Maggie Ginger, Mining

Palaja ngurnungu karlikinyiyi kara again, kara karlikinyiyi. Palanga wani-waninyiyirni, palanga muwarrpirninganaku, ‘Jipawu! Yankuluminyirla milpanyanganaku. Yankuluminyirla’. Palanga kalkurn-kalkurniyinganinyi muwarrpirniyinganaku jintapirniyinganinyi, jinta ngatu, jinta marnti. Yanayirni, yanayirni ngurnungu wanikinyiyirni palanga. Nyirni-nyirnikinyiyirni nganimarta narnngulakuriny ngananyikinyiyirni purlpi nganarna marntiman now. Palinyju jakarnju again yanikinyinganaku manikinyinganinyi palaja. Palanga now wurujarrinyikinyiyirni Moolyella-nga. Ngurnarrija mayarrangu mayarrangu wurujarrinyiyirni palanga now. Palanga waninyiyirni yanayirni. Palaja palanga wani-waninyiyirni yanayirni. Palinyju kukujarrilu again warrukartilu mananganinyi Narnkawarulu mananganinyi. Mananganinyi ngurnungukarti Pilykunkurakarti. Palakarti now winyajinikinyinganinyi marrngu. Palanga waninyiyirni, jinta wariny yanayi kakarra, Purlupakarti. Palanga now winyajinikinyinganinyi, jampa like wani-wanikinyiyirni. Palaja kulpanyiyirni yapin-yapinikinyiyirni palanga, warnkurrangupa waninyaku nyarra mayiku winyajirnirna. Palaja kulpanyikinyiyirna, wanikinyiyirni wanikinyiyirni, palanga wanikinyiyirni palanga karralukala parrjarnirni nyungurli marrngurrangu jinta yaninyayi. Yirrirniyirnijaninyi palanga manayirnijaninyi winyajirniyirna palanga wanikinyiyirni now nganarna. Ngatu-purluka pala-purluka waninyikinyiyirni, palanga wani-waninyiyirni. Ngaju ngurrara now wanikinyirni, pala-purluka warrkamujinikinyirni palanga tiyin.

Palaja yanayirni, palanga wani-waninyiyirni Wirrinyungunga. Wirrinyungungu yapirniyirni tiyin, sell’m-jinikinyiyirna mayipa manayirna yurntarapa martumpirri manikinyirna palaja now. Sell’m-jinikinyiyirni palanga now yinganyikinyiyirnili walypilanga. Palaja now kanganyikinyinganaka mayi tiyin pala yapinikinyiyirni. Puruyiji wanikinyiyirni nganarna mayimajirri. Yapinikinyiyirna palanga warntamarnayinganinya, ‘Yapili, yapili, yawu. Nganijalu ngapi? Yaninyanyurru marntijakun? Money jilkunya. Warnkumartapa mankuluminyi.’ Yijaniny palanga waninyiyirni purukurra little-bit yinyanganinya warnku pala-time.

Mirtikarti yawartakarti yanayirni Ngarukarti. Palanga mob again marrnguku jintaku again maninyaku. That nyungu mob karakurti, jinta wariny. Nyarni side-jaku yanayijanaku. Palanga manayijaninyi muwarrja kalkurniyijaninyi finish; ‘milpulunyurru.’ Pala-time yawarta time. Manayijaninyi marrngu, finish. Yija yajarniyi pala-time. Wanikinyiyirni pala now ngarramarnti now, waninyayi nyarra nyungurrangu that one karakurti mob manayijaninyi, nganarna jipi. Kakarrakurtija manayinganinyi palaja yanayirni palakarti.

Pala jipi now kakuputu waninyilpiyirni. Kulijarrinyilpiyirna yija mayapa, manayirna yija now mayapa warnkupa maninyayirna. Nyungu waninyayirni mayi now maninyayirna self. Manikinyiyirni, manikinyiyirna self, milpanyikinyinganaku murtakanga kanganyikinyinganaka. Yija waninyarni nyungu nyarrangalanga.


They started mining at another place over to the west (at Pilgangoora). We were there for a while when someone called out to us, ‘Finish up now! Let’s go, he’s coming for us. We’ve got to go now’. They took us into a meeting to talk to us about splitting up into different groups, one to stay here, and another one to go on. We went on further out and camped there.

We used to scoop out a whole lot of honey and eat it before setting out on a journey. At that time he [McLeod] used to come in stealthily to take us away. We were all gathered together at Moolyella; we’d come in from all the different stations out there, we came in and lived there. McLeod came in secretly at night to pick us up. He took us all the way to Pilgangoora. That place was full of us marrngu now. We stayed there while some others went on to Blue Bar. He had brought us all there, one lot at a time. We stayed there and went back to yandying and made a lot of money to buy food with. One day when we had come back to where we were camping, while we were there I saw a whole lot of other people coming in. We saw them and took them in, our camp was getting really full. We stayed there then, we were living there and I felt that I belonged to that place now. We lived there and worked the tin deposits.

Then we went on and lived at Cooglegong, and yandied for tin there. We used to sell the tin for food; we’d buy flour to make damper. We used to sell it on to the whitefellow, and he used to get food for us, for the tin that we’d yandied. Before that we couldn’t get any food. We were yandying when they told us off: ‘yandy, keep yandying; why are you lot just walking around? Let’s make some money, we can get lots of money’. We were living properly now, and we were earning the little bit of money that we made.

We went off to the races in Port Hedland then, in order to get another group of marrngu, the people who lived over in the west [in the Port Hedland district]. They went in to get them from over this side. They got them together to have a meeting, at the end of which they said, ‘Come with us, you lot’. That was at the races. They got those people, and they came back with us to our camp. So we were there for good, now. So now those people that they’d got from the west were there, as well as getting all of us who had come in to there from the east.


Audio: Maggie Ginger, tape 3, side A, recorded by Anne Scrimgeour, South Hedland, 19 May 1993, soundfile Nyirrarlpi 19, Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Library.
Photo: Maggie Ginger, photo by Norman Tindale, South Australian Museum, AA346/4/22/1 Pilgangoora R485.

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