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.
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
Cultural Protocols: Public Access - Restrictions on Use
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.
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.
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.
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?
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: 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.
MLF: Nyuju for youngest, nyiti, nyiti one, and um, Clifford Brooks, you remember Cliffy Brooks
on that CSR trip?
MLF: His father, for Rover Thomas, Jarntu, for big brother.
JG: Do you know a person by the name of Jarntu?
MLF: Nyuju for kurta..
JG: You know 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.
JG: You know a man name Jarntu? He was a Wangkatjunga.
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.
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.
JG: With this one. [makes hand gesture] You know this one?
MLF: No, I don’t know that one.
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: 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?
JG: Oh, that one for, what’s her sister name?
Stella: [whispering] Rover.
Stella: You know, Rover.
JG: For Nyuju.
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.
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.
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.
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?
MLF: And what did you think when you saw that big helicopter?
JG: You seen that helicopter? Did you get frighten?
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?
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.
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?
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.
JG: Were there any other person walking with you mob?
EN: There were only two of us.
JG: That’s it.
JG: Only families.
EN: Yeah, just us families.
JG: Five of them.
MLF: Five of them walking?
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.
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.
Video recording: 170 BALGO FOOTAGE APRIL 08 (SHOT BY DAVID MUDGEDELL)
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.