up.

EN: Yeah, my mother did until I lost her.

JG: That’s when your sister started looking after you.

EN: My mother and father died at Balgo.

JG: Talk who grew you up: mother or sister?

EN: My husband grew me up.

JG: Not your husband.

EN: Yeah. My parents did first, then he did.

JG: Yeah, her mother grew her up then when she was five she was promised to my father.

MLF: So Eubena’s sister gave her to your father?

JG: Daddy grew you up hey?

EN: Yeah, he did.

JG: My father grew her up when she was five.

MLF: She had daughters?

JG: Yeah she had three girls, my big sisters, when she was a young girl.

MLF: And were you born at Kinyu too?

JG: No, at the mission.

MLF: Oh, at the mission.

EN: Old mission and Nyirla.

MLF: Because one thing Tjakamarra told me: apparently your name, when you were born, I don’t know but he said it was actually Jane Canning? Did you know that?

JG: Yeah, but the Sisters gave me that.

MLF: Sisters gave you that? How come they called you Canning?

JG: I don’t know.

MLF: Oh, this the nun Sisters!

JG: And they changed it back to Gimme.

MLF: So wonder why they called you Canning…

JG: I don’t know.

MLF: They knew your Mum had walked up the CSR or something?

JG: I suppose when Father Alphonse was there.

MLF: Father McGuire?

JG: No, not Father McGuire, Father Alphonse.

EN: You, I had you after, you, and then Aggie. Father put you mob on the camel.
Kartiya took us to here and left us with our countrymen.

TA: (Asking about Rover).

MLF: Jarntu.

JG: Jarntu?

MLF: Old Rover Thomas, you know that…

EN: I was travelling with no blanket. I came from down that-a-way right up to, what’s that water?

MLF: …he was brother for Stumpy Brown, Nyuju.

JG: Nyuju.

MLF: Nyuju for youngest, nyiti, nyiti one, and um, Clifford Brooks, you remember Cliffy Brooks
on that CSR trip?

JG: Hm.

MLF: His father, for Rover Thomas, Jarntu, for big brother.

JG: Do you know a person by the name of Jarntu?

EN: Ahh?

MLF: Nyuju for kurta..

JG: You know Nyuju..

EN: Nyuju.

JG: Nyuju’s brother, you know him? Her big brother from Kinyu?

EN: From Kinyu he was a little kid, he grew up somewhere. I never seen them. I was a little girl.

JG: She said she was a little girl, she can’t remember.

EN: My brothers are…

MLF: Say again?

JG: She can’t remember because she was a little girl.

MLF: She was a little girl.

TA: Jarntu.

JG: You know a man name Jarntu? He was a Wangkatjunga.

MLF: Yuwayi.

EN: My brother died at Nyirla. He was young when he died. In his own country he died.

JG: You know a man name Jarntu or wiya?

EN: We didn’t come with any dogs.

JG: Nyuju’s brother.

Stella: [whispering] Rover Thomas.

EN: Roebourne? Nyuju’s brother at Roebourne? Or what?

JG: I think she doesn’t know.

JG: They just asking if you know a man name Jarntu, Nyuju’s brother.

EN: I know him.

MLF: He bin go Warman, they been takem.

EN: Warryalmuly.

JG: They took him to Turkey Creek.

MLF: From Kunawarraji they been takem to Warman.

JG: He’s at Turkey Creek, other side of Halls Creek. He’s living there now. Nyuju’s brother. You know him?

EN: Yuwo, I know him. We stayed down here.

JG: At Kinyu?

EN: No, not Kinyu.

JG: He is from Kinyu.

EN: Yeah, we know Kinyu. We left Kinyu a long time ago.

JG: No, longtime when you was there.

EN: We properly were little kids then, there at Kinyu, before we grew up then.

JG: Yeah, little kids.

EN: We were swimming at Jarramarra, at the water there, where the jila is.

JG: Yeah, she remembers him.

EN: We were jumping in and diving.

JG: She was swimming.

MLF: At Kinyu?

EN: We was swimming, diving and all, in that water where the jila is. He’ll bite you and he’ll tie you up.

JG: They were swimming in the soak water.

MLF: Ahh.

JG: With this one. [makes hand gesture] You know this one?

MLF: No, I don’t know that one.

JG: Snake.

MLF: Oh, yeah, yeah, snake!

EN: We were just diving in, havin a good time, we never worry about the snake.

EN: Too many people, we were swimming there, too many diving in, getting up, alive, diving in, getting up, alive.

JG: They were diving under the water there.

MLF: He was?

JG: Yeah, she was.

EN: When we used to come out from the water, they were grabbing us and chucking us back in the water, right where the jila is.

MLF: At Kinyu? And what … was he like pretending to be a snake? Or was there, he was a snake there?

JG: Is there a snake there at Kinyu?

EN: No, he went somewhere. We were swimming when he left.

TA: Is Eubena family for Jarntu?

JG: In-laws, you know, brother-in-law.

EN: From there we went to Nyirla.

JG: In-laws for Eubena.

EN: From Nyirla I was a woman now. I didn’t come here a little girl. I came here a woman.

JG: He call him brother-in-law Jarntu.

EN: Me and Wajyina lost kids.

JG: That’s your ngawiji.

EN: You mob were kids then.

JG: You mob came from the desert, not us.

EN: You was, I didn’t have you at Nyirla.

MLF: Nyirlangka? We not talking about Nyirlangkurr? That Jakuyu for country.

EN: Yeah, country for mine.

JG: Everybody’s country.

EN: Yeah.

MLF: Nyirlangkurr?

EN: No, Nyirla, Nyirla.

MLF: Nyirla, Nyirla, yuwayi, yuwayi.

EN: My country, my father was keeping us there now.

JG: Smoking ceremony place.

EN: Hey! Who’s touching me? Oh, a little boy.

JG: Yeah, you and Jarntu mob was swimming eh?

EN: We were swimming with no jarntu.

TA: Was Jarntu walking or older?

JG: Was he older that man Jarntu, your ngawiji, or you was little or what?

EN: Who?

JG: Oh, that one for, what’s her sister name?

Stella: [whispering] Rover.

Stella: You know, Rover.

JG: For Nyuju.

Stella: Rover.

EN: Rover? I don’t know where he was, we were swimming.

JG: Yeah, for Nyuju now.

EN: Nyuju’s brother Rover?

JG: Yeah, but was he older?

EN: He was a big boy.

JG: He was a big boy.

EN: Wati.

JG: A lot older then Eubena.

EN: They cried for them there now at jaramarra. They got smoked there, then we went back then. Kartiya came and took him. From Nyirla we went to… I don’t know what that rockhole.

JG: Wiji?

EN: From Nyirla we went.

JG: Through Wiji story, you told me from long time, when you was walking around there through Wiji and Mintikayi.

EN: That’s when we were big girls, going through there.

JG: Mintikayi, that water, you know.

EN: Yuwayi

JG: All the rockholes, Mintikayi, Wiji.

EN: That’s a rockhole. That’s not a jila, Mintikayi.

JG: Yeah, I’m just saying they are all the rockholes, Mintikayi, Wiji.

EN: Mintikayi is our tjumu, the ones that you dig out and drink.

JG: Hmm ...

MLF: Travelling along there?

JG: Hmm. Sometimes you mob sleep there hey?

EN: Other mob was camping there too, Helicopter mob, along the sandhills.

JG: [They] seen that Helicopter mob sleeping other side.

MLF: At Natawalu?

JG: At Mintikayi, Helicopter mob were sleeping, or what?

EN: Yeah, they was sleeping other side.

JG: They sleep other side, you know, Helicopter mob, Brandy mob.

EN: That’s where kartiya was looking after them, giving them feed at Natawalu. They lived on
the sandhills there.

JG: Oh Natawalu.

EN: At Natawalu they were living there. Kukapanyu not far, jila.

MLF: So you been see that helicopter come down?

EN: Yeah.

MLF: And what did you think when you saw that big helicopter?

JG: You seen that helicopter? Did you get frighten?

EN: Nyirla.

JG: When you seen that thing spinning, helicopter, long time.

EN: I seen it before as a kid.

JG: You never seen it as a kid.

EN: We all seen it. I never come with a helicopter.

JG: No, how did you feel when you saw the helicopter coming?

MLF: Didn’t frighten, nothing?

JG: Did you get frighten?

EN: I was frighten.

JG: Yeah, they was getting frighten. Yawi.

EN: We hid in the sand.

JG: They used to hide under the sand, dig themselfs in along the sandhills, yawi.

MLF: And was that the first time Eubena would have seen kartiya, yeah?

JG: Yeah.

EN: We didn’t go near it, we were frighten.

JG: They didn’t go near that helicopter, they were all hiding. Some in the trees too.

EN: Yuwayi.

MLF: So how come Eubena decided to go to Balgo and Mulan? Because of your dad?

JG: Why did you and daddy come this way to Kururrungku?

EN: Eh?

JG: You mob came this way.

EN: I didn’t go to Kururrungku. I went to the sandhills.

JG: No, why did you and daddy come this way, who did you follow?

EN: I went from Nyirla.

JG: No, why did you daddy come here this way?

EN: We came from Nyirla.

JG: Is it because of no tucker?

EN: Feed or no feed, we went anyway. That kartiya took us.

JG: Kartiya found them at Nyirla.

EN: From Nyirla they took us.

JG: At Nyirla, you know.

EN: When they took us we were real quiet. They took us and left us over there. They told us to
wait there and we will come back to pick you mob up.

JG: They told them to stay there and we’ll come back and pick you up.

EN: We didn’t stay there, we kept on walking.

JG: Then they kept on walking.

MLF: And who was there walking with them?

JG: How many of you mob were walking?

EN: There was only two of us.

JG: No any other people for company?

JG: Her dad and three daughters, they all passed away.

MLF: Ohh, and two passed away you said?

JG: No, three.

MLF: Ohh, three passed away. All her three daughters past away?

JG: Yeah, they all passed away.

MLF: Not then but after? They all passed away when they were walking?

JG: No, they all passed away here.

MLF: Ohh.

JG: Were there any other person walking with you mob?

EN: There were only two of us.

JG: That’s it.

EN: Yeah.

JG: Only families.

EN: Yeah, just us families.

JG: Five of them.

MLF: Five of them walking?

JG: Yeah.

EN: We went to Nyirla and to another place not far from there. From there we went on to Mulan.

JG: Did you mob came through Kaningarra?

EN: No, we come through Nyirla.

JG: From here, not far.

EN: Yeah, here, not far. I was at Nyirla. My husband, he left me. I came behind. I went to, what that? Where Nyumi lives.

JG: Kururrungku.

EN: Yeah, that’s it. I stayed there then. I stayed there for a while at Kururrungku. My husband, he went away, then I took off. I went to Mulan. We were just walking.

JG: They went to Mulan, then turn this way to old Mission.

EN: Me and my kids.

MLF: And then your dad, did your dad become a drover?

JG: Was daddy a bullock man or drover?

EN: We were just looking after the cattle not droving them.

JG: Yeah, looking after the bullock.

EN: Yeah, we just looking after bullock, just took them far as Mulan.

JG: Yeah, far as Mulan.

MLF: As far as Mulan.

JG: Yeah, Mulan.

MLF: So Eubena would have travelled with him but didn’t go a long way down the Stock Route?

JG: No, father was looking after the cattle and Eubena was walking behind.

MLF: She’d walk behind.

JG: Yeah, with her three daughters.

MLF: How far would they go on the CSR?

JG: No, they only went to this old station here.

MLF: Oh ok.

JG: Old station, Lake Stretch. That was the old station now, Old Billiluna.

MLF: Lake Stretch, yeah.


Source: CSROH_68_Eubena_(Yupinya)_Nampitjin
Rights: Cultural Owner & Storyteller: Eubena (Yupinya) Nampitjin, Wuntupayi Jane Gimme; © 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.

Lake Aerodrome

Place description: In 1929, William Snell was commissioned to recondition the stock route wells, which had fallen into disrepair. Snell was also asked to locate potential aircraft landing sites. Finding this dry, flat, salty lakebed near Well 11 to be a suitable landing surface, he named it Lake Aerodrome.

Related art centre(s): Other

Media title: Lake Aerodrome
Media creator: Tim Acker
Date: 2007

Media description: Lake Aerodrome
Media Copyright: FORM
Format: Image
Accession ID: FORM_MIRA_B0088_0007

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: Patrick Olodoodi (Alatuti) Tjungurrayi

Patrick Olodoodi (Alatuti) Tjungurrayi - The helicopter at the sand hill [ORAL HISTORY]

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: 2007-08-08
Art centre(s): Papunya Tula Artists
Language spoken: Kukatja
Catalogue number: CSROH_16_Patrick_Olodoodi_Alatuti_Tjungurrayi
Interviewed By: 2007-08-08
Transcribed By: Putuparri Tom Lawford
Translated By: Putuparri Tom Lawford
Location Described: Jilakurra
Location Recorded: Wiluna
Latitude/Longitude: -26.59/120.22

Cultural Protocols: PUBLIC ACCESS
Access: PUBLIC
Notes: Patrick discusses drovers on the Canning Stock Route. It can be unclear who the speaker is referring to at times; the transcript has been edited to increase clarity in this regard.
Full transcript:
From that way I saw a helicopter. It landed here right here. We didn’t know it was here, we just saw it go down. We were at a jumu [ephemeral water] called Ngangkangarra. That’s where we were, we were camping there. We said to ourselves, ‘Let’s go and look for it’. We came from over there. See that road there? [We] came through there, hunting along the way til we got here. From on top of the sand hill we had a look. That chopper wasn’t there. ‘Let’s go and look for it.’ My brother Brandy went down from this well here. Over there they had a big camp. Tents were everywhere, army tents. We told him to go inside the tent. We whispered to him get in that thing, ‘Might be inside there’. He went in and he switched the radio on by mistake. Then we heard voices coming out from the radio. We got a fright and took off! That’s when that helicopter came. Then I shouted, ‘The helicopter’s coming!’ It was coming fast. We took off running, heading for the sand hills. See that tree there now? There’s a big sand hill there. We ran there. It went over us, turned around. We were frightened. We told this one’s father, ‘We left one person back there,’ and this other feller dug a hole in the sand hill and he covered himself up with sand and grass. Then the helicopter landed.

They told us: ‘Come over here! We’ll give you some tucker.’ We got up and took off back to where we came from! Another two ran that way through that sand hill for good. They never came back till today. We went back to that place and stayed there for the night. In the morning we decided to go back hunting along the way. We got some meat, cooked it, had a feed, then we saw that helicopter again. It landed. We said: ‘manurrkunurrku [wasp] sat down.’ We didn’t call it helicopter then. We called it manurrkunurrku. ‘Well, let’s go look for it,’ we said. We went to that same sand hill. We saw Walapayi [Tjungurrayi] and another person there as well. They gave him something and asked him, ‘Where are them other mob?’ ‘Yeah, they’re here,’ he said. That’s when we came down from the sand hill carrying spears. ‘Put them spears down,’ he told us.

We put them down and started walking towards him. They gave us something to eat. I didn’t eat it. I hid it behind my back and threw it away while I was standing and it fell on the ground. He asked us where we were camped. We didn’t know what he was saying, we were sitting under a tree looking at them.

We said, ‘Let’s ask if we can get water from the well.’ We asked [XX-him] to go and ask them if we can get kapi [water]. [We said to him:] ‘Because you seen cattle and kartiya before you go and ask them. We want to drink water to quench our thirst.’ We told him, ‘ask them if we can get water from the well.’ ‘Ah, yuwayi [yes],’ he said. He went and told that kartiya, ‘Are you listening to me?’ He said, ‘Kapi.’ ‘Kapi? Ahh, you want coffee,” [that kartiya] said. He went and filled up a billycan with coffee and gave it to him. Then he brought it over to us. I had a look without drinking it and saw that it was black. ‘What the hell is this black water?’ I said. It smelt different too. Then he came over. He was a young kartiya. He was talking to me. I didn’t talk to him because I didn’t know what he was saying. I was looking at his mouth thinking ‘What is he saying? Or how he was talking?’ Then he left. Richard [Yukenbarri’s] father then told me to go and look for food, go hunting. So, I went and I came back with some meat.

From on top of the sand hill I could see what they were doing down the bottom. ‘What are they doing down there?’ I said. They where trying to take a photo of Walapayi. ‘Stand still,’ they said, ‘We want to take a picture of you.’ When they did the flash went off. Walapayi took off running, frightened from that camera flash, straight into the bushes on top of a sand hill! He kept on running! All the bushes were moving behind after he went through them. They then gave us rice in a big billycan. They said, ‘Take it and eat, and take some for the piccaninnies too,’ they said. They took it with them. I left mine there. I didn’t take it. I didn’t know what it was. I then went away hunting. And this fella here [Walapayi], he ate oil now. Grease, motor grease. He ate it all up! He ate too much, then he went to sleep without a fire. They were camping on the other side of the sand hill. We were camping on the other side of one other sand hill. There were drums and tents all over here. From here, I went away. I never came back. Yuwa palyunga [yeah, good, finished].


Source: CSROH_16_Patrick_Olodoodi_Alatuti_Tjungurrayi
Rights: © Cultural Owner & Storyteller: Patrick Olodoodi (Alatuti) Tjungurrayi; © 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: Nankatji Josephine Nangala

Nankatji Josephine Nangala - Travelling to Natawalu and seeing a helicopter (ORAL HISTORY)

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

Date: 2007-08-08
Art centre(s): Papunya Tula Artists
Catalogue number: CSROH_14_Nankatji_Josephine_Nangala
Interviewed By: 2007-08-08
Transcribed By: Putuparri Tom Lawford
Translated By: Putuparri Tom Lawford
Location Described: Fitzroy Crossing, Mulan, Ngumpan
Location Recorded: Fitzroy Crossing
Latitude/Longitude: -18.17/125.59

Cultural Protocols: PUBLIC ACCESS
Access: PUBLIC
Full transcript:
Josephine Nangala: Natawalu, I’m talking. Talk, talk, wankga, wankga, yuwo [yes]. Then we saw this helicopter coming, up in the sky. We were collecting witchetty grubs, plenty of them then. We never noticed it coming. ‘Oh, it’s coming!’ someone said. We ran into the trees, frightened because that thing, like a windmill, might cut us up [laughing]. Yuwayi [yes]. My mother was taking me around, looking after me. Her name is Yama Biddy Baadjo. And my Daddy, yuwo. We looked and they threw a tin meat out. We got it and opened it and ate it. We opened it with an axe. We carried axes with us, axe, you know.

Then after that we were making our way here, to Natawalu. We were coming to sit down here. And that helicopter been gone and get them, all the tucker for us. Cooking yuwa. And we ate them. We was eating, and they gave us porridge and rice and tea. You know, he sugar. He sugar. We ate it just like dry one. It was like the ones we get out of trees, you know, little one. Utungu [crystallised sweet sap] we reckon. We think about, ‘Ah, this one utungu, we gotta eat, yuwa’. We ate, had a feed and took off from here, back to where we came from. And all them kartiyas [white people], they left too, even the helicopter. The last one they took with them, with the helicopter. Helicopter now, Joey, Joe Helicopter, they took him to Balgo.

Then we went north, hunting and gathering around there for a while. Then we went back to Kukapanyu. From Kukapanyu we took off walking. We was walking, foot, you know. And no weak, no slack. We were happy to [be] coming, always, all the way to go to Balgo, old Mission, yeah. We walked through here. My jamu [grandfather] and Brandy came and told us to go with them to Balgo. My jamu, you know, grandfather for Richard Daddy, yuwa. They picked us up and [we went] with them. ‘You mob come! Father Alphonse sent us to pick you mob up,’ they said. We then went with them, and my aunty Wanguya, she stayed. She stayed until she came in on her own with my daddy and Wimitji, my uncle. Yuwa, playa [yes, good]. And other two came behind, Wimitji and my father and my aunty Wanguya.

Us mob, we were already there. We went before. We walked until we got there at Parnkupirti [near Mulan] and we saw Jilarri [XX- Steven Matthews’ cousin brother for Butcher Wise from Mulan] on a horse and Bob [Dingle]. They killed a bullock and gave some to us at Parnkupirti. Killer, kuka [meat]. We had a feed and took off, taking bones with us until we came to Jarntujarrpa north from Mulan. Jarntujarrpa, two dog been get in inside, yuwa. And they went. Us mob behind with the bones, bullock meat, you know [laughing]. We carried them with us to Balgo. Then we hid in a creek bed, kuka, other wise that kartiya might see it. We had a feed there at that creek and then I went to the dormitory. I was sleeping one night, yu, at Balgo. I camped one night and went in the dormitory. That’s all, finished, wiyarringu.

John Carty: Did you see that helicopter pick up…. when they picked up Helicopter?

JN: Yuwa [yes].

JC: Did you see em?

JN: Yeah, I bin see em.

JC: What did you think?

JN: I was think about, ‘I should go to Balgo.’ I was worrying, yuwa, because at a place Walatungka, there was no water at Walatu. That’s why that helicopter came for help. Me, Imelda and Tossie, we were kids.

JC: So this country was getting dry?

JN: Yeah.

JC: And you knew about that mission?

JN: Yeah, we know mission. No, my jamu been get em, ‘Ah, we going to Balgo. I’m taking you mob there,’ he said. And from Kukapanyu we went. From Kukapanyu they gave us the word, Brandy and my jamu, Richard for father. We came here, slept here, drank water here, and kept on going right up to Tiru. From Tiru right through to Kulyayi, from Kulyayi to Katajilkarra. And then we went and saw, I don’t know what this place. I don’t know about well, ah, Jikarn, yeah, Jikarn. Watinyinparra, from Watinyinparra we went and slept at Jikarn. From Jikarn we went to Katamungkukarra. I don’t know that water. I don’t about well.

JC: You know the Aboriginal name?

JN: Yeah, I don’t know. The only places that I know are Kulyayi, Katajilkarra, and Tiru, yuwa. I don’t know these other well from this side, yuwa [laughing]. Yuwa, nyamu [yes finished].

JC: One more.

JN: What for? What? What thing?

JC: Um, when that helicopter picked up Helicopter Joey ...

JN: Yuwa, Joey Tjungurrayi.

JC: Was he really, was he really sick one?

JN: Yes, he was. He had a sore here. He was no good one, sore all around. And my aunty too, for Kumpaya Mummy, Kupunyina. They took them two with them and I was thinking after ‘Ohhh, I should go to Balgo with them.’ [Laughing] Yuwayi. When the kartiyas all left we left too, we went back home. We were walking around in the desert around Kukapanyu and Natawalu. Yuwo palya.


Source: CSROH_14_Nankatji_Josephine_Nangala
Rights: © Cultural Owner & Storyteller: Nankatji Josephine Nangala; © 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.


Non-Indigenous name: Well 40

Place description: On the survey party’s return journey in 1907, two men killed each other at Natawalu.

Canning, Blake and the team’s well-boring expert, Michael Tobin, had travelled ahead of the party and were beginning to set up camp. While Blake and Canning were looking for wood they heard two shots fired and ran over a rise to see an Aboriginal man, fully armed, running towards them. Tobin, though still some distance away, was attempting to run him down on horseback. Canning was only about 10 metres from the man, and seeing him raise his spear called out to Tobin in warning. Tobin took no heed.

I tried to direct the attention of the native. He just looked at me but made no attempt to spear me ... He was watching Tobin all the time … Then it seemed to dawn upon him that the native was going to spear him, and just as the native moved with his spear Tobin raised his rifle and fired just after the native had discharged his spear which entered Tobin’s right breast. The native fell (Alfred Canning in testimony to the Royal Commission to Inquire into the Treatment of Natives by the Canning Exploration Party, January 15, 1908, [4312]).

Both men were killed in the same instant.

The man’s name had been Mungkututu and he was Mayapu Elsie Thomas’s uncle, Right at Natawalu, before there was a well there. That’s the place I painted now. He was just coming to get water then he saw that kartiya. He speared him then, near the water. (Mayapu Elsie Thomas, 2007)

In 1957, a mining party conducting geological surveys in the Country between Wells 40 and 48 met a large group of people living near Natawalu. As a result of this first encounter with white people, seven of the Warlayirti and Papunya Tula artists in this exhibition walked out of the desert and into a new life.

Traditional knowledge: In 1958 a mining survey crew landed its helicopter on the dry saltpan near the well at Natawalu. For the large group of families who were living near Natawalu at the time, the arrival of the helicopter would have life-changing repercussions; it would also be a source of amusement for decades to come.

We were collecting witchetty grubs, plenty of them then. We never noticed it coming. "Oh, it’s coming!" someone said. We ran into the trees, frightened, because that thing like a windmill might cut us up! [Laughing.] (Josephine Nangala, 2007)

Native title area: Ngurarra determination
Well data: 1906 quality: Good.

1906 total depth (m): 4

Current quality of well: Seasonal lake.

Current quality of water: Polluted by birdlife.

pH Level: 9.1.

pH Level Date: 2007.
Related art centre(s): Other

Media title: Natawalu Helicopter
Media creator: Nicole Ma
Date: 2010

Media description: Warlayirti artist Helicopter Joey Tjungurrayi earned his name during this encounter. He was a child of about 10. He remembers asking the pilot to take him to Balgo: He asked me, ‘Where will I take you?’ I was sitting there puzzled, and I said, ‘Take me to Balgo, to the medicine … For the first time I saw a tractor [from the air at Kaningarra, Well 48]. It was little like a little porcupine. I didn’t know, I thought it was a porcupine, but it was a tractor … Them people from the old [Balgo] mission, it was the first time they saw a helicopter too. Even me, first time they seen me too. Then they was talking to me, asking who my parents were. I told them who they were, then they knew me through my parents.' (Helicopter Joey Tjungurrayi, 2008)
Media Copyright: FORM
Format: Video
Accession ID: 20131016_FORM_MIRA_B0089_0002

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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