Saturday, February 24, 2007

A note relevant to two pasts

"The recorded conversation took place at Kankiritja quarry and explains some of the general unrestricted Dreaming stories associated with the site. The names of the two men talking are Nuggett Collins Japarta (NC) and Abby Thomas Jungala (AT). The taped conversation has been edited slightly to remove irrelevant material and to help clarify some points.
NC: Pelican history.
AT: Pelican you call him. We call him wallambee.
NC: That's where they been coming here [pointing around to the quartzite outcrops]. Land on this place. That's why they call Kankiritja [means pelican landing place].
AT: Kankiritja this one now. That's his knife [pointing to a blade]. Pelican been have this. Cut anything or kill someone. And he used to have that spear, that mouth he got now, that pelican [showing how two blades, one on top of the other, makes the shape of a pelican's beak].
NC: That's the one pelican Dreaming, this one [points to a blade]. Pelican been come in, land here. Well this is the stone he made.
AT: He made him for knife. We call him giru [local name for the leilira blade].
NC: Three names; giru, jabiri, maruba [different languages]. This one now. Pelican been land here. Oh, big mob. Million. That why the hill over there. That why the big hill right there, round and round. All this, all the way along. Some over there where we went this morning. This way. Keep going thataway and some big hill there now. This a pelican Dreaming. That's why he been come in. Make Dreaming stone."

Robert Paton: Speaking through stones: a study from northern Australia; World Archaeology 26 (2); pp. 177 ff.(1994)


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