Whitefella Contact & Rock Art
Yidumduma using full language to tell stories of the first contact with the European settlers and the corresponding rock art at Murning Site on Willeroo Station. This is a great example of the more recent paintings called bulawula, made by the people to commemorate certain events in their recent history. This clip is from the archive of CAAMA, Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association, and used with their permission.
The old people used to walk around this country with their children.
Later on, the white man came. He sat on top of a horse, they thought he was the Devil.
They watched him, and when he left they painted him on the cave.
They also drew the gun he carried on his hip.
That's why we see the Creation images next to recent paintings of the white man and horse.
All our people were living in this country,
when they saw white men galloping on horses,
they painted them on the rocks like this one here.
"Look! There's a Devil Dog with another Devil on it's back!"
That's what they said. "Let's go back and look at their tracks."
They looked for their footprints,
as they tracked them along they found unfamiliar markings.
You can see these are the footprints here.
"Ah! What sort of footprints are these?" They said.
Then they saw a white man standing. He held a gun.
"Let's draw him," they said.
So, they drew the man and his gun and they drew the man on a horse.
These are recent paintings. Other men came out West they came over here.
When they arrived they said,
"Let's go pick up Aborigines and take them back home."
They came out here and took many people. Others they left behind.
They took all the young boys right back to their homestead.
They kept them all there to work on the stations.
Later on, all the young ones said,
"We must go back to our fathers, we don't want to stay here."
All the boys had had enough and they ran away from there.
They went back home, "Why did you come back home?"
They said to the young boys. "Well, because we were missing you."
All the boys said. Then all the boys said,
"Let's go this way, we want to spear a cow."
They went walking and speared some cows.
They speared one in the jawbone, but it got away with the spear point still in it's jaw.
Later on, when they were all mustering,
they saw the cow with the spear point sticking out of it's jaw.
They said, "Those people are spearing our cows. We'll have to get the police onto them".
The white blokes sent word to the station. The policemen came out here.
Lots of policemen came all the way from the station.
"Where are all those people we're after?"
They asked the white men.
Later on, more white people came, they started looking around.
An Aboriginal from here was sitting up high on a rock.
He was watching out for dust kicked up by the horses.
When he saw the dust, he sang out,
"They're coming from over that way, quick, hide all the beef away."
So, they hid the beef all around the place,
and covered the fire over with sand and no ash or charcoal was visible.
When the police came, they handcuffed one of the men.
There's his handprint and the handcuffs there.
They asked him, "Did you spear this cow?"
The boy replied, "No, I've never seen it."
The policeman said, "This is ours, did you spear it?"
He showed the cow to him. "No, we don't spear those, we only spear emus."
Just like this emu here. "We don't spear cows, they belong to white people."
That's what he said. Eventually.....
"OK then, I'll let you go.
I'll go home now," the policeman said, and he let him go.
The others had been watching and they had seen the policeman and his hat.
So they painted him like that. They also painted up horses.
They painted the pack of horses down the bottom there, and the policeman up above on the horse.
They painted the bullock up there and they painted the emu,
and over there they painted the hand with the handcuffs.
All these are recent paintings.
When white people turned up they were painted here.
They are here forever.