Nora Wompi - five painting stories [ORAL HISTORY]
Synopsis: Nora Wompi tells five painting stories.
Art centre(s): Martumili Artists
Language spoken: Martu Wangka
Catalogue number: CSROH_114_Nora_Wompi
Translated By: Ngalangka Nola Taylor
Location Recorded: Kunawarritji (Well 33)
Cultural Protocols: Public Access - Verbal Consent
Full transcript: 91x91cm Papul – painting story
This is where the eagle was eating the baby kangaroo and then kept on going, see T353 on 21/04/08. Painting also shows Kartarru.
T353 – painting story
This is a rockhole called Wanmulpungku (lit. tearing it apart).
This is Pupul, it’s on the other side of Jariyaltu [Jariyaltu is close to the road between Punmu and Kunawarritji, from Kunawarritji, the ‘other side’ is the western side].
This is Wapungukurangu [?], [belonging to the eagle]. The eagle was eating kangaroo here. There’s a big snake here.
This is Jarj, it’s northeast of Kunawarritji.
Right next to [the well at] Kunawarritji there used to be a yinta with a snake, Kunawarritji is a jila. [The old soak is very close to the windmill, tank etc].
The eagle took half of the kangaroo [from Wapungukurangu] and carried it to Jarrayatung, where it finished eating it.
In the Dreamtime, the eagle used to eat little joeys and other baby animals. The Eagle used to travel back and forth, taking little ones, tearing them apart and eating them. That Eagle used to eat the little joeys. It used to travel along, and stop in places like Juntujuntu on the Canning Stock Route.
T353 – Painting 135 – painting story
This is a rockhole that was made in the Dreamtime. These – the Kanapurta – are the stars in the sky, which have been there since the Dreamtime. [Nola: in the Seven Sisters story, all the people who went up into the sky are Kanapurta, they are stars now].
I was a little baby here at the rockholes of Kunawarritji and Naturri. I also lived around the rockholes I said before [i.e. Wanmulpungku [lit. tearing it apart], Pupul, Jariyaltu, Jarj, Jarrayatung]. Naturri lies to the west of Kunawarritji, it’s a jurnu [a soak]. There are other stories for those places, but I don’t want to talk about them. They are kurunnyirrin [closed]. I painted all the little hills around that area, in the Dreamtime, they were all squeezed out of the soft earth, people made them.
[Wompi painted several kinds of berries in amongst the Dreamtime story of the rockholes and hills:]
Minyiri is a special kind of berry from the sandhills. We also used to get jinjiwirni and kampurangu [both bush berries]. We also got mangarta [quandongs] at Walawala. They’re good tucker.
Notes from recording T353 – painting story
Walawala jila used to be a yinta (permanent water source) but th e whitefellas dug it up and used it as a well. Kunkun, which features in this painting. The story for this Country is the Marlu Jukurrpa (Kangaroo Dreaming). Yunapayi jila is a permanent source which was made in the Dreamtime by the Seven Sisters. The painting also contains Yarturti (a lake) and Mulyakurtu, another permanent water source. These water sources are situated in warrarn, open Country, where people can see a long way.
[Description: The darkest blue set of nesting rectangles represents Walawala jila. If the painting is orientated so that Walawala is in the top left hand corner, then a straight orange bar, situated immediately below an orange bar and a set of semi-circles represent Kunkun. At the very bottom of the painting, on the left hand side, is Yunapayi jila. On the right hand edge of the painting, the orange rectangle is Mulyakurtu yinta, and the rectangle immediately below, with the pale blue centre, is Yarturti.]
T357 – Seven Sisters Story – painting story
Yurla was chasing after the Seven Sisters. The Seven Sisters can be seen [today] in the form of a group of trees between Nyipil and Kunawarritji [these appear in the painting]. The Seven Sisters made a kumbu [urinated] near the camp. They grabbed hold of the man [Yurla].
At Parnkapini: The man was sleeping flat out, with his belly on the ground. He made a ladder to climb to get to the Seven Sisters who were up above him. They would wait for him to climb up a little and then they would push his ladder over and watch him fall. The ladies – the Seven Sisters – who came from Roebourne, they watched the man sleeping [he used to sleep flat out, with his belly on the ground].
The man got up from his sleep, made a kumbu near his camp. He grabbed hold of one of the women and he slept with her [raped her]. The other ladies tried to help their sister escape, but they couldn’t free her. They stood in a long line and teased the man. Then they made a kumbu on the man, 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. They were in the sky, calling and teasing him, but whenever he went close to them they pushed him over. He still couldn’t see anything and they could just knock him down.
Yurla got up suddenly and ran after the women, trying to get a hold of any one of them, but they pushed him to the ground again. They waited on top of a sandhill and he stayed on the low ground, looking up at them. They kept on teasing him and he was still trying to grab any one of them. He became tired and fell down and then he crawled on his stomach. He crawled a long way and then slept, and while he was asleep, the Seven Sisters all flew away.
They flew from here to Lurunpunkunja, but the man didn’t know that. He looked around but couldn’t see them anywhere. Then he got up and walked towards the east. He was trying and trying and trying [this is the song at the end].
All the other things in this picture are trees.
Rights: Cultural Owner & Storyteller: Nora Wompi; © 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.