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Name: Ngilpirr Spider Snell

Ngilpirr Spider Snell - Kurtal story and Kinki [ORAL HISTORY]


Synopsis: Spider tells the story of Kurtal, where he came from and his journey during Jukurrpa (Dreaming). Spider then tells his own story, about being left at Kurtal,and being one of his lightnings. His mother found him there as a snake and that is where he was born. He grew up there and would go hunting. He brother drank from the water at Kurtal and was grabbed by the snake and pulled into the water, he let him go. Kurtal is quiet now, Spider is the only one looking after him now. He went from Kurtal to Billiluna, where he was initiated and he finished law at Wangkatjungka.He married Dolly when they were young and they still live with each other. Finally Spider tells the Kinki story.

Date: 11/16/2007
Art centre(s):
Language spoken: Wangkajunga, Walmajarri
Catalogue number: CSROH_52_Ngilpirr_Spider_Snell
Interviewed By: John Carty
Translated By: Putuparri Tom Lawford
Location Described: Kurtal
Location Recorded: Fitzroy Crossing
Latitude/Longitude: -18.17/125.59

Cultural Protocols: PUBLIC ACCESS - RESTRICTIONS ON USE
Access: PUBLIC
Full transcript:
I am jila. I will tell you about jila, I’m talking about Kurtal jila [ancestral being, and spring]. Rain came, a big one, in the early days. It rained for a while, a big rain. After the rain, grasses started to grow. That was him, the grass that began to grow, purrun purrun [grass] we call it. From the grass he turned into a man. Kurtal turned into a man from the grass, purrun purrun. From all that grass he grew into a man. From there he sent a kutukutu [rain-bearing cloud] but it came back. He sent it again, it still came back. He sent it again, this time north, it still came back, that cloud kutukutu. To the east he sent another cloud [kutukutu]. This time it didn’t come back. The cloud went into his own Country, Kurtal, and it went into the waterhole. From a grass he became a man. From there he said, ‘Kurtal wanyjurla wanyjurla’ [He’s singing here: Kurtal, where are you?] He called himself Kurtal. Kurtal is big. He is very big. From there he went to a place called Japingka. Japingka is another jila [ancestral being, and spring] too; Japingka gave him some sacred objects.

From there he went off again past Karlijita [St. George Ranges]. He came to a place call Mangunampi, [a place near Yakanarra] another jila [ancestral being]. He was there with that jila for a while. From there he took off again heading towards Broome, he been travel there. He arrived at Broome and had a rest there for a while. After hanging around at Broome he took off again, heading up the coast. He arrived at another jila called Jintirripil [somewhere near One Arm Point]. He stayed with Jintirripil for a while there. Jintirripil told Kurtal to stay with him near the sea. Kurtal tricked him saying, ‘Yes, I’ll stay with you’.

Jintirripil then told Kurtal to look for anther jila [ancestral being] call Paliyarra [near Nookanbah] because Paliyarra stole sacred objects that belonged to him and he wanted them back. Kurtal set off to find Paliyarra. After finding Paliyarra he went hunting, killing bush animals and cooking them up. He gave them to Paliyarra. Paliyarra knew what he was there for: to steal back the sacred objects he stole from Jintirripil. From there he told Kurtal, tricking him, ‘I haven’t got what you came here looking for.’ [Singing:] ‘Ngajirta Pa Mintirr Mintirr.’ He told him he got nothing. Kurtal could see through him, he could see lighting flashing inside him all that time he was telling him, ‘I can’t give you anything.’ From there he set his dogs onto Kurtal. They bit him all over. He ran around Paliyarra with the dogs after him, tripping him over. They both fell down, Paliyarra spilling the stolen objects onto the ground. Kurtal kicked them objects towards his home, into his waterhole, all them objects they used to make rain with, the same objects we still make rain with, but I am only one left now. I don’t know how I got to do it now, maybe with my grandsons.
With the dogs still chasing him he took off running, heading north to a place called Pinykurrngu [don’t know where this place]. On top of a hill he had a rest for while there, away from the dogs because he was bitten. After that he went to another waterhole called Kunjurrpung [not far from Ngumpan]. He had a look around to see if he had any objects with him for Kurtal to steal but he had none. After talking to that jila he went on his way. He came to another jila [Spider doesn’t know the name of this one], they sat down and had a chat. Kurtal went hunting for that jila. That’s what they did in the Dreamtime, to kill feed for another person. We still do that today but in the law way. After having a feed that other jila told him the same thing: he got nothing, no objects. [Singing:] ‘Ngajirta Pa Mintirr Mintirr’. He could look through him and seen lightning flashing inside him. Kurtal then made willy willies [whirlwinds] come up around them then. They all became one big willy willy and it covered them both with dust. They couldn’t see. The other jila didn’t know what was going on. With fright he dropped his objects on the ground. Kurtal kicked them towards his Country, Kurtal. Into the waterhole, they went. Yuwa [yes].

Kurtal took off again, this time north. He came to a hill and had a rest there on top, looking around where he’s going to steal the next stuff from. He climbed down and went to a place called Kilalaparri [at Christmas Creek]. He sat down there with that jila [ancestral being] and then all this little men, Murungkurr, came out of the ground and started attacking him. He was killing them with his lightning. Off he went again to another jila [Spider doesn’t know this one either]. This time he stole everything from him, all the rain-making stuff. He took them all with him till he came to Kaningarra. That jila Kaningarra was waiting for him. Kurtal and Kaningarra are yalpurru [were born at the same time]. They’re mates. Kaningarra told Kurtal, ‘Let’s lay down here then we can be together.’ Kurtal, tricking him, said, ‘You lie down over there and I’ll lay down here.’ Kaningarra then went into the ground and turned into a snake, kalpurtu [rainbow serpent], and today that waterhole Kaningarra is still there. Kurtal kept on going, carrying all them stolen objects in a coolamon to his Country. He was slowly getting weak. He fell down on one knee and that place we call it Tujulu. He then started to crawl towards his waterhole. He crawled inside with all his stolen objects for good. He went inside and turned into a snake, and he is there today, at his home, Kurtal. That’s the song ‘Kurtal wanyjurla wanyjurla’ we sing. That’s Kurtal, that’s where he went inside for good. He sent up a kutukutu [rain-bearing clouds] like the ones I made at the water hole. He his still there, even to this day.

[Now Spider is telling his story.]

I am from there. That’s where Kurtal left me. He left me and my wife Dolly [Snell], and her brothers and Mosquito, Johnny Mosquito, my brother. Kurtal put them there. And Wiyli Wiyli, my son [Richard Tax]. He put everybody there, that Kurtal. Kurtal left me further up north. I am one of his lightnings.

There was a big storm, lighting everywhere, big rain. From that place my parents found me. I was a snake, a water snake. My mother saw me and was coming up to me, creeping me up, I saw her coming and laid down for her. She hit me, killing me and she pulled me out of the ground from my ribs. She then lit a fire to cook me. She covered me in hot coals and ash. Then all of a sudden there was water where she had me cooking. Water and a tiny snake. She then threw that tiny snake away saying, ‘What happened to that big snake I had cooking here? Did it turn into water too?’ Then I was born right there at Kurtal. That little snake was my Dreaming. I was a kid at Kurtal. My mother and father went hunting sometimes for two or three days or more. I was there alone, and at night I would say, ‘Kurtal, look after me. I am alone, my parents haven’t came back yet. Can you look after me?’

In the mornings I would get up, go hunting. I was a good hunter when I was a kid, killing all kinds of animals in the desert. I used to cook them near the waterhole, chucking bones in the water. I was a good child when I was a kid, looking after my own self, and then my parents would return. Kurtal is cheeky. He doesn’t let any animals drink water. He’ll swallow them up. One time me and my brother went to have a drink. I drank first, then him. Next thing he went into the water! That snake grabbed him! I was scared. I ran to tell the old men who were sitting under a tree, calling out, ‘There’s a kid in the water! That snake got him! He swallowed him! Come and get him out!’ They all got up carrying axes with them. They ran to the waterhole saying, ‘Let him go or we will chop you up!’ From there Kurtal let him out alive. He kept him inside there for a while then spewed him out. He’s my brother. He was okay. Then they picked him up and took him to a shady tree. He’s a cheeky bugger. He don’t let anything drink water, that Kurtal, man, wanya [featherfoot/sorcerer], devil, anything. He’ll just chuck you in the water and swallow you up. Cheeky bugger.

Today he’s finished now. Nothing now. He’s quiet. He’s got no people left now, all his mob all gone. I am the only one visiting and looking after him now. Everybody all passed away now, all the old people that belong to Kurtal. Wilyi Wilyi Mosquito, my brother who died in Adelaide, the whole lot, all finished now. He’s only seeing me now, looking after him. Only one. Today Kurtal is full of water. Everywhere, it’s flooded. We went there recently. I had a swim there.

I haven’t got that story for Kinki and I never seen camels in the Stock Route. I went from Kurtal to Billiluna. I was initiated at Billiluna. I stayed there for a while finishing my law, the law that belongs to them old people. Then I went to Wangkatjungka, then I finished everything there. They told me, ‘You’ve finished your law now. You are a law man.’ I was a young fella then. I didn’t have a wife then. Because I’ve finished my law, my lamparr and yumari [father in law and mother in law] gave me Jukuja [Dolly Snell] as my wife. They gave Jukuja to me when she was a young girl. We lived together until we got old, still today. I had no trouble. We lived a good life.
I know about a white man who got killed at Natawalu [Well 40] and there’s another two that got killed at Lampu [Well 49]. One, he’s buried there. That kartiya [white man] shot that other kartiya. We were all bushmen then when that two kartiya killed each other. There’s a grave for one of them at Lampu. That fella at Natawalu speared that kartiya and then that kartiya shot him with a 44 maybe.

[Kinki story]

Little story I’ll tell you: Old man kartiya [white man] came. I don’t [know] where he came from, they shot and killed old man Kinki, and his daughter as well. They salted them and gave them to us at Jikarn [Well 50]. We thought it was goat meat. They killed them. We ate him. That old fella. My old man (that’s what I called him: father). We had a good feed. We didn’t know it was a human. We boiled some in a billycan. All that time we were thinking it was goat meat. We all ate them. Nothing was left. We thought it was goat we were eating but it was old man Kinki, poor fella. It wasn’t good meat. It had no fat and it tasted horrible. But we still ate it. They killed him and his daughter at Kaningarra. They cut them up and salted them. We ate my old man and my sister. We ate em all up. Finished. Wali [that’s all].

END
Source: CSROH_52_Ngilpirr_Spider_Snell

Provenance: This material is sourced from Ngurra Kuju Walyja — the Canning Stock Route Project, which was initiated in 2006 by FORM and developed in partnership with Birriliburu, Kayili, KALACC, Mangkaja, Martumili, Ngurra, Papunya Tula, Paruku IPA, Warlayirti and Yulparija artists and art centres.

Kiki and the pearl shell

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

Media Creator:Nicole Ma

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

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

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

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

This material is sourced from Ngurra Kuju Walyja — the Canning Stock Route Project, which was initiated in 2006 by FORM and developed in partnership with Birriliburu, Kayili, KALACC, Mangkaja, Martumili, Ngurra, Papunya Tula, Paruku IPA, Warlayirti and Yulparija artists and art centres.This material is sourced from Ngurra Kuju Walyja — the Canning Stock Route Project, which was initiated in 2006 by FORM and developed in partnership with Birriliburu, Kayili, KALACC, Mangkaja, Martumili, Ngurra, Papunya Tula, Paruku IPA, Warlayirti and Yulparija artists and art centres.

Kurtal

Story:Before Kurtal turned into an ancestral snake being and entered the 'living water' or permanent spring that bears his name, he was a man. In the words of Kurtal boss Ngilpirr Spider Snell: 'A big rain came. After the rain, grasses started to grow. From the grass Kurtal turned into a man.'

'Kurtal travelled to Jintirripil, a jila near the sea, who asked him to stay for good. Tricking him, Kurtal agreed. Jintirripil told Kurtal to find the jila Paliyarra, who had stolen his sacred objects.

'Paliyarra knew that Kurtal had come to steal back Jintirripil’s objects. He told Kurtal he didn’t have them but Kurtal could see the lightning flashing inside him. Paliyarra set his dogs onto Kurtal. Badly bitten, Kurtal tripped over Paliyarra, who spilled the objects on the ground. Kurtal kicked them towards his jila.

'Kurtal stole more objects from other jila, then went to visit his friend Kaningarra. Kaningarra asked Kurtal to stay with him there forever. Tricking him, Kurtal agreed, saying, "You lie down over there and I’ll lay down here.” Kaningarra went into the ground, turning into a snake, and Kurtal took off for his country.

'Getting weak, Kurtal crawled inside his waterhole with all his stolen objects and turned into a snake.

'That’s the song "Kurtal wanyjurla wanyjurla" we sing. He sent up a kutukutu [rain bearing cloud] like the ones I made at Kurtal.'

This is Kurtal's song:

'In the north-west I saw leaping fish sparkling in the sunlight. Carrying the sacred object I wade through the water. The waves carry me down to the depths. In the north-west I saw a seagull. The seagull was speaking. I saw lightning flickering in the north; I was the rain cloud. I am Kurtal. I bring the meat and make the country fruitful. The wind is wild, the lightning flickers in the sky. Up there Kaningarra is crying. The wind roars. I am Kaningarra, the great rock. Look to the south. That flat ground is sloping now. Who is that coming after me? I am a maparn [magic man] but I’m losing my powers. Look to the west. See his headdress.' (Ngilpirr Spider Snell)

Media Creator:Tim Acker

Media date: 2008
Story Location: Kurtal

Media Description:Kids all ready to perform Kurtal. Majarrka Workshop at Ngumpan Community.

Story contributor(s):Karen Dayman, Monique La Fontaine, Ngilpirr Spider Snell

Art Centre(s): Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre, Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency
Publisher: FORM
Media copyright: FORM
Accession ID:20131024_FORM_MIRA_B0046_0001

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.

Majarrka juju

Story:Majarrka is the name of a sacred ceremonial totem carved from the riymangurru tree. Riymangurru trees grow near Paruku [Lake Gregory] and around Yunpu. They are a hardwood used to make weapons and digging sticks. Majarrka is part of the law and Dreaming associated with the riymangurru tree and it has its own song and ceremony. The contemporary story performed in Majarrka juju [song and dance] has evolved out of this traditional ceremony but is based on a true event. It tells the story of two law bosses, Ned Cox’s father’s father, Wurtuwaya, and Tom Lawford’s mother’s grandfather, Wirrali, both of whom are now deceased. Wurtuwaya and Wirrali were travelling around near Paruku as wanya [‘featherfoot’, sorcerers wielding a similar power to maparn but whose work is concerned with payback rather than healing]. They were looking for their sacred Majarrka totem, which had been stolen from Jarrkurti, a place not far from Jalyirr and Yunpu, by a group of men who were performing their own ceremony with it. The men were dancing with the totem when Wurtuwaya and Wirrali found them. The two men were hiding as wanya as they watched the men perform. When the men turned their backs, the two bosses snuck in and retrieved the Majarrka totem. In Majarrka juju the dancers who wear the long headdresses (pukurti) represent the men who stole the Majarrka totem. The two dancers with the flat-topped headdresses (kumunungku) represent the bosses, Wurtuwaya and old Wirrali. 'I want to tell a story about this little stick, this one, kana [digging stick]. Long time ago kartiya [white people] been digging with [iron] bar, long way down, might be 200 feet [to make the Canning Stock Route wells]. Kana, kuturu [large hitting stick used for fighting] and makura [deep coolamon or wooden dish used for carrying water], all to get water in my language. 'This tree and me we been born in the same Country, the one Country. He’s got a meaning this tree. This is the tree now, the meaning. He got the culture, Majarrka. Riymangurru tree from Lake Gregory. That’s the tree, that Majarrka.' (Yanpiyarti Ned Cox, 2007) In this story Yanpiyarti Ned Cox draws a parallel between the sinking of the Canning Stock Route wells and the digging out of waterholes. The traditional hardwood tools and coolamons used to dig and scoop out mud are often made from trees that have important laws and ceremonies associated with them, as is also the case with Majarrka.

Media Creator:Tim Acker

Media date: 2008
Story Location: Paruku (Lake Gregory), Ngumpan

Media Description:Majarrka dancers get dressed and painted up at Majarrka Workshop at Ngumpan Community.

Story contributor(s):Yanpiyarti Ned Cox, Putuparri Tom Lawford, Monique La Fontaine, Karen Dayman

Art Centre(s): Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre, Ngurra Artists, Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency
Publisher: FORM
Media copyright: FORM
Accession ID:20131024_FORM_MIRA_B0046_0002

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.

Kumpupirntily

Story:Nyayurnangalku [cannibal beings] live below the surface of the lake in a world lit by its own sun. The Nyayurnangalku are said to resemble people, except for their large fangs and the long curved fingernails they use to catch and hold their victims. They block the wind as they move across the lake in search of human prey. Aboriginal people only travel past the lake when the wind is blowing. When boomerang-shaped clouds called wilany appear in the sky, it is a sign that the Ngayurnangalku are approaching. Aboriginal people are also careful not to light fires near Kumpupirntily, in case it signals their presence to the Ngayurnangalku. The cannibals’ own fires are scattered across the surface of the lake. An immensely powerful force lies at the centre of the lake. Aboriginal people believe it is capable of pulling planes and helicopters down from the sky, and they avoid flying directly over the area. During the Dreamtime an important gathering of Ngayurnangalku took place at Kumpupirntily. They came from Natawalu (Well 40) and Yunpu in the north, from Mundiwindi in the west, and from the country around Kiwirrkurra in the east. They came to decide whether or not they should continue to live as cannibals. Jeffrey James continues the story: 'Everybody agrees: alright we better stop eating the peoples. Then that night there was a baby [girl] born from that other group [eastern mob] … And they asked the newborn baby, and she said no: "We can still carry on and continue eating peoples." But [western] mob said "No, we’re not going to touch."' Following the baby, one group continued to be cannibals, dividing the Ngayurnangalku forever into ‘good’ and ‘bad’. The bad people remained at Kumpupirntily, but the good were kept safe by ‘bodyguards’. 'The bodyguards were saving all the people. Sandhill in the middle of the lake separates good people and bad people.' Painting Catalogue Number: JB/DS/73/MM, BA/194/MM, PR/198/MM, PR/212/MM

Media Creator:Painting by Yunkurra Billy Atkins, Photo by Ross Swanborough

Media date: 2008
Story Location: Kumpupirntily (Lake Disappointment)

Media Description:It’s dangerous, that Country. I’ve seen that [cannibal] man, he’s there and I know it. I don’t know how white people go over there. If they were to run into him he would eat them straight out. Kumpupirntily, that’s a no good place … leave it alone and have nothing to do with it at all. Just leave it how it is.' (Yunkurra Billy Atkins)

Story contributor(s):Jeffrey James, Yunkurra Billy Atkins, John Carty, Clifford Brooks

Art Centre(s): Martumili Artists
Publisher: FORM
Media copyright: Yunkurra Billy Atkins, Ross Swanborough
Source: CSROH_17B
Accession ID:20131024_FORM_MIRA_B0046_0006

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.

Nyarna, Lake Stretch, 2007

Location: Nyarna Lake Stretch

Date: 8/16/2007

Event Description: In July and August 2007, around 60 artists from seven art centres travelled along the stock route documenting their stories and painting their Country in workshops held along the route. The last of these was at Nyarna, Lake Stretch, near Billiluna. Many new artworks were produced at Nyarna and the first Canning Stock Route 'exhibition' was held here on the shores of the Lake. A number of dances were also performed as part of the final celebrations at the culmination of this trip.



People: Putuparri Tom Lawford, Monique La Fontaine, Karen Dayman

Art Centre(s): CSR Project

Media Description: Artworks displayed at the Nyarna, Lake Stretch Artists Camp. Canning Stock Route bush trip 16- 18 August 2007.

Rights: Photo by Tim Acker

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, Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre, Mangkaja, Martumili, Ngurra, Papunya Tula, Paruku IPA, Warlayirti and Yulparija artists and art centres.

Tika Tika

Artist(s): Yurnangurnu Nola Campbell

Date created: 2008
Art Centre(s): Kayili Artists
Size: 151.8x101.2
Medium: acrylic on linen

Artwork Story: My family and I were walking around in that [central stock route] Country. As a little girl I carried the water. I was following my uncles and my father, Walapayi [Charlie Wallabi Tjungurrayi], who raised me. I used to chase him around when I was little, to get meat. He’s my young father. My mother is Josephine [Nangala], my own mother’s younger sister. The Tika Tika rock holes were made by Ngirntaka, the perentie goanna. Ngirntaka stopped here for one night during the Jukurrpa before continuing west on his journey towards Warburton. Many people lived at Tika Tika before Patjarr community was established, including Nola, who camped here as a young girl with her father, and her uncles and aunties.

Artwork copyright: ©2013 Yurnangurnu Nola Campbell
Catalogue ID: NC/188/KA
Protocols: Public Access - Restrictions on use

Photographer: Jason McCarthy
Photograph date: 2009-05-25
Photography copyright: National Museum of Australia
Format: Image
Category: Artwork

Artist(s) biography: born 1948 Manyjilyjarra language group Napaljarri skin group Patjarr community and Wiluna Kayili Artists Nola Campbell grew up travelling in the Country between Kiwirrkurra and Kunawarritji. She is related to Charlie Wallabi (Walapayi) Tjungurrayi and Nangkatji Josephine Nangala, whom she called father and mother, and Kumpaya Girgaba, her aunt. Nola was taken to Warburton as a young woman and there she married her first husband. She moved to Wiluna and later Patjarr, where she later married artist Coiley Campbell.

Accession ID: 20131014_FORM_MIRA_B0045_0058

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.

Yanpiyarti Ned Cox

Yanpiyarti Ned Cox - Majarrka [ORAL HISTORY]
Synopsis: Yanpiyarti Ned Cox talks about Majarrka juju, and he also speaks about the riymangurru tree, from which the sacred ceremonial totem is carved.

Art centre(s): Ngurra Artists
Catalogue number: CSROH_294_Yanpiyarti_Ned_Cox
Cultural Protocols: Public Access - Restrictions on Use
Access: Public
Full transcript: Yanpiyarti Ned Cox: I want to tell a story about this little stick, this one, kana [digging stick]. Long time ago kartiya [white people] been digging with [iron] bar, long way down, might be 200 feet [to make the Canning Stock Route wells]. Kana, kuturu [large hitting stick used for fighting] and makura [deep coolamon or wooden dish used for carrying water], all [we used] to get water in my language.
This tree and me we been born in the same Country, the one Country. He’s got a meaning this tree. This is the tree now, the meaning. He got the culture, Majarrka. Riymangurru tree from Lake Gregory. That’s the tree, that Majarrka.

[What follows is an explanation of Majarrka juju compiled by Monique La Fontaine in conversation with Putuparri Tom Lawford]

Majarrka is the name of a sacred ceremonial totem carved from the riymangurru tree. Riymangurru trees grows near Paruku (Lake Gregory) particularly around Yunpu and they are a hardwood used to make weapons. Majarrka is part of the law and Dreaming associated with the riymangurru tree and has its own song and ceremony.

The contemporary story performed in Majarrka juju (song and dance) has evolved out of the traditional ceremony, however, and is based on a true story. It tells the story of two bosses, Ned Cox’ father’s father, Wurtuwaya, and Tom Lawford’s mother’s grandfather, Wirrali, both of whom are deceased.

Wurtuwaya and Wirrali were travelling around near Paruku as wanya [featherfoot, sorcerer; wielding similar power as maparn but concerned with payback rather than healing] looking for their sacred Majarrka totem, which had been stolen from Jarrkurti, a place not far from Jalyirr and Yunpu, by a group of men. The men were dancing with the totem when Wurtuwaya and Wirrali found them. The two men were hiding as wanya as they watched them. When the men turned their backs the two bosses snuck in and stole the Majarrka totem back.

In Majarrka juju the dancers who wear the long headdresses (pukurti) represent the men who stole the Majarrka totem. The two dancers with the flat-topped headdresses (kumunungku) represent the bosses, Wurtuwaya and old Wirrali.

END
Source: CSROH_294_Yanpiyarti_Ned_Cox
Rights: Cultural Owner & Storyteller: Yanpiyarti Ned Cox; © 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.

Mantararr Rosie Williams, Mulyatingki Marney, Jakayu Biljabu, Ngalangka Nola Taylor, Morika Biljabu

Martumili Artists - Minyipuru (Seven Sisters) [ORAL HISTORY]
Synopsis: This is the Minyipuru (Seven Sisters) story, collected from Martumili artists in Punmu, 2009, and collated and transcribed by Monique La Fontaine.

Date: 2009-04
Art centre(s): Martumili Artists
Catalogue number: CSROH_287_Minyipuru
Date: 2009-04
Transcribed By: Monique La Fontaine
Location Recorded: Punmu
Latitude/Longitude: -22.042865/123.120883

Cultural Protocols: Public Access
Access: Public
Notes: This was recorded in transcript only by Monique La Fontaine asking Tom Lawford about the September 2008 Ngumpan workshop.
Full transcript: Minyipuru [Seven Sisters] story

The Martu story of the Seven Sisters originates in the Country around Roebourne and when they began travelling east on their long journey they were many more than seven. The Minyipuru were a big group of ladies including many sisters and mothers. At various places on their journey they lost members of their group until eventually only seven sisters remained.

This is the story told by Martu women, although in their words, ‘there are other stories for other sides’. Many different people have stories for Minyipuru.

The Minyipuru travelled close to Parnngurr where an important event took place in women’s law. From Parnngurr they flew to Kalypa, which is now Well 23. At Kalypa they met up with a large group of Jukurrpa men, the first time that men had ever seen women and women had seen men. The men tried to grab the ladies and the ladies chased them and hit them with their wana [hitting sticks]. Then they left, leaving the men lying there. There is a song and dance for this place called Marrkupayi and both men and women perform parts of the dance.

They continued dancing as they travelled to Katarru, now Well 24. And then they flew to Yurungu [on the eastern side of the CSR]. They flew from Yurungu and they turned and looked behind them and there was a group of other people, Niminjarra, who were travelling west. The Niminjarra were looking for Nganyangu’s wives, in a place called Pirrkanjil. Nganyangu became the bodyguard for Kumpupirntily, protecting people from Ngayurnangalku, the Jukurrpa cannibal people.

The ladies walked to Yurrunguny and Mungurlyi and then they flew to Nyipil, now Well 34, where they heard the sound of Kinyu howling. They heard Wulkartungara [a ladies’ song] and another song called Yaruparrupa. From Nyipil the Minyipuru flew to Yanjiwarra jurnu where they danced and near the desert oaks they left the mark of their dancing. The Minyipuru can be seen today as a group of trees between Nyipil and Kunawarritji.

The Minyipuru then flew to Pangkapirni between Wells 35 & 36, where the man Yurla who had been following them from Roebourne, finally caught up with them. The ladies watched him sleep and when he woke up he tried to grab one of them. The other ladies tried to help their sister escape, but they couldn’t free her. The ladies made Yurla collect wood for them and promised that they would stay with him. They teased him saying, ‘Come and get us!’ and he began to sing a man’s song and ran away happy, his heart was beating fast. But the ladies were tricking him and hid from him. They were floating in a long line in mid-air and he ran around trying to find their tracks. Finally they made a kumpu on his face, until he couldn’t see anything at all and then they were able to free their sister. Yurla couldn’t see anything, but he could hear the Seven Sisters giggling and laughing from somewhere above him. He got a janga, a ladder of wood, and tried to reach them but they just floated higher and then pushed the ladder over when he got too close. He became tired finally and fell down, crawling on his stomach. He crawled a long way and then slept, and while he was asleep, the Seven Sisters all flew away.

They took off flying to a place next to Lipuru, now Well 37, called Lurrungpungu where eventually Yurla caught up to them again. It was here that he tried to grab five of the ladies. From here the Seven Sisters took off again flying to Lunpu and then Majarral and then on to Marapinti near Kiwirrkurra where there are rocks sitting up like ladies. The ladies had a feed at Marapinti and then pierced their noses; this is what the word marapinti means.

Some of the other places where the Minyipuru stopped on their journey to Marapinti include Wantili claypan (near Well 25) and Tiwa, (Well 26). From there the ladies flew on to Jurntujurntu, (Well 30). Kukulyurr is a permanent water where the Minyipuru sat down to rest before travelling onwards. They also rested at Juntiwa [going west, towards Telfer] and at Pangkaringka and Karlajaru. They landed at Juntiwa when they were coming from Pangkaringka and they also stopped at Natawalu before continuing on their journey. They also stopped to rest at Kukulurrpa and Jarnu warla [a lake]. At Pankarlpa the man who was chasing the Seven Sisters caught one of the ladies.

END
Source: CSROH_287_Minyipuru
Rights: Cultural Owner & Storyteller: Mantararr Rosie Williams, Mulyatingki Marney, Jakayu Biljabu, Ngalangka Nola Taylor, Morika Biljabu; © FORM, transcript only

Provenance: This material is sourced from Ngurra Kuju Walyja — the Canning Stock Route Project, which was initiated in 2006 by FORM and developed in partnership with Birriliburu, Kayili, KALACC, Mangkaja, Martumili, Ngurra, Papunya Tula, Paruku IPA, Warlayirti and Yulparija artists and art centres.

Ngamayu Ngamaru Bidu

Ngamayu Ngamaru Bidu - Dreamtime story [ORAL HISTORY]
Synopsis: Ngamayu Ngamaru Bidu tells a Dreamtime story of people who flew away.

Date: 2008-04
Art centre(s): Martumili Artists
Language spoken: Martu Wangka
Catalogue number: CSROH_286_Ngamayu_Ngamaru_Bidu
Date: 2008-04
Transcribed By: Ngalangka Nola Taylor
Translated By: Ngalangka Nola Taylor
Location Recorded: Kunawarritji (Well 33)
Latitude/Longitude: -22.34188/124.77525

Cultural Protocols: Public Access - Restrictions on Use
Access: Public
Notes: This story was collected from Martumili Artists on the Punmu trip in 2009. It has been collated from a number of different artists and transcribed by Monique La Fontaine.
Full transcript: Ngamayu Ngamaru Bidu: Hello, I am Ngamaru Bidu. My Country is Pitu [Bidu] and Narkarl, that’s my Country. This man here he came through here in the Dreamtime walking right up through here and then he flew. Other one, a man and a woman, coming behind him, following him right up through here and then finish, I don’t know where they’ve gone. There is one more woman, going across here. This one here is a little waterhole, there is a little creek here and these are all the rockholes, another rockhole here and another rockhole here. This is my home here, and another one coming across here again.

Those three people walked through this Country and disappeared when they flew somewhere. They went forever. That was in the Dreamtime when they were walking around.

END
Source: CSROH_286_Ngamayu_Ngamaru_Bidu
Rights: Cultural Owner & Storyteller: Ngamayu Ngamaru Bidu; © FORM, transcript only

Provenance: This material is sourced from Ngurra Kuju Walyja — the Canning Stock Route Project, which was initiated in 2006 by FORM and developed in partnership with Birriliburu, Kayili, KALACC, Mangkaja, Martumili, Ngurra, Papunya Tula, Paruku IPA, Warlayirti and Yulparija artists and art centres.

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