Martu Wangka: collecting elders’ stories

Kujungkarringu-yajananya kuwarri-kuwarringulyu Kunawarijijanu Punmujanukamu rangerkaja kuulmaluparakukamu Parnngurrja yatilkajawana rangerkajawana nintirrikija recordamukija wangka yatilmili.

Japirnu-lajungku, Wanyjal-mankura-lajanampa kanyilkuranku-ya jiji marlajanulu wangka walyja wulu? Wajarnu-ya yatilkajalu, paintingkaja, wangkakaja, recordingkaja. Kuju-ya. Ninti-ra ngurraku. Yilta-ya kanyilkuranpa jiji marlajanulu. Wangka-lajanampa mangunyjanu juku-juku jijikajaku yungkura – light oneswiyayiju! Yarrkalpa wangka – wilyki, kuka, mirrka warrarnja. Tipinyku-ra ninti – marlu jungan paarninyjaku pankapunginyjaku. Wuulpipulkaja-ngkuya yangpalakajakamu kujungka wangkakuranpa – pujiman wangka ya kanyilkuranku kutungkajanulu marlajanulukamu. Wangkangumarranypa-lajura nintiku walyjaku martukaja yatilkaja rangerskaja. Recordamukura-la ngaa wangka kuwarrijanu!

Kayila-ya nintirringunangu recordamukijakaja yangpalakaja. RNLDmalulu-pulajananya Linguistkujarralu Melbournejanulu nintirnu kutungkajanukajangka. Kinti-yajananya yatilkajangka nintirrira recordamupayi wangka yatilmili pujiman wangka. Pantirrpa-ya nintirringu rawaparni murlpirrarringu recorderkurlu! Ka-langku rukarrira japirnu martukajangka, wanyjalmankura-la yungunpa? Martukurranyilu-ya kujungkalu wajarnu, Kunti-kuntikutu la warntikura yintakutu Karlamilyingkakutu!

Karrpuwati-laju Parnngurrjanu Kunti-kuntikutu warntingu. Kunti-kuntikutungka-laju Kurta-kurta nyangu linyji. Wajarnu-janampaya warrinyji-warrinyjikajaku ngilypikajaku wangka yatilju pujimanjanu. Karlkilu-ya jiiwiyayiju kurta-kurta nyangu numbamanu – wirla pukurlarringuminyirri yilta nyanginyja jamumili yaparlimili ngurra Kurta-kurta!

Palujanu-laju Kunti-kuntingka warinykatingu. Jampa-laju warinykatingu, ngarrurringu-ya Martukaja recordamukijakaja! Jiimarntu-yajananya yatilwanarringu wangka yatilmili pujiman wangka recordamulpayi warrinyji-warrinyjilu ngilypikajalu!

Parntirrpa-ya recordamungu yatilmili wangka murlpirrju ngarrulu! Pujiman wangka-ya pujiman ninti kanyinmalpa kuwarrijanulu marlajanulukamu! Martukurranyilu-nyurra nintipukalungulyu nantirrju kanyirninpa wangka walyja – wuluku!

Martu looking after the languages they belong to!

Martu rangers and staff from Punmu and Kunawarritji schools came together recently (alongside many rangers and elders in Parnngurr) to learn and record elders’ language and stories.

They first asked each other, “what should we do so that future generations can keep holding onto the languages the belong to forever?” The answers were:

  • knowledge of country and of all the special places on country to which Martu belong.

  • younger generations need to keep looking after this knowledge.

  • knowledge about collecting food – about seed food, hunting, and plant-food on-country.

  • the young people need to learn about how to prepare and properly cook animals.

  • young people and old people need to be together talking – today’s middle generations and the future generations that follow them need to keep holding onto the messages, words and languages of the pujiman.

Two linguists from the RNLD (Resource Network for Linguistic Diversity) in Melbourne taught all the young and middle-aged people how to make recordings. The young people were quickly confident with the recorders and were recording the pujiman language and stories of the old people. Later in the afternoon everyone asked each other what we should do the following day. Together the group decided that they should travel to Kunti-kunti – an extremely important and permanent water place in Karlamilyi river.

The next day the group set off to Kunti-kunti and stopped on the way and checked on Kurta-kurta claypan. Some of the elders shared pujiman stories. For some of the young people, it was the first time visiting this place. They were filled with a happy and good feeling, seeing the home of their grandparents and ancestors for the first time.

The next stop was Kunti-kunti. As soon as the group arrived, the young people were all energetic and ready to record the elders’ pujiman stories and language.

Everyone worked hard to record stories, so that today’s and future generations will keep on holding onto pujiman language, stories and knowledge. It’s Martu who hold onto Martu expertise, and Martu are in front, holding onto and looking after the languages that they belong to, forever!