The weather’s great, pollution’s down, just a few whispy clouds. A few people were out running yesterday, and the Houston Chronicle mentioned in passing in a story that someone was boarding up windows while his friend was wielding a leaf-blower. Yes, 24 hours before land-fall of a category 4 hurricane with 100 miles, someone is leaf-blowing.
In honour of the occasion, a cyclone story from North Australia. One is from N. Isaac, about her father. I don’t have time for a detailed explanation, but it’s tied up with her father’s status as a doctor man (kind of similar to “shaman”, mutatis mutandis). This is the prose version of some of the events which are the subject of Blly Ah Choo’s ilma. There are some pictures of the dance paraphernalia and a brief explanation here.
Ngay moorrooloomarr ngay. Arroodoo irrjarmilj inalabanamoorda ngay, Roy, Tom.
This story happened when I was little. There were three of us; me, Roy and Tom.
Gooyarrajinirr aala gala boordijordirr, LovelyAnn agal ara.
There were two other, older children, LovelyAnn and another one (who has now passed away).
Gamininyarr ingarralananirr, irralboora injoonalbalirr gooyarra, arroodoo minyjin angarralana. Tom milarra roowil innyana.
Two of us went with our grandmother. Tom went elsewhere for a while.
Aralga, “barda arr ngandan ngoorrij goorlilngan,” injoonoojin birijard gooloonimjard.
One day, our father said to our mother, “Tomorrow I’ll go for turtle.”
Baaligid injarrmin mooyoon gaalwanyarr. Ginyinggon gaalwanyarr bardo nyoonoo, bornkonyib injoon aalga ginyingg nyoonoo gaalwanyarr barda.
He got up in the morning and went off with his raft.
Iwanyigo barda injoonoo nyoonoo, inganana Gardiny.
He went from Sunday Island and came this way, then he stopped on Swan Island.
Oondoordoo ninga boora ginyinggalboora lalin.
It was married turtle time, lalin time,
Inganan injalana oondoord bardab.
He saw where a pair of turtles were
Inoongoorribin inamboon, inamana garndi.
He chased them, speared one and put it up on top (of the raft).
Biila boor injalanajin ara, gooyarrangan manjanirr barda.
He also saw another one, and went to get this second one.
Injalanana biila balab, inoongoorribin biila inamboonoo gala, inamboonoo gooyarra.
He saw it too, and chased it and speared it dead, that second one.
Nyalabgid riyar injoonoo gala joordarrar, nyalab o, darr inarna Biyana.
He paddled, drifting with the tide, and arrived at Biyana.
Ingarral injalanirr jiib ingarranana Joondoowarr agal Iman, “Balab jirr yo, janamboorgoord darr minar,” ingirrinijin.
He saw Joondoowarr and Iman moving. “Where are you going?” they asked him.
“Arra gala arr ngandan barda booroo iyoordinjan gaarra yanboorany injij gala bardamba arr nganki,” injoonoojin.
“Oh, I’m coming in on the tide this way, I’m going over the other side,” he said.
“Arra dii anib,” ingirrinijin, ingarrana dii.
“Have a cup of tea,” they said. They gave him tea.
Ginyinggon yar injoonoo barda gala yanboorany gaarra gala dirray imbanjin barda injoordinan.
Then he paddled on to the other side, then the tide turned and started going out.
Nyoon injoonoo barda barr nyoonoo min, “Mardojo jarrgany ngankam,” injoonoojin.
Then he thought to himself, “I’ll cross over from Mardaj.”
Nyalab injalana janjal way innyanajin.
Then he saw a tropical storm coming up.
Ginyinggon inoongooloongool bard jooroornim agal oolanim inggalalan boolngoorroo Jayirri agal Jalan.
Then the wind and water hit him, and followed him between Jayirri and Jalan.
Bard injoonoo, nyinmin jin “Oonggalgoon goona alngarda daaba ngankiny,” injoonoojin.
He went off and said to himself, “I’ll climb into the backwater behind Oonggalgoon.”
Nyalab way innyanajin barrboogoon.
Then a storm from the East came up on him.
Inoongooloonagid barda jarranymadan. Nyoonoomb inoongooloona gaarra ginyinggi goorlil gala inoongooloonirr gala ninga mooyoon ninga inamboonarrirr.
It threw him this way. It hit the water and the turtle until morning.
Nyoonoo… jarranyjarrany gala boolngoorroo jiiba, barni Joowanan Moorroodooloon nyinkidi Gardiny boolngoorroo.
Now, he went right out to the open sea; between Joowanan and Moorroodooloon and Gardiny (Swan Point).
Inangganan yanboorany gala inggardin jin aalga.
When the sun set, he was over the other side.
Nyoonoo inanggana barda nyoon Gooljimankid nyoonoo doob injiidinan noorroo mara nyoonoo, inanggalana jarrany.
The lighthouse at Gooljiman was flashing far away – he was out in the open sea.
Nyalab iniminjina gala gaalwa arjin joonyjoljinirr. Joonyjol gala inoonggoordalanirr nirronggorrol gard inanggananirr.
He looked after his raft and the joonyjol (the bottom part of the raft). The joonyjol was gone but his still had the nirronggorrol (the top part that comes off for dugong).
Gambana gal injalgoon oolanim iniminyjin gaarranim alalgoordnim.
He lost his paddle, the water and the wind and the sea really beat him.
Nyalabmadan dirray imbanyjin gaarra nyalabmadan arr injoonana gala, gaarranim inangganan.
Then the water turned him around and he was swept back.
Arrijin gambani yarngan.
He didn’t have a paddle to row with.
Nyoon inangganana nyalab jarr injalana jiiba loo anggooboor. Nyinba injalana.
Then it brought him this way, and he saw the big tidal current. He saw it there.
Barnimin gardilba jardagarr injoonjin ginyingg joorrboongan mayoon barda, arra inggalalan niimbala, gaara ginyinggi Oorroondoon, ranamba lool iyardin ambooriny, arra gorna gaara ginyinggi.
He thought it was a sand bank to land on, but it wasn’t. As soon as he put his feet into it, straightaway he sank; it was quicksand. It wasn’t good sand.
Barda boogoonngan ngooboo gaara.
He sank into the really soft sand.
Joomboor inggardin nilar, lagal ingganyina garndi.
He went in up to his calf, then he climbed out.
Manyardnim alig injoona iniibinan oola garndiyoonb ooly inarnan.
He was really thirsty, and the water was pouring down.
Nyalab inanggarndi biilab nyalab injoon biil anggooboor, Gardiny nyalab.
This way he went, he passed Gardiny.
Nirirr jarr injoonoo o:
He stopped nearby
Bardigid inanggana gala nyoon Iwanyko loo barda.
He came back on the big current that goes through Iwany.
He did this.
Boolginyi Ralooraloo barda injoonoo.
He passed Boolginy and Ralooraloo.
Nyoonoomin barda dirray inarna.
Then he got turned round.
He went past Giidagoon.
Lool inggardin boogoonkony bardamadan inanggan gaarranim biila.
The tide brought him back on the inside.
Nirirr jarra Lirringg injoonoo barda.
Lirringg was close by.
Nyoonoo Arragoolgoonko morr injoonoo bard gard inangganana, arrijin gamban daaba bool innyan agal ginyinggala loogal injoon gaarra, rarrban garrard ninga injarrmina.
Now it took him down the passage from Arragoolgoon, but he didn’t have a paddle to steer to the shore with and it was a bad tide, the sun was just coming up.
Ariyoon aalga jamb joodinykom arinyji mooyoo gardamb inanggalanan gaarragoon gardamb loogal injoon.
He’d been at sea for a day and he felt really bad.
Nilarnimid niimala gala imbanyini.
His legs and hands were really bad.
Bard inanggananirr jarr o: Irrgarnkilgoon morr injoonoo barda.
He was on the way to Irrgankilgoon.
Nyoonoo Goondoorrngan injoonoo nyalab, Jaany Ombornon roorrbroorrb inimbinirr booroo.
Now here was Goondoorrngan, he passed Jaany Ombornon.
Daabangan manyin gala arra nimoonggoon, “arra daaba ngaliny,” injoonoojin.
He didn’t know how to climb up, “I can’t climb up,” he thought.
Bardamin lool inggardin nyoonoo Garnanan, anggi binbirr inkarnyina garndi jinirr gaalwa goolboon.
Next he entered Garnanan, he drifted into this place and got his raft onto a rock.
“Jarri gardo daab ngannya.” Yardab injoonoo barda ingalandan garragarr inimbin nilar.
“I’ll go ashore here.” He climbed ashore here and sat down and rubbed his legs to stop the pain.
Garragarr inimbirr ginyinggo daab innyana garrinngan.
He rubbed his legs and then he climbed up to the hill.
Nyoonoo injoonoo garrin baawanim darr inarnanajin, moorrooloonim baawa raya “jibarna angajima bardag.” Injoonoojin, gidigid.
As he got to the top of the hill a child came up, a little child, a raya. “Hit this tree”? it was the Kimberley heath.
Barn inangangajiman jarra inyjalarna oola, inibin
He beat the heath and saw the water, he drank
Inibin, injoolooloogoon nilirr. Inibin, roowil innyan birarr inoonoong ginyingg baawanim.
He drank and rinsed out his mouth. He drank some more, and then he walked, he walked behind the child.
Roowil innyan nyalabo, yoorr inaman jarri Jawanan morr nyalab. Jarr gala rarrb injoonanjirr booroo ginyingg.
He walked this way, and came down at Jawanan road. It was sunrise.
Man gard arr ingirrinana, Mandirr agal Ngarrab bard arr ingarrinan ginyinggi jinarr irrmoorr.
While he was still coming up this way, Mandirr and Ngarrab saw him coming. They were my father’s aunties (my father’s father’s sisters).
Ngaynim jan gooloo jina irrmoorra baanigarr gorna balab ingirrinana, arranga daag mayoon goolin, agal Billy biila.
They were really pleased to see him, as they hadn’t been able to go to sleep (the previous night), and Billy (Ah Choo) was there too.
Nyalab gala rarrb injoonan booroo.
Then the sun rose.
Nyalab injalana birrinim jard, “Ay, barnanggargij darrb minar,” injoonoojin.
Our mother saw him. “Oh, you’ve come back!” she said.
“Arra nganngan ngalamarri ngaamanyi loogal injigal,” injoonoojin.
“I can’t talk, my throat’s bad,” he said.
“Gala daaga ngankiya banjarra,” injoonoo.
“I’ll go to sleep straightaway now,” he said.
Niimana arra oolangan garn inoonggoodalana nimanyijin.
He hadn’t drunk water for a long time, so he lost his voice.
Inyjalgoon daag injoon nyalab darr ingirranajinirr irrmoorr “arra gala darr inarij barnanggarrgij,” injoonoojirr.
He slept and his aunts came past and said, “he just came back today.”
Jagoord ingirrin. Ginyinggambin loogal jamb inganan iilan ginyinggi, gaarranim loogal inamana, iilan jamb inganana arinyjalga aramb aalga ingimilin gorna.
They returned. The sea water had made him feel bad, but the next day he woke up good.
That’s the end.
Liyan nganman ginyinggi milimil ngajana gooloo jina jawal.
I want my father’s story on paper.
Because, gooloo jana ngaynim janirr baawa gala irrmoonggoon barn irrnim jirrirr aala, liyan nganman man irrmoonggoonngan mayoon agal ngaynim janirr golagamardirr jirrirr baawa goonamadan.
I want this so my children can know about my father, and their children after; I want them to know about it.
Ginyingginimngan irrmoonggoon mayoon irrmoonggoonjamb oonkiy ginyinggi anggi jawal ginyinggi jiib ngaybi jan gooloo ngoorgoo inanggan.
They will know it, so the story will be passed on to their children, about how my father drifted with the tide.
Irrmoonggoonngan mayoon mayilnganngan ngarrigiji ngaynim janirr boonyja barda ngaybi janirr baawa agal baawa jirrirr bardamadan lardamadanngan irrmoonggoon mayoon.
They will know it and then all my descendents will know about my father, on and on down the generations.