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Warlukurlangu Jukurrpa | Fire, Rsquoem, Dreaming, Chasing, Burn, Kangaroo, Thatrsquos, Longa | FATSILC, Fed. Aboriginal Torres Strait Island Languages and Culture
Warlukurlangu Jukurrpa PDF Print E-mail

We talk about here for the Law. We’re telling that Fire Dreaming from the early days, as soon as this world bin come, long time ago. Whitefella call em Fire Dreaming, and Aboriginal people – Warlu Jukurrpa. That’s Law, and the Fire Dreaming place where they bin get burnt long time ago. That’s why we’re telling the story. We’re telling Fire Dreaming.

We call ’em Lungkarda. Whitefella call ’em Blue Tongue (Lizard). That’s a cheeky one, that one. Old man, him bin sitting round over there, not too far away. About eleven miles from Yuendumu. And that’s why we’re here, telling story.

That two man, two Jangala, while they bin travelling around. What they bin do, that two Jangala? They bin get up morning, and carry ’em woomera (spear thrower), and a lot of spear. Carry ’em with the finger. That’s the way they bin only do ’em, long time ago. Soon as this world bin come.

And that fire, ‘Uhm, uhm, uhm, uhmmm’…

That kangaroo (is his totem), he belonga that Blue Tongue, belonga that Lungkarda (old man). And that two youngfella never see that kangaroo; they might go and catch another kangaroo – ‘outside’ kangaroo. Outside kangaroo! And they bring back and give it that old man.

‘Hey, blind now! Pampa’.

Him blind, that Pampa, that Blue-Tongue. He’s cunning man that one. He never bin like that two youngfella, that two Jangala. (Even though) any time they bin go catch kangaroo for him. They bring ’em back, give a bit of kangaroo, longa that old man. Oh, big mob of kangaroo! They put ’em one-aline (side by side). And another, his brother again, he put ’em another one-a-line.

Centre spread by Gordon Hookey. For more information about his work, visit
Visit to read Gordon’s recent essay, ‘Terrorism and Terraism’

Aboriginal Australia Map published by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies

by Darby Jampijinpa Ross
as told to Liam Campbell

Warlukurlangu Jukurrpa
Darby Jampijinpa Ross, Walpiri Elder from Yuendumu (NT)
That old man, him cunning, too. Him bin only go, he got a spear and woomera. Oh, catch how many? Twelve kangaroos! He bring back and cook ’em (for himself). Cook ’em quick! That two youngfella, he don’t want (them) to see him.

Him bin all the time look, that old man, that Blue Tongue man, that Lungkarda. That’s why we’re telling. We dance that story, painted up, long time ago. We bin painted up there, and (the elders) bin show (me). Alright, that fire, him bin coming out from underground. That fire bin burning there, longa underground. And him bin look, ‘hello’, he bin light, him bin burning inside. That’s Fire Dreaming.

From that way, yatijarra (north), this side from Tennant Creek. That’s Fire Dreaming, too. That same one, him bin coming here now, longa Warlpiri country. And that one, him bin get burnt, longa Warumungu country.

Alright, him bin burnt. All over here, he bin coming round underground. Burn all the way. He bin light this one here. He bin have a firestick. He never bin light it. He bin just go like that, and he bin light! Big burn there now.

Alright, make it little bit long way (skip to the end of the story). That two Jangala bin coming (back) from hunting. Another one bin coming here, another one bin coming just behind again. That fire, while he bin light ’em, he bin chasing longa that two. Nother one bin swing ’em round that way, take ’em back. Fire bin chase ’em. Oh, what to do?

That two youngfella, fire bin chasing now all the way. And what to do? Him bin chasing round, burn ’em everything. Wirliya (feet) too, this one here, him bin burn ’em. Oh, poor bugger, him bin burn here. Him bin chasing all the way. That fire bin close to him. That Blue Tongue bin looking out:

‘Oh, look at this!’

That fire, that two youngfella. Half Warlpiri here, and half Pitjantjatjara people that way. All the ‘red ochre’ man now. We’re telling that one, that story we tell ’em, true word. And from there, him bin burnt ’nother side from Adelaide somewhere. Him bin chasing all the way. And he bin go, bring back again. He bin follow ’em every way. That fire bin burn ’em.

That fire bin chasing round. Right back again, coming right to Fire Dreaming here, longa Warlukurlangu (the place). And people, we’re frightened from that one, Fire Dreaming. We no want to touch ’em tree there. No good, no good at all.

And from there, all the way from Amata, ’nother side from Ernabella, him bin chasing all the way there. And he bin coming straight into Amata (in) Pitjantjatjara country. And still he bin chasing, that fire bin there. He bin burn all the way. Oh, two fella got a sore everywhere. Swell up everywhere, from fire. And this one nothing now, no skin, that fire bin burn ’em.

Alright, two fella bin come, while they bin coming through to Amata, and coming straight. ‘Ah, that fire there!’ Same one, that fire bin chasing all the way. And they bin coming straight in (to) Wayililinypa. You know, that outstation over there. They bin coming all the way, longa the desert, that two youngfella there, coming:

‘Haaaa, haaaaa, haaaa, haaaaa’ (breathing)

Alright, two fella bin coming this side from Wayililinypa Outstation. They call ’em Ngarna. There now, (they) bin come there. Alright, big claypan water there, and that Dreaming. And this two fella bin go round there, little bit sore foot. And two fella bin finish (die) right there. Two brothers, two Jangala finish. Rocks there, now.

That true word. And very, very no good that one.

This extract is taken from the book ‘Darby’ by Liam Campbell and is available in Australia through ABC Books. Visit more information. FATSIL respects Aboriginal protocols about the deceased and has obtained community permission to use Darby Jampijinpa Ross’ name and image.