Tuesday, May 11, 2021  
News & Updates

Street in ACT named after Emily Hornville
Horneville Street, Forde (ACT)

Our Land

Location of Muruwari mayi (lands).

Nganti ngurrampa.
"This is my birthplace".

The Culgoa, Darling, Barwon, Warrego and Paroo Rivers are part of our mayi. The ancestral beings created the tungkun (rivers), wartu ngapa wartu (waterholes), kakuru (lagoon), nhirrpurl (springs), and gave us everything in our mayi. We call upon our spirit god, pitangulu  to bring us everything in our mayi. Without our mayi, we have nothing. We are  nungu (nothing there or empty)

By ensuring our mayi is marrinj (good), we could have plenty of witji (food), manu (vegetable), ngapa (water), and pitara ngapa (sweet water). Our mayi has hundreds of special yawi (plants), witji (animals), and witji witji (birds). These form part of kinship system, our stories, and our totems.

Witji (Animals)

Witji are our kapul-kapul (old people). Maliyan (wedgetail eagle), kaan (carpet snake), kukay (possum), panngala (fish), or kula (kangaroo) names are given to us at birth. Muruwari people thala wala (not eat) their witji (because it was like eating your own flesh). 

Some of our witji are now thirri (gone or extinct).  Thangku ( Macrotis lagotis ) is gone from our mayi . Wala nhaarayita thangku, wala wartu pitjina tiinji  (no see or hear bilby, no more dig a burrow). 

Witji Witji (Birds)

Puthuul (brolga) gave us our witji names. We tell stories about witji witji. Puthuul taught Muruwari people about wii (fire), kirra (galah), and kuwinj.

There are lots of witji witji in Muruwari mayi. 

Witji witji ngapa wartu (water birds) - pakarr-pakarr (wood duck), thipaayu (whistling duck), tarrawaya (teal duck), thukalipanj (spoonbill), tulayita (pelican), parrima (swan), kawilanj (water hen), tangkara (silver gull), kuyulpirra (darter).

Witji witji palaa (birds of the plains) - puthuul (brolga), ngurrunj (emu), kiyiira (plains turkey), karuwaka (kookaburra), karang-karang-kuku (plover), wilu (curlew), pintitaaru (apostle birds), turril (bower bird), yapal-yapal (top-knot pigeon), marnpil (bronze-wing pigeon).

Witji witji yuurrintja (night birds) - nirin (owl), kurr kurr (mopoke), yawuru (yellow-mouth owl).

Witji witji kalatharri (hunting birds) - muliyan (wedge-tail eagle), yuyil-yuyil (whistling kite).

introduced birds (e.g. starling, swallow, sparrow).

Waan (Trees) and Yawi ( Plants )

Waan and Yawi are important to us for witji and manu, karti (medicine), making things, ceremony, and using yawi to trap witji.

thurral (pigweed) was our staple food. The little seeds were used to make puluwu (flour). Mukinj (women) would go out on to the plain and collect a big lot of thurral seeds and then grind them in to flour.

thawinj thawinj (nardoo) was another of our staple food. It grows in the swamps and low areas of the rivers and creeks of our mayi. Kawinj says that this plant was responsible for killing the Explorers, Burke and Wills. We knew that  kurra kurra had to be washed to remove the toxins in it.

muurayu tikintja tampa, which means, ...I cooked the damper in the ashes of the fire.

kuwirnpulu (emu bush) was our medicine. It cured our skin problems such as sores and boils.

paayilinj (Cypress pine tree) is important to us. Paayilinj is found on the yuwura (sandhills).  We ate the gum from Paayilinj and it provided shade.

pinkaku thanaylaa pinkangku, this means that, ...we gather pinewood for making fire. The pinewood sparks and spits in the fire but it is good wood for lighting a fire, especially on cold mornings or during wet weather.

Kunpuru (currant bush) is found near Goodooga. Kunpuru is used to camouflage mayinj when they are attracting ngurrunj (emu) in to a nhunpalkuyu (hide).