Stories in Jiwarli 5

Today’s post presents another story in Jiwarli with English translation, told to me by Jack Butler on 3rd November 1983 and explained on 16th May 1984. There is information about the Jiwarli spelling.

Galah and Little Corella

This story describes how bilyarndi Galah (Cacatua roseicapilla) (also called ‘pink and grey’) comes to have a flat head and a red chest, and why there is ochre to be found in the Kennedy Ranges. He was hit by ngarnawarra Corella (Cacatua (Licmetis) sanguinea) (also called ‘white cockatoo’) and the ochre he carried on his head spilled over him. The story takes place at minyimardabarnti in the Kennedy Ranges. This is in Tharrgari traditional territory.


Galah (left) and Little Corella (right)

Bilyarndi yananyjarni gawaribarndi mardarrjaga barnanggurajaga. Ngarnawarradhu ngunha wanggaja. Wandhalurru nhurralu ganyanha mardarrbanha. Ngadha ganyanha wardandari. Nyirnda nhurralu wandhanma. Ngunhi nhurralu wandhanma wirlgangga barlungga. Warri nhurralu ganyama yinha ngulabarndi gawaribarndi yiluba bilyarndilu. Ngunha bambandhi wanggajalu bilyarndila yananyja ngunha mulhararru. Ngarlburrinyja mulhararru wirlgangga gumbayi marrgarringu. Wanajaga marrgarringu gumbaja. Wandharru ngunha. Guwardimanda yananyjarni barnanggaji wunarringurru ngunha barnanggaji mandhardaburradhu bilyarndidhu. Nhugurru ngunha wirlgawurru warndijarni. Budhirninyja ngunhiba ngarnawarralu barna. Mardarrba ngunhilaba warninyja nyirnda warngarndarru. Ngunharru ngunha guwardi gumbinha warngarnma birndiwiirru. Barna ngunha bimbirru yirrararru. Malhurlarninyjarru. Mardarrba warninyja ngunha ngarlungga bujungga. Ngunha gumbinha birndiwiirru banhalurru bilyarndi budhirninyjabarndi mardarrjaganha. Mardarrba ngunha ngurndinhamanda ngunhiba wirlgangga guwardi ngunhiba budhirninyjabarndi.


Galah came from west with red ochre on his head. Little Corella said: “Where are you carrying the red ochre to?” “I am carrying it to the east” Galah replied. Little Corella said: “Put it here. You put (it) there in the gap in the hills! Don’t you carry it from the west there, Galah.” After he couldn’t convince Galah he ran ahead. He ran ahead to sit in the gap and wait. He sat waiting with a yam stick. Little Corella said: “Where is he now? He is still coming now carrying it on his head taking a long time, that Galah man.” He came up close to the gap now. Little Corella hit him on the head there. Red ochre fell here all over his chest. That’s why now his chest is red. His head is flat on top. He made a hole. The red ochre fell all over his stomach. Now Galah is red because he was hit while carrying the red ochre. Red ochre is still there in the gap today because Galah was hit there.

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