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y separately published work icon Big River Country : Stories from Elsey Station anthology   single work   biography   oral history   extract   life story   Indigenous story  
Issue Details: First known date: 1996... 1996 Big River Country : Stories from Elsey Station
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Elsey Station has long been famous as the setting for We of the Never-Never, Jeannie Gunn's Australian classic of pioneering outback life. In Big River Country, the Elsey is revealed through the words of the country's original inhabitants, the Mangarrayi and Yangman people of the Roper River area...' (Source: back cover)

Notes

  • Editor's note: Told by Amy Dirngayg, Betty Lardy, Jackeroo Lirrawi, Jessie Roberts, Lulu Jilimbirrnga, Mary Nurniyn, Rita Morgan, Sheila Conway, Splinter Harris.

Contents

* Contents derived from the Alice Springs, Southern Northern Territory, Northern Territory,:IAD Press , 1996 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
A Brief History of Elsey Station Since the 1870s, single work prose
An account of European exploration and settlement of the Northern Territory, the establishment of Elsey Station, and the relationship between European settlers and the Aboriginal people of the Roper River area.
(p. xiv-xx)
Elsey Station, Francesca Merlan (interviewer), Splinter Harris , single work oral history Indigenous story
A description of the land of the Roper River area and the Aboriginal peoples who live upon it.
(p. 1-2)
Ngarla-Yudjudjangarrambangarramba, Jess Roberts-Garalnganjag , Francesca Merlan (interviewer), single work oral history Indigenous story
The story of an old woman cannibal who, using her two beautiful daughters, lures young men into her camp then kills them and eats them. However, the last two men remaining realise what she is doing and hatch a successful plan to outwit her.
(p. 3-14)
Ngarla-Bugbug Dar'Ja-Ni : The Old Woman Glistens., Lulu Jilimbirrnga , Amy Dirngayg , Francesca Merlan (interviewer), single work oral history Indigenous story
A woman would not admit that her child was dead but offered lie after lie as to why she was crying. Implored to tell the truth, she still lied and as a consequence it is now the fate of all people to die.
(p. 15-17)
Murlarag : The Twelve Mile, Jess Roberts-Garalnganjag , Francesca Merlan (interviewer), single work oral history Indigenous story
Two dingoes hunted two kangaroos into the river and killed them. A young joey in its mother's pouch escaped and travelled across country, talking with other animals along the way, until it found a safe area.
(p. 18-19)
Garrajaj, Galbarn : Owlet, Nightjar and Red-Bellied Barramundi, Amy Dirngayg , Francesca Merlan (interviewer), single work oral history
Owlet nightjar was not truthful. When sent by barramundi to bring together people for ceremony, he made no effort and lied that there were no people. Barramundi, however, went out and had great success in bringing many different people together for ceremony.
(p. 20-21)
Garrgayn : Brown Goshawk, Jess Roberts-Garalnganjag , Francesca Merlan (interviewer), single work oral history Indigenous story
Garrgayn, the brown goshawk, was a law-giver. Before Garrgayn showed the birds the right way to circumcise - that is, by using sharpened stones - they used to 'make young men' with fire sticks.
(p. 22-24)
Early Days, Rita Morgan (fl.1990) , Francesca Merlan (interviewer), single work oral history life story
Rita Morgan tells the stories handed down to her of her ancestors' first encounters with Europeans and how they interpreted the tracks left by buggies as those of a huge snake.
(p. 25-27)
Lurdurdminyi : Crescent Lagoon, Amy Dirngayg , Lulu Jilimbirrnga , Francesca Merlan (interviewer), single work oral history biography
The true story of the killing of a Chinese man by an Aboriginal man for the goods he was carrying, and the subsequent justice meted out by Europeans.
(p. 28-34)
Lurdurdminyi : Crescent Lagoon : Harold Giles' Version., Harold Giles , single work extract
Following the murder of a Chinese man by an Aboriginal man, the Northern Territory law enforcers decide to make an example of the offender by gathering as many Aboriginal people together as possible to witness his hanging. After this had taken place, the authorities distributed a variety of goods to the Aboriginal people supposedly to encourage good behaviour.
(p. 34-36)
Mister Little, Lulu Jilimbirrnga , Francesca Merlan (interviewer), single work oral history life story
Four Aboriginal men set out to deliver a message from the Hodgson Downs station manager to Elsey Station, but split into pairs after a difference of opinion about which route to take. One pair encountered Elsey's manager, who accused them of spearing cattle and killed them when they denied it. After this, he found the message they were carrying, realised there were two more messengers, and endeavoured unsuccessfully to locate and kill them.
(p. 37-42)
Yiworrondo : Jungle Dick, Jackeroo Lirrawi , Francesca Merlan (interviewer), single work oral history life story
Jackeroo Lirrawi, grandson of Yiworrondo, known as Jungle Dick, recounts his grandfather's stories of being recruited by Europeans to help exterminate Aboriginal people to make way for pastoral occupation.
(p. 43-44)
Looking after Elsey : Station and Home, Mary Nurniyn , Francesca Merlan (interviewer), single work oral history life story
Mary Nurniyn tells how her father, Yiworrondo, or Jungle Dick, dammed the Roper River at the request of Elsey Station's manager, Harold Giles. This resulted in the filling of lagoons which meant some Aboriginal people were pleased with the improved fishing, whilst others downstream were not so pleased.
(p. 45-55)
Young Girl Time at Elsey, Francesca Merlan (interviewer), Sheila Conway , single work oral history life story
Sheila Conway tells about life at Elsey when she was a girl, just around and after World War II.
(p. 56-62)
'You Like to Work?', Amy Dirngayg , Francesca Merlan (interviewer), single work oral history life story
Amy Dirngayg tells of her early years when many old people were sick. They used to bathe in salt water, thinking it would cure them, but many died. Amy also tells how she was first recruited to work at Elsey Station, where she remained working for around forty years.
(p. 63-66)
Coming Back to Elsey, Betty Lardy , Francesca Merlan (interviewer), single work oral history life story
Betty Lardy tells of her early memories of life on Elsey Station before she was removed from her family by Native Affairs and taken to Croker Island in the 1940s. Having grown up, married, and had children of her own, Betty returned to Elsey in 1968 and managed to find many members of her family. She describes the progress of the communities she has spent time with.
(p. 67-68)
Yarrayg : River Lily, Amy Dirngayg , Francesca Merlan (interviewer), single work oral history life story
Amy Dirngayg tells how yarrayg, a small river lily, was cared for and annually 'increased' by a custom of crushing a rock, cooking it, and then dispersing it in the river.
(p. 69-73)
Ngirnyanggu : Ours, Sheila Conway , Francesca Merlan (interviewer), single work oral history life story
Sheila Conway describes the three different locations of Elsey Station over the years and its eventual transition to Aboriginal ownership and management.
(p. 74-78)
Guruggurung-Garran : Two Devils at Crescent Lagoon, Jess Roberts-Garalnganjag , Francesca Merlan (interviewer), single work oral history Indigenous story
A story of a successful fishing venture that went awry.
(p. 79-83)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Language: English , Aboriginal Kriol Included in AIATSIS, but with no ref. number
    • Alice Springs, Southern Northern Territory, Northern Territory,: IAD Press , 1996 .
      image of person or book cover 700837526961418879.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: xxiii, 84p., [14]p. of platesp.
      Description: illus., port., map
      Note/s:
      • Most stories are in parallel text: English and Mangarayi language. Two stories are written in Kriol. Text includes a glossary.
      • Bibliographical references are included.
      ISBN: 0949659924
Last amended 20 Apr 2017 09:17:53
Subjects:
  • Roper River area, East Arnhem Land, Arnhem Land, Top End, Northern Territory,
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