Injalak Arts, Gunbalanya NT
Cooee Gallery, Sydney NSW
We find ngalmangiyi (Long Necked Turtles, Chelodina rugosa) in open areas like flood plains. Women will go out looking for “mim”, the small holes the turtles breathe through as they lie buried under the mud. In the old days, women would take a digging stick called “kunbarlkbu”, which they sharpened so it would penetrate the mud. Nowadays women fashion turtling sticks from old pieces of metal, which they sharpen and make wooden handles for. These are called “kubba” (from the English “crowbar”). If the stick makes a knocking sound when it goes into the mud, people know there is a turtle there. People take the turtles and cook them on the fire or in ground ovens, opening them up to eat them. The best times for hunting turtle are the six or so months after Kudjewk (the monsoon season) that occurs in the beginning of the year.
There is a Long-Necked Turtle Dreaming site in Gunbalanya, at the base of the large rocky hill called Nimbabirr to the northeast of the town.
Ngalbu Ngalmangiyi ngalka karrinan karrimang kore kubolkwarlahken kunred kore kabbal kayo Morlehmorlenj daluk nawu ngad bininj birrirey kabbal mim birriyawani. Birrikani kunbarlkbu kundulk birrimangi birrimirrhmarnbuni bu korroko dja bolkkime kubba wirlmurr nawu balanda marnbom. Birrirey birrimangi birrikani birriworrhmi kunak birrikinjeyi birrikomngukmangi birriwilkdengi rungi djolengmeni birriwayhkeyi birrimarrhmangi birringuni. Kondah Ngalmangiyi Djang kahdjangdi kore kahwarderri Nimbabirr kore kanjdjihkanjdji kore kuwardedume kahdjangdi Ngalmangiyi.
(Text: Andrew Manakgu, Injalak Arts)Share