Gandjalala (Wagilag)


This is the story about Gandjalala. The story starts at Ngilipitji, his home country. This is the place where he made his tools, he had a Dimbuka (special bag for honey), Warriman (spear) and Mawurrwurr (spear thrower). He stamped and danced on the Bambula (Dancing ground) there. He saw Nuthang the honey bee heading east and followed him to the Marrakulu place called Gurkawuy. Nuthang showed him a tree to cut down for honey. Gundjalala left a Maṯ there ( a chip of chewed bark used for scooping up the honey). He stamped and danced on the Bambula there too.

From Gurrkawuy the Nuthang lead Gandjalala further north to the hill they call Nhulun. “Follow me and I will show you where to put that Dhimbuka on the hill at Nhulun.” said Nuthang. Gandjalala was dancing as he hung up that Dilly bag. Only one Wagilak man, Gandjalala was travelling through this area. He turned west and saw the bee heading to another buku (hill), this time it was Wakurra, near Dhupuwamirri. He danced again and sang for his Märi’s (Grandmother) country.

Gandjalala then followed the bee to Dhupuwamirri where where there was a Bonyarrpanymirr (this a special place place where the bee larvae grew in fluid and then emerged and flew off). These bees were children of that place just like Yolngu now who call that place home, Wagilak children. He stopped there and stamped and danced again.

On his travels Gandjalala was hunting wallaby, you could tell because his spear and spear thrower had blood on them. He was also hunting for honey. Still following Nuthang he travelled towards Babulum, the old crossing on the Goyder river. He saw Girkinawarr honey (sort of like a father), he stamped his foot again and marked that place so he could come back and find that honey again later.

From Bapulungurr he travelled to Djilpin, Muduwurr. There he cut down the tree, Gadayka. It was a big tree, when it fell the gupa (top) of the tree fell at Raymangirr in the west and made a mark you can still see today. Where it fell that is Wagilak country, a Ringgitj. When the tree fell all the bees flew out in clouds and headed to different dhuwa places. From here he followed the bee who was looking for water for that spirit. He reached Galayin. He was dancing and swimming there and a Djarrawa (storm cloud) came and he washed himself.

He then travelled west following the sun towards Weemol. He put pandanus there that you can still see today. At that place there were Guninggu, Mayili, Rembarrngu, Ngalpan and Jaywon people sitting in their groups speaking their own languages.

He started thinking about where he cam from and then hit the highway and headed back to his homeland at Ngilipitji.

This is the true story for the Wagilak tribe. Its a history dhawu, a djalkarri. (foundation story).

56×38 cm | Acrylic Paint on Paper | Cat. no: 21-1252