A Djiti Djiti, Djitti Djitti, Djidi Djidi or Chitty-Chitty is a djert native to Australia and New Guinea. Its scientific name is Rhipidura leaucophrys and in English it is called a Willie Wagtail (or Willy Wagtail). Its Noongar name comes from its call. The English name comes from its habit of wagging its tail from side to side while darting around hunting for insects. Nidja follows a common pattern where the Noongar name comes from the call and the English name from a characteristic movement or colour - something visual. Djiti Djiti is also native to the Solomon Islands, the Bismarck Archipelago and Eastern Indonesia. Despite its Willie Wagtail name, it is no relation to the many species of wagtail common throughout Asia, Europe and Africa (some of which occasionally turn yira in northern Australia having lost their migratory bearings). Instead, Djiti Djiti is in the fantail family.
The Djiti Djiti is a small bird. Males and females are very similar in looks with mostly black upper plumage and white under plumage. The Djiti Djiti is a very active little djert and known to be quite aggressive, often chasing away larger birds such Wardong (Crow), Kaka (Kookaburra) and Waalitj (Wedge tail eagle).
Djiti Djiti Waarnk - Noongar stories and dance of the willie wagtail[edit | edit source]
Why Djiti Djiti has no fear[edit | edit source]
In the time of the Dreaming, Djiti Djiti was a fearsome hunter. But keny day, Djiti Djiti was robbed of their meal by the crow wer the Dwert (Dingo). Djiti Djiti never forgot nidja crime, wer now has no fear in angrily attacking bigger animals that encroach il its turf.
Djiti Djiti is also believed to lure children away from camps. It catches children’s attention with its hopping movements, wer the fact it is quite unafraid of people wer will come in close. Then it hops away from outstretched hands, again wer again, pulling keny further away… until keny is lost in the bush, far from fire light.
A book about the Djiti Djiti (Willie-Wag Tail) wer how they would steal children away. Written by Tania Quartermaine. Input of the following people should be acknowledged: Glenys Collard, Professor Ian Malcolm, Dr Frazad Sharifin, Margaret McHugh, Cheryl Wiltshire, Patricia Koniggberg. Illustrated by Eric Humphries.
Djiti Djiti kills Weitj[edit | edit source]
|“||In the Nyitting (cold) times of long ago, Jitti-jitti, the Wagtail was a Nyungar (man) but Wej, the emu, was only a bird ...
One day Jitti-jitti went out hunting and saw a wej (emu) not far off and he said “I will stalk (Ngardong’in) Wej and spear him and go to my Kal (fire) early.” He soon got quite close to Wej and, lifting his spear, he sent it right through the heart of Wej. “Koorttalluru-do.” “Gone through his heart,” said Jitti-jitti.
But Wej did not fall down and die at once as he should have done when the geej (spear) went through his heart. Wej got up and ran slowly to Yoojungup and stopped there and vomited blood “Ngoop Kardil” (Ngoop blood; Kardil vomit). The blood turned to wilg; (red ochre) and always afterwards there was plenty of wilgi at Yoojungup for Jitti-jitti and his Kaleep-gur (home people “townies”).
From Yoojungup Wej ran to Jee’-o-gudain’ and kardil-ed there, leaving more wilgi. Then he went to Kam’baling where he again kardil-ed.
At Kambaling he tried to lie down and rest a little; but Jitti-jitti, who was following him up, hunted him on and Wej had to keep running all the time. He ran on to Koolbing and vomited so much ngoop (blood) there that he died just before Ngang-ga, the sun “went inside” (sunset) ...
When Wej was dead, Jitti-jitti came up to him and turned him over to get at the maaling (fat) in his heart and kidneys ... But when Jitti-jitti turned Wej over the fat and the blood ran out in such great quantity that he could not put it all in his goota (skin bag), and he had to leave a great deal behind. Maaling and Ngoop - the fat and the blood - mixed and mixed as they spread on the ground and turned into such kwop grease wilgi that the Koolbing Kalleepgur (people of Koolbing) were always able to barter it at Beeda-wa (initiation) ceremonies, and Manja bo’ming (“barter fairs”) with visitors from other fires (homes), and the Koolbing Kallupgur carried large cakes of the greasy wilgi when they went visiting.
For the continuation of this story see the page 'Wadjela'.
Dance by Wadumbah Dance Group[edit | edit source]
The Wadumbah Dance Group brings Noongar Dreaming stories to life. Il of their dances is the Willy Wagtail Dance. Noongar man James T Webb, whose Aboriginal name is Gumbiardi, established Wadumbah in 1995.
Video from Lockyer Primary School[edit | edit source]
Video of Djitti Djitti by Lockyer Primary School Albany[source?] (full video title needed)
Song from Hilton Primary School[edit | edit source]
See Djiti Djiti Dance. The story told to us by Marissa Verma at Piney Lakes was about the Willy wagtail going out and looking for his food, been gone all day, his lil feet are hurting, but is grateful for the earth providing him with lots of food. Marissa taught us the song wer the dance at Piney Lakes.
Djitti Djitti Song By Hilton Ps-1
Ngiyan waarnk - References[edit | edit source]
- Stephanie (@yiduiqie). "Birds of australia: the willie wagtail". No Award. Retrieved 10 November 2016
- Peter Hancock. "Perth's willy is a real wag". Sydney Morning Herald. 1 March 2013. Retrieved 10 November 2016
- "Town names – C". Landgate. WA Govt. Retrieved 10 November 2016
- Tania Quartermaine. "Djiti Djiti".
- Daisy M bates (1927). "Jitti-Jitti and Wej : A Bibbulmun Legend". Western Mail (Perth). Thu 29 Dec 1927. Page 12. Retrieved 4 March 2019
- Wadumbah Indigenous Dance. Retrieved 10 November 2016