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Camels and Poison

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Media Creator:Clifford Brooks

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

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

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

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

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

Name: Anga Friday Jones

Anga Friday Jones - Tankil Tankil's escape from Rottnest [ORAL HISTORY]


Synopsis: Friday Jones tells the story of Tankil Tankil's escape from Rottnest.

Date: 2008-09-09
Art centre(s):
Language spoken: Kriol, English
Catalogue number: CSROH_177_Anga_Friday_Jones
Interviewed By: John Carty, Monique La Fontaine
Transcribed By: Paulene Mackell
Location Recorded: Well 1
Latitude/Longitude: -26.55781/120.18128

Cultural Protocols: Public Access - Restrictions on Use
Access: Public
Notes: This is the Tankil Tankil – ‘story all the Martu know’.
Full transcript: Friday Jones: Tankil Tankil ... I think he from Billy Snell [Snell’s Pass] Number 9 [Well]. He had a brother, name called Shovel. Shovel, Shovel, they called him Japil Japil. That’s the family now, the brother. And old Jack Stevens they call him Lalilali. Them three used to been main act, or something like that [laughs] for what spearing people. They don’t like a whitefella. They go around spear him for nothing. Oh, not nothing, for reason. For whitefella wanted to what-name to Martu girls. But they get wild, you know, they get savage, spear him. They spear and leave im like that. They dig a what’s-name and bury him and just leave him just like nothing … They must be kill bout a couple, specially on them want to look around for wanti (women), yeah, that’s why they get savage, you know, start spearing em, kill em. They really mean it too.

Joe Wilkins? I couldn’t remember his name … I think the Longs mixed up [with that story]. [Well] 9 or 10, number 10 or number 11, somewhere around there. The Longs they belong to there, they come from there, that’s when they were staying there, wandering around their Country. Yeah, so police went there, and have a look, they found the body. Yeah, yeah, old fella [Tom] Ingebong [tracked them]. He been in the bush all the time … Blue Hill, that’s where that old fella come from …
Police went with a Landrover, old Landrover, two of them go in Landrover, that’s long time. They reckon they had a trailer, they had to chain em up and bring him in a trailer … Yeah, and they locked em up in old lock up here [in Wiluna], bring him up here and then I think they took him on the train from Wiluna to Rottnest Island. I think old Jack Stevens and Tankil Tankil.

That’s when they lock him [Tankil Tankil] up in Rottnest Island. They had him long time, I think. And they got sick of it and they want to go home, you know. And they said, ‘hey, gotta get off. That big sea there,” and they in a island. And they broke a little stick, bout that long, [gestures about 3 or 4 feet], they clean him with a knife, made a point - they big maparn [traditional healer] too - clever people you know - and they got something out of here, [they pulled maparn power from their bodies], and they put him [into the stick] then they sent that stick. And they wanted that stick to stay there, to stay there, go and stay [on course]. Then they sent that stick straight across, right to the end, not straight down to [Fremantle Port] … Long way, on that side, south side [of Fremantle]. They didn’t want to go straight in, ‘cause town was there [and too many people].

They got to town. They knew. They swim across. And this maparn [traditional healer] [gestures to his stomach], he open too. Free. Just like he free [can’t be imprisoned], you know. This nyuru [stomach] is open. And he say, ‘Ah, we’ll get there no worries’. They pull him out [that maparn, and their handcuffs break] open – open. They went. They never went like [swimming], they went all the way [like they were propelled by a great force], something just sent them right up to where the end of the sea, you know. Gone. They went travel all night and day. They was happy. They go, and they come back around Kalgoorlie way, they come back here, and they went straight to their own Country. Palarji I think, Palarji (Well 9) Country. That old fella Lalilali, they both come from that way, old Palarji Country, where Glen-Ayle [Station] is, to north, that’s where they stayed there, seeing all the mob. They was all happy you know. Just like that picture [Rabbit Proof Fence] where they watching them two sister [who escaped from Moore River and travelled back to Jigalong] just went back, right back to their mob. Just nothing wrong, don’t worry ‘bout it, well nothing.

[Long way for desert people to travel across the sea], yeah, but they were clever [maparn - magic] people. Both Tankil Tankil and Lalilali. I think Tankil is that uncle [for Lena].

They knew [their way]. They got picked up round Palarji round there … [After that] they been living round that a way, then the old fella he went Kalgoorlie way. He went to Kalgoorlie ‘cause he had some people up that way … he married that place there [Tankil Tankil]. Yeah he’s Ngaju , Ngaju side, that one, round Kalgoorlie side, family from that side Ngaju. Lalilali, he belong to here, round Palarji. Ngaju people, say like what I say, we are Martu here, Noongars in Perth, well in Kalgoorlie they got Ngaju, different language … Ngaju people, they talk funny different way. Like Italian [laughs], yeah, good one.

END


Video recording: BTS 148 Friday Jones Tankil Tankil.mov
Source: CSROH_177_Anga_Friday_Jones
Rights: Cultural Owner & Storyteller: Anga Friday Jones; © 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.

Martilirri

Non-Indigenous name: Well 22

Place description: In 1963 the surveyor Len Beadell was grading roads across the desert to establish instrument stations along the likely trajectory of the Blue Streak Missile. On one of these roads he met Ngamaru Bidu, Jakayu Biljabu, Bugai Whylouter, Kumpaya Girgaba and their families. They were among the last Martu still living in the desert.

Traditional knowledge: We were heading towards the Canning Stock Route when we saw the whitefellas coming, building the road. Us kids all ran away. Old man Pilapu [Jakayu Biljabu’s husband] stopped and got ready to kill the whitefellas with his maparn [invisible power]. The whitefellas were waving in a friendly way and we all called out to old man Pilapu, "Stop! Stop! Don’t do it!" Jakayu and her husband started to walk towards the whitefellas. Everyone else followed behind them, starting to walk slowly. (Ngamaru Bidu, 2008)

One day [after our dad passed away, we saw] five people was coming, three walking and two on horses. They seen the smoke. Family sent a signal in the night and they were looking for us, coming from Jigalong. So the five Martu from Jigalong — they were family for us too — came looking for us. Two horses went round the back to stop us from running off frightened. But the other three come walking straight toward camp.

I had a funny feeling and got hold of my little sister and said, "Get up!" We thought it was a camel but it was a man on a horse. We never seen a horse before. I grabbed hold of Phyllis and ran away to hide under a bush and man on horse blocked us before we could run into the bush. I ran, holding my sister, and turned back running other way, and saw another man on a horse again, and I said to Phyllis, "I think they got the other sisters!" And sure enough I seen two little kids and a mum on the front of the horse. We were all frightened.

My mum was asleep back at the camp. She had little one, Rena, and she seen the horse. She got such a fright she ran and jumped on my mum and winded her! She was shocked, and Mummy said, "What you seen?" Then Mummy seen her sister coming. And children and sisters start saying, "This is our families. The men on yawarta [horses] they came to take us [to Jigalong]"

When we got to Jigalong we saw so many people crying and coming up to us, we were huddled up in the middle, really frightened, and we thought, "Who are those people?" We were a tight squeeze in the middle and it was our own families we were frightened of! (Mantararr Rosie Williams, 2009)

Native title area: Martu determination
Well data: 1906 quality: Good stock

1906 total depth (m): 16

Current quality of well: Caved in

Current quality of water: No water

PH level date: 2008
-23.12072/123.04233
Related art centre(s): Other

Media title: Country near Martilirri (Well 22)
Media creator: Tim Acker
Date: 2007

Media description: Country near Martilirri (Well 22)
Media Copyright: FORM
Format: Image
Accession ID: FORM_MIRA_B0088_0013

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.

Kinyu (Jarntu)

Non-Indigenous name: Well 35
Historical name: Minjoo

Place description: Well 35 was dug near one of the most sacred sites on the Canning Stock Route. The ancestral mother dingo ‘Kinyu’ is so sacred to Martu people that her true name is used sparingly and she is sometimes referred to as ‘Jarntu’, the Martu word for ‘dingo’. Jarntu is a revered and magical being whose puppies inhabit the rockholes surrounding Well 35, which are interlinked by underground tunnels. People born at Jarntu or with Dreaming for this Country tend to be especially gifted healers of children.

Traditional knowledge: I grew up at Kinyu. Kinyu is the one that grew me up. (Eubena (Yupinya) Nampitjin, 2008)

Jarntu is like a mother, if you go there she can give you a child and that child will be maparn [born with invisible power]. (Hayley Atkins, 2008)

Native title area: Martu determination
Well data: 1906 quality: First class

1906 total depth (m): 5

Current total depth (m): 2

Current quality of well: Derelict

Current quality of water: Brackish

Current depth to water: 1.4

Current depth of water: 0.3

Total dissolved salts (ppm): 2145

PH level: 8.2

PH level date: 2007
-22.21343/125.05028
Related art centre(s): Other

Media title: Dingo footprint
Media creator: Tim Acker
Date: 2007

Media description: Dingo footprint
Media Copyright: FORM
Format: Image
Accession ID: FORM_MIRA_B0088_0024

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.

Cannibal Story

Artist(s): Yunkurra Billy Atkins

Date created: about 2003
Art Centre(s): Martumili Artists
Size: 60x121.1
Medium: acrylic and pen on board

Artwork Story: My grandfather went to Lake Disappointment … that [cannibal] woman grabbed his arm and put her very long sharp fingernail through his wrist and paralysed him. [She] took him to a group of other cannibals, ready to cook him up to eat. My grandfather is a strong maparn [magic man]. Lucky for him, he got out of there. They were trying to kill him and eat him.

Location depicted: Kumpupirntily (Lake Disappointment)

Artwork copyright: ©2013 Yunkurra Billy Atkins
Catalogue ID: BA/194/MM
Protocols: Public Access - Restrictions on use

Photographer: Jason McCarthy
Photograph date: 2008-09-06
Photography copyright: National Museum of Australia
Format: Image
Category: Artwork

Artist(s) biography:
born about 1940
Putijarra language group
Purungu skin group
Jigalong community
Martumili Artists
Yunkurra practised as an independent artist in the early 2000s, before other Martu artists were painting commercially. He is also a carver. His work was selected for the 2003 Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award, and in 2004 he held his first solo exhibition. Yunkurra was born at Palarji (Well 9) on the Canning Stock Route. While he avoided being taken away by missionaries as a child, his sister’s story of escape from missionaries was told in the film Rabbit-Proof Fence.

Accession ID: 20131014_FORM_MIRA_B0045_0064

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 Disappointment

Artist(s): Yanjimi Peter Rowlands

Date created: 2008
Art Centre(s): Martumili Artists
Size: 75x36
Medium: acrylic on canvas

Artwork Story: From there Nganyangu lived and walked in with other Ngayurnangalku and he became a bodyguard for the good people from Ngayurnangalku … with his two wife and his two sons … They all the bodyguards, they all maparn people.

Artwork copyright: ©2013 Yanjimi Peter Rowlands
Catalogue ID: PR/198/MM
Protocols: Public Access - Restrictions on use

Photographer: Jason McCarthy
Photograph date: 2008-09-06
Photography copyright: National Museum of Australia
Format: Image
Category: Artwork

Artist(s) biography:
born about 1944
Manyjilijarra, Kartujarra language groups
Purungu skin group
Parnngurr community
Martumili Artists
Yanjimi was born at Kalypa (Well 23) on the Canning Stock Route and his Dreaming is associated with the Seven Sisters story for this site. In 1948 his family moved in to Jigalong mission. He now lives in Parnngurr with his wife and children. Yanjimi visited Singapore in 2008 as a member of the first group of Martu artists to hold an international art exhibition.

Accession ID: 20131014_FORM_MIRA_B0045_0068

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.

Helicopter Joey Tjungurrayi

Born: about 1947

Language Group(s): Manyjilyjarra, Kukatja, Wangkajungka
Community: Balgo
Art Centre(s): Warlayirti Artists
CSR Project role: Artist, contributor
Skin Group: Tjungurrayi
Totem: Muntuny, Quiet snake blackhead
Country: Jupiter Well, Puntujalpa

Biography: Helicopter was born with blackhead snake Dreaming at Nyakin, south of Jupiter Well. He fell ill near Natawalu (Well 40) in 1957 and was flown by helicopter to Balgo. He is a respected maparn (traditional healer) and artist. He returned to his Country for the first time in 2000. My father got [my spirit] from [Nyakin], and my mother too … They were just taking me around them Countries, my mother and father. They took me everywhere.

Photographer: Tim Acker
Photograph date: 2008
Photography copyright: © FORM
Format: Image
Source: Images - Catalogue
Category: People
Accession ID: 20131016_FORM_MIRA_B0090_0090

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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