Wp/nys/Tom Yelakitj Bennell

From Wikimedia Incubator
< Wp‎ | nys
Wp > nys > Tom Yelakitj Bennell

Baal Whadjuk Balardong maaman. Baal moort Bennell Maguire Ninyette Kearing

Born: 1908 Died: 1989

Thomas Bennell was also known as by his Nyungar name Yelakitj - 'man of good hearing'. Yelakitj was a Whadjuk wer Balardong man; he learnt stories of Whadjuk wer Ballardong people from Elders wer was considered to be a minder of Nyungar stories. He was the son of Kate Collard wer Dooram Bennell of Brookton. He married Muriel McGuire who was the daughter of Doolyak wer John McGuire. Yelakitj Moort Nyungar Association Incorporated is an organisation that has been named after him.

Yelakitj ngoonies, djooks wer ngooljar[edit | edit source]

Yelakitj ngoonies were George Collard, Raymond Bennell, Stirling Bennell and Phillip Bennell. Yelakitj djooks were Ruby, Myrtle, Barbara and Martha. His ngooljar were Lottie McGuire m. George, Marjorie McGuire m. Raymond, Ivy Blurton m. Phillip, Ron Riley m. Myrtle

Yelakitj kooloong wer grand kooloongar[edit | edit source]

Yelakitj married Muriel McGuire and they had keny kooloong Elizabeth Jean Bennell. Their kooloong married Fred Collard and had maar-koodjal koodjal kooloongar, Neville, Marie, Freda, Betty, Geoffrey, Sandra, Robyn, Leonard and Brett.

Yelakitj stories[edit | edit source]

Yelakitj wangkiny: “These stories nguny doing, nguny uart going to give nguny history away. If these stories are not worth anything I’ll put them in the karla and burn them” (Bennell 1978 b).

Nyungar moort say: dembart – ngulluck katitjin noonar bulyada wangkiny. From all your moort.

Waakal[edit | edit source]

Yelakitj wangkininy bulariny about the Waakal which can also be spelt Woggal, Wargyl, Woggyl, Wogal and Waagle, these spellings are all correct and these names all refer to the one and same Nyungar Rainbow Serpent. Noongar katitdjin wangkiny that the Warrgul [sic] created the Noongar universe. Noongar katitdjin wangkiny Waakal created the Beeliar. Noongar wangkiny Waakal is the giver of life, Waakal made the beeliar, pinjar and gnamma. Waakal maintains bullariny fresh kierp. Noongar katitdjin says Kaata Moornda (Darling Scarp in Perth) represents the Waakal, he meandered over the boodjar and created the pinjar, gnamma and kierp-ways. At the base of Karra Katta (Mount Eliza) is a sacred site where the Waakal ngoondiny before he koorl koorliny on the boodjar and the Beeliar.

Kura nguny nyininy wer nih to dembart [pop] wangkiny. Dembart wangkiny bullariny Waakal.

Yelakitj Waakal wangkiny … Noongar call him Waakal kierp wirrinitj. Noonook uart touch Waakal kierp wirrinitj; kaya kaya warra. Uart Noonook barmininy Waakal kierp wirrinitj. If Waakal noitj uart wirrin, ngulla kierp uart.

Whadjuck/Balardong Yelakitj wangkiny that there are koodjal different sorts of carpet snake. If noonook ever djinniny koodjal noorn, the old bush carpet, he got white marks on him. The old keirp carpet noorn, he is purple and oh, he ís kwoppardar. He is purple. Nguny djinniny Waakal's. Nguny djinniny them, oh, up to fourteen or fifteen feet long, very kwoppardar. But the old forest carpet noorn, he is only just an ordinary old carpet noorn. But the real keirp noorn oh, he is kwoppardar, that carpet noorn. Uart, not bullariny people djinniny him. Noonook katitjburt he is a carpet noorn, but he is a carpet noorn all right, but the Nyungar call him Waakal (Bennell 1978 b).

Waakal - that’s a carpet noorn and there is a dry carpet and a wet carpet snake. The old Waakal that lives in the keirp, the Noongar never let anybody touch them. Never let the koorlongka warbaniny with those. Noongar reckon that Noongar koorlongka warra wirrinitj warbaniny, the Waakal, koorloongar uart warbaniny Waakal you’re not to warbaniny with that carpet noorn, kaya kaya warra. If you warbaniny Waakal, Boorda noonook might get minditch and might noitj. They never let koorlongka touch keirp Waakal when they go out. Nitcha barlup Waakal marbukal nyininy - that means he is the harmless dry carpet snake. He lives in the bush throughout Nyungar boodjar. But the old keirp Waakal's; they never let them touch ‘em.

Anybody yaarl koorl Mindjarliny, the old Nyungar call that Minjarliny, noonook Minjarliny koorl nyininy, Nyungar wam, Waakal carrungupiny. Mulgariny Waakal koorliny noonar mar yirawal billariny see - they reckon that carpet noorn could make a storm come. Make it rain for them. Mandikan, that's a spring pool down west of Beverley. They call that Mandikan, that is a wirrinitj kierp for djinangany noonook barlung. It is fresh water, just like rainwater.

When nguny burranginy keirp at Mandikan, one old Nyungar come and said, oh koorlongka noonook kierp nartja burranginy djennagar Mandikan. That is warra wernitj he said “Nitcha kierp ngarda mar koorliny benang - this keirp underneath worl going to rain”. Well, that night it did. Koondamangor and barbanginy, bullariny koondamangor and barbanginy and it was a miracle. Whether it was mely or not, but that is how it happened. We had a big malkar. We were clearing there, right alongside the keirp at the time, and all that clearing, it washed the logs right out. We had to wait a week for it to dry out before we could burn it. Noonar karla koorlangka karl koorl burranginy - might be one week before we light our fire and, by jove, yes, it was true. Anyway we packed it all up and woort koorl. (Bennell 1978 a).

Merenj, yok and moort[edit | edit source]

Yelakitj said Noongar never worried about food back in those days. Noongar koorl koorliny anywhere, get what they want. Not like it is now. Poor old moorn fellas. Kura Wedjela yarl koorl and burrunginy Noongar boodjar the Wedjala they had government rations for mereny and dartj; that’s all wadjala fed the Noongar, djeri, ngoonyoong and mangk. They never give them dartj, they never used to have any dartj, they went out and got a yonga for noonook dartj. Well they learn how to make a damper, they knew how to make a damper. Learnt from the old Nyungar yorgas. Hey, yok, noonook merinj winjarlnj ? - now he said to his wife, any damper. Derniny doorkininy derniny - that means pull the ashes out, put the damper in there and cover it up. Nyinniny - this means sit and wait. Sit down and wait for it (damper). Mila doorkiny mila doorkiny - means it will be cooked directly. Cook it up, pull it out break the green leaves, dust the damper up and eat all that up. They would sit down and eat it all up. Kwop ngarniny, merinj ngarn - means good feed, food good Nguny koorlongka boollara, Nguny must have merinj koombar merinj - that means he wants plenty of tucker; he got a big family to feed

Bulyits, kurrlonggurr, bardies and bulyada[edit | edit source]

Yelakitj wangkiny Bulyit – Yelakitj sayd [he’s a] little hairy man about two foot high, that means devil, [he will] take the Koorlongka, Koorlongka after kedalak, after 4.00 p m, Koorlongka burranginy bardee [must] gather them all up and yaarl koorl karla. Bardee borl bardee koorl barmaniny - koorloongar wort koorl and borniny up all those black boys to get the bardee. Borl, borl borl borniny - that means breaking black boys balga up. Bardee’s koorl buranginy - that means grabbing all the bardees out. Koorlongka dookaniny bardees to karla. When it is getting dusk or mordang Koorlongka uart chasing bardees, Uart Uart warra wirrin. Noongar reckon these debil debil will burranginy Koorlongka, steal the children. Devil Devil [debil debil] that is a little bulyit man. At ngarnk ngarda the bulyits starts edging the koorloongar off and burranginy Koorlongka. Koorlongka wort worpuliny worpuliny. Well, they get around, they might get sick. There was always an old witchdoctor in those days. What they call them they Dembart. Dembart noonook kaataminy koorl djeenaniny nguny djenark minditch - means he must come and have a look at him he is sick with the debil debil. This old witchdoctor, he come and he said djeenaniny, barlung kaya noonook djenark minditch so, I directly got to noonook warbaliny - that means he got to doctor him up, but they only do it when the sun goes down. They never do it through the day; only in the afternoon around sunset. They could doctor him and all his chest and one another all around with their fingers, the Bulyarda maaman marr barminy and they draw that wirrin that warra djenark wirrin from noonook. Nguny djenark Noonung barmaniny yeye, he said, Noonook kwop benang. Noonook kwop - Well, that means he will be all right tomorrow. He would be up walking around tomorrow morning, good as a gold. Nowadays not too many people believe in this bulyadar business, but kura the old witchdoctor was very, very clever. This was before the doctors [white] came out. Before, they can do their own healing. They got any sickness inside of them, the old witchdoctor [clever man] can remove that. He can remove his sickness from him. Now Noongar might not even believe in that. They have their white rules and they forgot about the Nyungar rules now. Old Oscar Little (deceased) he’s a good bulyada man; he could cure anybody. He could doctor you up. he could remove anything, without putting a mark on you. You got a growth or cancer, now cancer is a hard thing to cure, but I can guarantee that Oscar Little could shift it. Now moornies go to the docto. Let a bulyardar maaman do it, he fetch that noorp or blood from you without putting a mark on you.

Works[edit | edit source]

  • The Balyit Tom Bennell , 1991 prose Indigenous story — Appears in: Kura 1991; (p. 30-35)
  • Waakal Tom Bennell , 1991 prose Indigenous story — Appears in: Kura 1991; (p. 36-40)
  • Waakal Tom Bennell , 1991 prose dreaming story — Appears in: Kura 1991; (p. 3-7)
  • Kura Tom Bennell , Glenys Collard , Chris Williamson (illustrator), Bunbury : Noongar Language wer Culture Centre , 1991 selected work autobiography prose oral history dreaming story
  • Oral History Tom Bennell , Glenys Collard (interviewer), 1991 oral history — Appears in: Kura 1991; (p. 23-27)


Ngiyan waarnk - References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Tom Bennell". AustLit. Retrieved 11 November 2019