Garn’giny Ngarranggarni—

Mabel Juli
Gija transcription and translation by Frances Kofod

Well this the Dreamtime story about Wardal and Garn’giny (star and moon). That’s what my mother and dad told me about that Dreamtime thing.

“Garn’giny ngelmang roord-ngarri nginji.
The moon sits in the east.

Wardal dal gerloorr ngarrgalen.
The star sits on top of the hills.

Laarne berdij nginiyi danyi garn’giny.
The moon went and climbed that hill.

Wijige-ngarri ngoorramangbe-ngiyiwa thamboorroo-gal.
They made him run away because he loved his mother-in-law.
(That moon loved his mother in-law, but they told him he couldn’t love her and to go away.)

Ganybelgbe nginini.
He felt shame (and climbed up the hill).

Gerlewirring deg nginini.
He was looking from on top [of the hill].

Nginini-birri “Nanggayib barrroonnha.”
He told all the people “You will all die.”

Nginini-birri “Ngayimoowana mooliyinde ngenben’ge.
He told them “I will be the only one living”.
(He cursed those people.)

“Boora-boorab ngeliyande” wanemayi-birri melagawoom dam, woorrji-ngarri berrani yilag.
“I will keep coming back” he told them all, while they were sitting down below. (You are all going to die and I will be still alive, coming out.)

“Daam merrgernbem boorarrgarr ngeliyande.”
“After three days camp I will rise from the dead.”

Nanggayibwa berrayin-gili nhamoowana nginiyinji.
They all died and he was the only one that stayed alive.

Merrgern daam nginji boorab ngidji, daam merrgernbem.”
He camps (sleeps ~ dies) for three days then appears (again as the moon), after three days.

This is Yarin Country in Darrajayin (Springvale Station) which lies south of Warmun. This is Juli’s traditional Country.

The star in the paintings is the promised wife of the moon, the straight skin to be his wife. He wanted dawool, the woman who became the black headed python who was the mother of wardal, the star, i.e. his mother-in-law.

Mabel Juli
Garnkiny Ngarranggarni 2020
Mabel Juli at Garn’gin, Darrajayin, 2011
Courtesy of Warmun Art Centre
Photograph: Frances Kofod