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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)
-21.66779/125.78843

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.

Yungkurra Billy Atkins

Yunkurra Billy Atkins - Kumpupirntily (Lake Disappointment) [ORAL HISTORY]
Synopsis: Yunkurra Billy Atkins talks about mining company's wish to mine at Kumpupirntily (Lake Disappointment), and how this is a danderous thing to do because of the Ngayurnangalku.

Date: 2008-05
Art centre(s): Martumili Artists
Language spoken: English
Catalogue number: CSROH_283_Yunkurra_Billy_Atkins
Date: 2008-05

Cultural Protocols: Public Access - Restrictions on Use
Access: Public
Full transcript: Yunkurra Billy Atkins: I don’t like the people, you know them, young fellas, white fellas, pushing Martu to say ‘yes, you can go mine that place [Lake Disappointment]’. I tell them, ‘No, don’t push them to go over there to make mines. They might get killed. You have to be careful of the cannibal.’ I don’t like those sort of people to go push people, it doesn’t matter whether they get big money or not. Tell them to keep their money, we don’t want it. The bloke who is pushing and forcing you to go over to that place, tell him it’s dangerous. That Country is dangerous. We tell those young fellas [who did the heritage survey at Lake Disappointment that they are only young teenagers]. Those two young men who just finished school don’t know anything really. Don’t even know the full story for that Country.

[Yunkurra thinks that government wants to mine that place and is allowing the company to do that]

It’s no good. I am not going over there. It’s dangerous, that Country [Lake Disappointment]. When white fellas tell me to go there, I’m not going. I’ve seen that [cannibal] man, he’s there and I know it.

Gabrielle Sullivan: Who told you the stories about Kumpupirntily? Did your parents tell you the story about Lake Disappointment?

BA: They did. They told us, ‘when you go there, you’ll see a light. Only can go there when the wind can blow. When the wind is blowing we can go there, can go past. If the wind stops you can’t go any further, because he is there’. [when the cannibal man is there he blocks the wind] When the wind stops, it’s no good. That’s what the old people were telling us.

One of my grandfathers went there chasing a dingo and spearing that dingo. This other old lady near there close to Lake Disappointment. My grandfather went to Lake Disappointment, chasing the dingo and he heard an old woman making a noise like howling, but she was crying for that dingo [that Yunkurras grandfather was spearing and chasing]

[The cannibal was a woman, there are many cannibals, men and women. In Yunkurra’s painting, it’s a man. They are hiding in the cave, only one man and one woman come out at a time.]

So that woman grabbed his arm and put her very long sharp fingernail through his wrist at the base of his hand and paralysed him. She put her fingernail right through his wrist. Then that cannibal took him to a group of other cannibals, ready to cook him up to eat. They took him and had him there and they were singing him first [maybe celebrating for the food]. My grandfather is a strong maparn man. Lucky for him. He got out of there, because of his strength as a maparn [he may have changed his form, disappeared, etc] from there he just took off and never came back and that is why he told the story to me. He told his children and my mother and father told me [might be the father’s father, because that family’s Country is around Lake Disappointment]. They were trying to kill him and eat him. I’m telling you [Gabrielle] that that cannibal mob is out there and they are no good [dangerous]. That cannibal is no good for anybody, any people, never mind if it’s a maparn person, like my grandfather, or people who own that place and think they can go back there, but the cannibal is no good for any of the people who might want to go there [including whitefellas].

I don’t know how white people [the people who did the survey, just for a quick visit, not overnight, because they know it’s dangerous] go over there, maybe because the cannibal was in the cave at that time, or he was somewhere else on the lake. If they were to run into him he would eat them straight out. That Country hasn’t got any trees, it’s just open and flat. Kumpupirntily, that’s a no good place. I don’t know why people are talking about that place at meetings, but they shouldn’t talk about it, they should leave it alone and have nothing to do with it at all. Just leave it how it is. You are wasting my time now – I was painting!

END
Source: CSROH_283_Yunkurra_Billy_Atkins
Rights: Cultural Owner & Storyteller: Yungkurra Billy Atkins; © 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.

Manmarr Daisy Andrews

Manmarr Daisy Andrews - family, Country, massacres [ORAL HISTORY]
Synopsis: Manmarr Daisy Andrews tells stories about massacres. She also talks about her life history and her family's Country. She also talks about her brother's Kaningarra, and the big hole in the ground from the mining companies.

Date: 2007
Art centre(s): Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency
Language spoken: Kriol, English
Catalogue number: CSROH_141_Manmarr_Daisy_Andrews
Date: 2007
Transcribed By: Monique La Fontaine
Location Recorded: Fitzroy Crossing
Latitude/Longitude: -18.17/125.59

Cultural Protocols: Public Access - Restrictions on Use
Access: Public
Notes: Corrections made from permission in September 2008.
Full transcript: Daisy Andrews: My brother was there now, [in Old Mission] living with his wife, old girl, and he was telling me story about what he was doing in the past. He come down from Kaningarra, Canning Stock Road. ‘And where you been living?’ I been say. ‘No, I been living in Cherrabun Station.’ That’s his home, yeah.

The man used to come, white man, shooting people, killing them, long time, you know. They run away from the Country, you know, come this way. And policeman catch them and father been get shot, his own father. And my father never see that, he was working. This was long time ago. Yeah, and he been, you know, they used to have them chain la [around their] neck, dragging them, some get kill. One place there, Lumpu Lumpu, you know, that Country, my brother been go in that place, he been grow up there. It’s ‘nother side from Cherrabun, big ranges you can see ‘em. White man come shooting all the people, they all run away in the bush.

My brother, my granny been say, ‘Come on! Come on little man, me and you gotta run away now!’ And he been take my brother away, all along the creek. Finished. They been climb up big hill and just gone down, they been go other side now. Go back la [through the] bush. From there policeman been looking for them and policeman been catch them. They gone back, right back to Ngaranjarti and they bring them back from there to Christmas Creek.

[Manmarr says sadly] That’s when they used to kill them. They used to burn them, in the fire. That’s really cruel. She was telling me story, when he was little one. He was born in Canning Stock Road, Canning Stock Road, in that place now, he was born there. And Mummy bring him back this way because everybody been getting killed there. Come back to Cherrabun this side.

Carly Davenport: So he was safe, he came out.

DA: Yeah, and policeman get them, put them in the station work, just growing up there. That was the story now. End of this story, I think he got more story at Karrayili [Adult Education Centre in Fitzroy Crossing]. I didn’t know my brother. I got two brother [a set of twins] and two was get killed, just kill them and chuck ‘em in the fire, two twins, boy. Mummy just left them behind [because they were dead]. It’s very cruel [what those white people did. Boxer Yankarr, Pampirla Hansen Boxer’s father, and Potato both survived]. And it’s my granny, is taking him, only one, bring him back la [to his] mother, go back to desert, round desert. They was going in Kurlku from Kurlku they was keep going in desert way, but policeman still there got them [were still there with them], tracking them all the way. They been just get them and bring them back this way. They been save their life. Finished. They been there the station and we been go away Moola Bulla working there now, my dad, my mummy. He been have three wife, my father [XX – laughing, indecipherable]. Three daughter and one boy, son one. And my Mummy been have three of us and ‘nother Mummy mine been have one boy, one girl and himself, my brother.
And ‘nother sister mine, cousin from ‘nother Mummy, he been passed away there la [at] Bayulu, yeah, Gogo Station. So my father went to, [laughs] there’s’ nother father for my brother’s father, he went to Yiyili and robbing wife from there, [smiles] ‘nother wife, Mervyn now, granny. Mervyn Street. And Mervyn Street call me like auntie, you know, Mummy, mm mm. My big sister, he was just passed away now, his name Madeleine. That’s why I call him son, you know. Long time ago, you know, they used to go like that, visiting other places, they was used to go for friend of us, they used to have ‘em own business, old people, they never used to look for trouble, they was just friend together [chuckles]. They was finished.

And then my brother been tell me now, ‘Oh, you got big sister there.’ ‘What?’ I been say, ‘What?’ I been saying. ‘You got big sister there, his name is Madeleine.’ That’s the one now for Mervyn Street mother. Yeah. He used to always stop la [at] Guwardi [frail aged care in Fitzroy Crossing. Says sadly] and passed away. That’s the eldest sister from, like from my other father, we been have three fathers. Uncle I call ‘em eh? In a kartiya [white people’s] law! [Breaks into laughter]. That’s alright, finished now …

CD: And Daisy, for that Canning Stock Route exhibition, and you’re hopefully going to paint one painting, what sort of story do you think you might you put for that painting?

DA: [Very decisively] I’ll put that story for Kaningarra. Country side for my brother side, where he been born, where he been come from there. Yeah, she been show me the Country. ‘This the where, place I been born,’ he told me. He been have a big hole there [makes circular hand gestures and looks distressed. The hole apparently made by a mining company]. My brother he been, like he been born there and mother and father been take him away from there. Second time I been go gotta [with], first time for me to go gotta [with] Daniel [Vachon]. And me and my brother, before he been finish, his … Peter Kulapu [possibly Kurrapa Peter Skipper, Jukuna’s husband], ah, Kulanyu [?]. That was him and Jukuja, ah, Jukuna and me, we been go see that place where it was [makes circular hand gestures]. They were have the hole there. Cry too much.

First time I been go see that place. Only second time I gotta just painting now. He been show me the water, water running down, from top. ‘Mmm,’ I was say. ‘Good Country!’ He’s open that side and the hill all along. And I was thinking, you know, I can just come back, I was say, you know, looking at this Country. Because like, most I been in Bunuba people [mostly I’ve been living with Bunuba people after marrying a Bunuba man], and I’m come back and telling all the kids – mine now. ‘We gotta go there mummy, we gotta look ‘em one day for uncle Country.’ ‘Yeah,’ I been say. Yeah. All my granny, all my grandchildren, I gotta show them too so they can know the Country! That’s all.

Gotta fire [with fire they burned them], that’s all. [Says sadly,] I was sitting down there and I been say, ‘Well, parr [abbreviated from parri —boy],’ I been say lang [to] my brother, ‘Tell me the story for you.’ [Shakes her head] ‘No,’ he been say. But he been put ‘em down la [on] cassette. Can’t forget. Canning Stock Road. I was there gotta [with] Daniel you know, gonna visit that place. Make a biggest fire, finish right there and keep goin’, in that hole. We bin cryyyyyyyy. Finish. Come out this way now.

END
Video format: DVD/miniDV
Source: CSROH_141_Manmarr_Daisy_Andrews
Rights: Cultural Owner & Storyteller: Manmarr Daisy Andrews; © 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.

Kurpaliny Bessie Doonday

Kurpaliny Bessie Doonday - Barrumundi Dreaming [ORAL HISTORY]
Synopsis: Kurpaliny Bessie Doonday gives a brief description of Barrumundi Dreaming, the Kiki story, and Kiji Country.

Date: 2009-03
Art centre(s): Paruku Indigenous Protected Area
Language spoken: English, Walmajarri
Catalogue number: CSROH_161A_Kurpaliny_Bessie_Doonday
Date: 2009-03
Location Recorded: Mulan
Latitude/Longitude: -20.102778/127.595278

Cultural Protocols: Public Access - Restrictions on Use
Access: Public
Notes: Bessie and her daughter May Stundi (Doonday) explained that this story contains Traditional Knowledge that Raymond Chungulla has the rights to speak for. It is unclear in this transcript what is paraphrased and what is direct quotation.
Full transcript: Barramundi dreaming is Kumirrki’s dreaming. Pirnang pirnang – all the sisters’ Dreaming for barramundi. Kumirrki is mother for Tiger – is also Granny for Bessie and Megan and Lulu, Leonard and Pyes. Kumirrki died at Sturt Creek and Evelyn Clancy’s husband found her there. Ned Cox – Kiki story, Kiki was Ned’s grandfather. The story of the two dingos chasing the emu at Paruku comes from Mangkayi. The white dingo travelled from there. Two dogs been meet ‘emself at Wirriyarra [Well 51].

All the men’s stories were Bessie’s fathers. He passed them on to Bessie’s husband Bill Doonday. Kiji [bone] Country. Snake been eating all the people near Tarngku because they didn’t give the willy wagtail any presents at law time. Evelyn’s husband’s mother used to hide him from drovers – they might take him. Kurliny [wild] Jack family – those cheeky two murderers – Penny K-Lyons husband.

END
Video format: on miniDVD/DVD
Video recording: 151 MONA CHUGUNA, NORA TJOOKOOTJA, BESSIE, MAY AND BILL DOONDAY
Source: CSROH_161A_Kurpaliny_Bessie_Doonday
Rights: Cultural Owner & Storyteller: ; © 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.

Curtis Taylor

Curtis Taylor - Country and Jukurrpa [ORAL HISTORY]
Synopsis: Curtis Taylor talks about home, Country, and Jukurrpa. He also talks about how the Canning Stock Route Project is important because it will tell Martu stories and history.

Date: 2009-10
Art centre(s): CSR Project, Martumili Artists
Language spoken: English
Catalogue number: CSROH_208_Curtis_Taylor
Date: 2009-10
Location Recorded: Parnngurr
Latitude/Longitude: -20.492731/118.537344

Cultural Protocols: Public Access
Access: Public
Full transcript: Carly Davenport: Can you tell me a little bit about where we are?

Curtis Taylor: We are on top of Parngurr hill and yeah.

CD: Mention which town it is.

CT: Parngurr, straight down this here hill, where on top of the hill ... sitting down waiting for the sun to go down.

CD: Can you tell me a little bit about the story of this hill, the history?

CT: Yes I’ll tell you a little bit.

In the 70s - 80s CRA – now known as Rio Tinto, tried to mine this hill, but the Martus saw what was happening. So they build a bus and started moving out from Jigalong, that’s the town, and then they tried to stop the mining company, and more and more Martu came out, started helping with the fight. Then Canning Resources – CRA – they flew around with their choppers, with their blades trying to scare the people. But the people were really hard back then, they didn’t take nothing from anybody. And as more and more Martu came out from Jigalong and helped and ... one night they had their camp on the other side of the hill here, and the wind was blowing hard at night time, and one old fella, he finished now, passed away. Went over that way and light a big fire, and the wind blowing the fire blow it toward the hill here, toward their camp. So they saw the fire coming, then they packed up really quick, then they left. They didn’t come back then, those miners didn’t come back , that’s why we came out here, that’s how Parnngurr was settled by the Martu people, because of the mining, we said no, we don’t want any mining.

CD: So this is how the town was settled in the first place?

CT: Yeah.

CD: There wasn’t anything here before Rio Tinto tried to come in?

CT: Yeah there wasn’t anything here before, just the Country, everyone was in the mission in Jigalong. And that’s one of the time self-determination for Aboriginal people started all around Australia, not just here. That’s the story about how the people came out of Jigalong mission, they wanted to come back to their home land, their Ngurra. They went and started up Punmu first. And from Punmu they started up Parngurrr, and then they started up Kunawarritji. And every community they started, first building it was the school, school was the first building.

CD: And which of these communities do you live in?

CT: I live in Parngurr, Parngurr community, white people call it Cotton Creek.

CD: And are you Martu?

CT: I am a Martu, my old people are Martu, and my grandfather is Martu, my grandmother. My grandmother passed away in Bidyadanga, she was from the Country around [XX - ?]. Country around [XX - ?] Country, around Percival lakes. She was one of the mob that went up north to [XX - ?]. She walked up that way. That’s why ... I grew up in Bidyadanga. But that’s not my home, my home is here in the desert where my old people came from.

CD: And how do you feel that? Is it strong?

CT: I feel that really strong, because no matter where I go, I’ve got somewhere to go back to, somewhere where I feel safe, and where I know I got a place in the community, in the Country, a place for me, where I can feel like, I feel like I’m home, you know. Safe yeah.

CD: Yeah because you know kartiya [white people] they live all over the place, they like to move around, do you think they don’t know what home is?

CT: Yeah they don’t know the sense of ...

CD: I mean can you just explain to them a little bit how you feel and you think about home?

CT: When I feel like home ... first one is like home is like your house, but home to us is like our Country, where our people come from, you know, where our tribal Country is, that’s home to us, so no matter where we go we’ll always come back to that tribal Country. Where old people used to walk around and used to hunt. That’s another way of home you know, and wherever you go you’ll always come back and you’ll always have a sense of belonging in that place. Even if a Martu person come from ... he was born in one little tree in the desert somewhere. And he went up north – first time he seen white fellas – and he went up north or south or east or west and lived on someone else’s Country but you know, he was longing for his Country and wanted to go back but he couldn’t because he might of passed away or he got sick and he had to live on someone else’s land. But after he passed away he’ll always go back to his home, in his spirit – he’ll fly back to his home, even if he die, that’s what we believe, that he’ll go back to his home, fly back and become part of his home if he die, and go back to the water or to the plants.

CD: It sounds like you’re part of the Country and the Country is part of you – not two separate things

CT: No, not two separate – it’s the same. Because before we come to ... we come out through the Country we come out through the dreams. Come out through the Country. And then we live and when we die we come part of the Country you know. That’s what we believe – when we die, we become one with the Country, our spirit goes back. They born and they give you a totem, it might be a bush turkey, a kangaroo or ... a sand goanna or something you know. When you die you’ll turn into that animal, you’ll go back into that animal, your totem, you’ll turn back into that animal.

CD: Didn’t know that’s what it meant for you ... uh oh they’re coming.

CT: Mmm.

CD: Now is there anything you’d like to say that you’d like to tell the audiences when they come and see the Canning Sto ... when they come and see your Country?

CT: The exhibition, first thing I’d like to say is that – the stock route or part of the stock route really it’s not part of my Country – ‘cause that’s where my grandfather or their grandfather, they did walk that Country, they walked there but they didn’t belong to that Country really, so I’m not from that Country. But, when you come and see this Stock Route exhibition, first we’d like to give you a chance to just listen, and come and see – that’s all. Yeah just listen to the stories, hear the songs. See how the Country is, because it’s not empty. There’s a lot of Jukurrpa, a lot of water out here, a lot of animals, a lot of bush tucker. It’s not just empty.

CD: Can you explain what Jukurrpa is to people who don’t understand? Particularly young people, you know your age they don’t know what Jukurrpa is.

CT: Jukurrpa is stories, knowledge, songs, dance, lifestyle, culture. That’s what Jukurrpa is. I’m talkin’ about the world.

CD: So as a young person you’ve got your old people’s Jukurrpa, is there more Jukurrpa coming up? How’s it going to change, is it going to change or will it always be the same?

CT: It will always be the same, in the world that we can’t see but we can sing. And that will always be the same, like what we practice every year. That will be the same. But I hope we’re making our mark today, it becomes our own history, like us today as humans beings. Because Jukurrpa is, there are two kinds of Jukurrpa – one from the spirit how this world was created, how this Country was created, that one that will never change, that will always be the same, that’s the one we practice every Christmas, every when it gets hot around the desert you know, and that will never change – thats Yulurlbidii [?], how it was and how it always will be.

CD: What’s the other one? You said there were two.

CT: The second one (Jukurrpa) is like our history, but what we trying to make today, you know, ‘cause we’ll be finished, we’ll be gone from this place and hope that we made our mark, make our own history.

CD: As young people you mean, as the new ... ?

CT: Yeah. As humans, as humans, not as spirits, young people, old people that are alive today.

CD: It’s pretty exciting time now do you think? Because you know with Native Title you have got your Country back after 200 years of things not going so well, do you think it’s changing?

CT: It’s changing. It’ll never be the same, it’ll change every day. And that’s why I think Martu are all frightened of yuningba [tomorrow]. We can’t see ... and we don’t know what tomorrow is waiting for us, we don’t know that ... what tomorrow is ... only we know, like the past … we know what happened in the past but tomorrow we don’t know what’s going to happen ... so Martu people, we’re living in the now time, present ... we don’t know what tomorrow is gonna bring, might be good, might be bad ... (nods )... yeah.

Last thing I’d like to say ... this exhibition about the Canning Stock Route is really about the history of Australia. It’s gonna be really big and I don’t know if the Martu are ready for this one. It’s too big for anyone to just grab it ... too big ... and I don’t know if we are ready ... Or if the world is ready ... and I don’t know if australia is ready, but this thing you can’t stop it, it’s gonna happen someday and I am really proud that I am working on this project, because it is history. At the end of the day it will be good when all those people who worked on this project ... and all those people that came to the show really understand and appreciate and say ‘thank you’ for telling us this history or letting us know ... that this story has to be told ... Yo.

END
Video format: DVD/MiniDV/Quicktime movie
Video recording: 100 Martu Approvals, Curtis IV, Oct 09
Source: CSROH_208_Curtis_Taylor
Rights: Cultural Owner & Storyteller: Curtis Taylor; © 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.

Wirnpa

Story:Wirnpa the proper boss. Rich. Too many money. Kartiya [white people] can’t get that. We got snake, jila. Can’t touch.' (Jawarta Donald Moko, 2007) Wirnpa was one of the most powerful of the jila men and the last to travel the desert before entering the jila, which bears his name, becoming a snake. Wirnpa’s adventures are celebrated in songs and stories of many language groups. Today, many of these people worry about proposals to mine the country around Wirnpa. Wirnpa was a rainmaker and the last of the jila men to walk around the desert in the Jukurrpa (the Dreamtime). After travelling far from his home, Wirnpa came back to search for his many children only to discover that they had already died. They had laid down and turned into the waterholes of the Percival Lakes. Wirnpa wept for his children and then turned into a snake and entered the waterhole that bears his name. Aboriginal people from language groups across the Western Desert know Wirnpa jila, even if they’ve never been there. The jila lies in Yulparija Country, but as a man Wirnpa travelled such great distances that the songlines which describe his journeys connect him to many groups. As an ancestral hero, Wirnpa is the keeper of different laws and ceremonies, and Aboriginal people from multiple language groups consider the place where he rests a sacred site. Jila like Wirnpa are formidable places, which can be dangerous if they are not approached properly. Aboriginal people enter jila sites ritually, sweeping the ground with branches, and approaching in single file. Elders call out to Wirnpa, announcing their arrival and introducing people who are new to the jila. For many senior people the experience of returning to their Country is highly emotional. 'Jila might make kartiya sick, make a big wind. We been tell him, “Don’t get wild, we all one family for you.”' (Jawarta Donald Moko, 2009) When the people who belonged to Wirnpa left the desert, some went north and eventually settled at Balgo, Mulan, Fitzroy Crossing, Wangkatjungka, Looma, Broome and Bidyadanga. Others went south and settled at Jigalong, Newman, Punmu, Parnngurr and Kunawarritji. Others still went east to Yuendumu and Papunya. Until recently, some of these people had never had the chance to return to their Country but today many people are taking their children and grandchildren to see Wirnpa for the first time. The songlines that pass through Wirnpa travel underground, imbuing the Country with power. The responsibility for these songs, and for the Country itself, is passed down from one generation to the next. Aboriginal people belong to the Country and are its caretakers; when they die, their spirit returns to their Country.

Media Creator:Curtis Taylor

Media date: 2010
Story Location: Wirnpa

Media Description:Martu elders bring their grandchildren to Wirnpa for the first time in 2009.

Story contributor(s):Jawarta Donald Moko, Monique La Fontaine

Art Centre(s): Yulparija Artists, Martumili Artists
Publisher: FORM
Media copyright: FORM
Accession ID:DATE_FORM_MIRA_B0098_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.

Rarrki

Non-Indigenous name: Well 27

Traditional knowledge: The yellow earth in this painting is a mineral, might be gold or uranium. People keep looking at this land hoping to put a mine on it. Mining companies have been looking at this place for a long time. (Jartarr Lily Long, 2008)

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

1906 total depth (m): 7

Current total depth (m): 5

Current quality of well: Derelict

Current quality of water: Clear, no smell, a bit salty

Current depth to water: 3

Current depth of water: 1.7

Total dissolved salts (ppm): 1400

PH level: 8.6

PH level date: 2002
-22.79475/123.64439
Related art centre(s): Other

Media title: Rarrki, 2007
Media creator: Jartarr Lily Long
Date: 2008

Media description: Painting by Lily Long titled 'Rarrki'.
Media Copyright: Jartarr Lily Long
Format: Image
Accession ID: FORM_MIRA_B0088_0018

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

Natawalu

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.
-21.66779/125.78843
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.

Wirnpa


Place description: Wirnpa was one of the most powerful of the jila men and the last to travel the desert before entering the jila, which bears his name, becoming a snake. Wirnpa’s adventures are celebrated in songs and stories of many language groups. Today, many of these people worry about proposals to mine the country around Wirnpa.

Wirnpa was a rainmaker and the last of the jila men to walk around the desert in the Jukurrpa (the Dreamtime). After travelling far from his home, Wirnpa came back to search for his many children only to discover that they had already died. They had laid down and turned into the waterholes of the Percival Lakes. Wirnpa wept for his children and then turned into a snake and entered the waterhole that bears his name.

Aboriginal people from language groups across the Western Desert know Wirnpa jila, even if they’ve never been there. The jila lies in Yulparija Country, but as a man Wirnpa travelled such great distances that the songlines which describe his journeys connect him to many groups. As an ancestral hero, Wirnpa is the keeper of different laws and ceremonies, and Aboriginal people from multiple language groups consider the place where he rests a sacred site.

Jila like Wirnpa are formidable places, which can be dangerous if they are not approached properly. Aboriginal people enter jila sites ritually, sweeping the ground with branches, and approaching in single file. Elders call out to Wirnpa, announcing their arrival and introducing people who are new to the jila. For many senior people the experience of returning to their Country is highly emotional.

When the people who belonged to Wirnpa left the desert, some went north and eventually settled at Balgo, Mulan, Fitzroy Crossing, Wangkatjungka, Looma, Broome and Bidyadanga. Others went south and settled at Jigalong, Newman, Punmu, Parnngurr and Kunawaritji. Others still went east to Yuendumu and Papunya. Until recently, some of these people had never had the chance to return to their Country but today many people are taking their children and grandchildren to see Wirnpa for the first time.

The songlines that pass through Wirnpa travel underground, imbuing the Country with power. The responsibility for these songs, and for the Country itself, is passed down from one generation to the next. Aboriginal people belong to the Country and are its caretakers; when they die, their spirit returns to their Country.

Traditional knowledge: Wirnpa the proper boss. Rich. Too many money. Kartiya [white people] can’t get that. We got snake, jila. Can’t touch. (Jawarta Donald Moko, 2007)

Jila [like Wirnpa] might make kartiya sick, make a big wind. We been tell him, “Don’t get wild, we all one family for you.” (Jawarta Donald Moko, 2009)

Related art centre(s): Other

Media title: Greeting Wirnpa
Media creator: Curtis Taylor
Date: 2010

Media description: Martu elders bring their grandchildren to Wirnpa for the first time in 2009
Media Copyright: Curtis Taylor
Format: Video
Accession ID: 20131016_FORM_MIRA_B0089_0006

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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