First Nation Hospitality

Our previous blog told of the food production, particularly fishing, in the north west of the United States early in the nineteenth century.  Today Roberta Connors tells of the hospitality offered by First Nation people there to the Corps of Discovery lead by Lewis and Clark.  She begins this section with quote from President Jefferson’s second inaugural address of 1805.

These persons (Indians generally) inculcate a sanctimonious reverence for the customs of their ancestors; that whatsoever they did, must be done through all time; that reason is a false guide, and to advance under its counsel, in their physical, moral, or political condition, is perilous innovation; that their duty is to remain as their creator made them, ignorance being safety, and knowledge full of danger . . . 

Today, (continues Connor) our people persist in resembling the observation regarding our sanctimonious reverence for the customs of our ancestors.  It would be unwise to do otherwise.  After thousands of years on this landscape, their empirical knowledge should be revered. This reverence for the ancient covenant between our people and the salmon, for example, resulted in the ethic that one should never take all of anything in harvest.  Aleays leave some fish to pass upriver, roots and berries for the other species who eat them.  This same ancient covenant led the modern Confederated Tribes of Umatilla too undertake extraordinary efforts to successfully restore water flows and salmon to the Umatilla and Walla Walla rivers.

October 18, 1805 .  .  . late at night the Chief came down accompanied by 20 men, and formed a Camp a Short distance above, the chief brought with him a large basket of mashed berries which he left at our Lodge as a present.
William Clark

April 27th 1806 .   .  . This village consists of 15 large mat lodges  .  .  . Yellept harangued his village in our favour intreated them to furnish us with fuel and provisions and set the example himself by bringing and armful of wood and a platter of 3 roasted mullets.  the others soon followed his example with rispect to fuel and we soon found ourselves in possession of an ample stock.   .  . they also informed us there were plenty of deer and antelopes on the road , with good water and grass.
Meriwether Lewis

Abundance is the standard in our culture, rather than scarcity.  Our tribal characteristics emanated from our extended families, our close-knit village lives, our language groups, and our environment.  Lewis and Clark described the Walla Walla as “the most hospitable, honest, sincere people we have met on our voyage.”  These complimentary journal entries describe virtues and values that directly reflected our culture, wherein people were well provided for by the landscape and their own industry.  Our leaders were accustomed to housing and feeding large gatherings.  Efficient and effective food preparation, preservation, and storage methods sustained us year round, and our architecture was reliant on easily renewable resources.  The journals comprehensively document our fishing practices, our numerous tule mat-lodge villages, the variety of roots we harvested and our vast horse herds.  We did not live in scarcity.  We had learned through the ages to be prepared to care for others, including visitors from distant places.

From ‘Our People have always been here’ by Roberta Connor, in ‘Lewis and Clark through Indian eyes’ ed Alvin M Josephy, Jr.  2006 Random House.  Roberta Connor – Sisaawipam – is Cayuse, Umatilla and Nez Perce in heritage and a member of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.

Connor’s essay illustrates the generous hospitality of the first nation people of the Umatilla area, a hospitality that echoes that of indigenous Australians towards europeans at contact – see for example Charles Sturt and aboriginal hospitality

Cecil Poole

First Nation Fishing

Passive Complicity recently reviewed Bruce Pascoe’s “Dark Emu”, a work which clearly illustrated the biased and inaccurate reportage of Australia’s indigenous peoples at the time of the European invasion.  Then we published an extract which we titled ‘Charles Sturt and aboriginal hospitality‘.    Today’s post comes from the other side of the world, the northwest of the United States of America, from the early nineteenth century, and again illustrates First Nation hospitality.  The story is part of another ‘invasion’, the expedition of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark from St Louis to the Pacific Coast at the mouth of the Columbia River.  (An earlier post drew attention to this expedition.)

October 17, 1805 . . . This river is remarkably Clear and Crouded with Salmon in maney places, I observe in ascending great numbers of Salmon dead on the Shores, and in the Bottoms which can be seen at a debth of 20 ft. the Cause of the emence numbers of dead Salmon I can’t account for So it is I must have seen 3 or 400 dead and maney living . . .
William Clark

October 18, 1805  . . . great numbers of indians appeared to be on this Island, and emence quantities of fish Scaffold . . . on the Stard. Side is 2 Lodges of Indians Drying fish, . . . passed an Island Close under the Stard Side on which was 2 Lodges of Indians drying fish on Scaffolds as above . . . on this Island is two Lodges of Indians, drying fish, on the fourth Island Close under the Stard. Side is nine large Lodges of Indians Drying fish on Scaffolds as above . . .
William Clark

April 29th (1806) . . . thought is best to remain on the Wallah Wallah river about a mile from the Columbia until the morning, accordingly encamped on that river near a fish Wear . . . they have also a Small Seine managed by one person, it bags in the manner of the Scooping nets . . . there are 12 other lodges of the Wallahwallah Nation on this river a Short distance below our Camp.  those as well as those beyond the Columbia appear to depend on their fishing weres for their subsistance . . .
William Clark

We (the Indian or First Nation people) were resident; Lewis and Clark and all members of the expedition were transient.  They saw much they did not comprehend, even when they tried in earnest to understand.  In fact, as they travelled in service to President Jefferson’s expansionist fantasy of seeking a direct water route through the continent, they were exploring the place the Creator gave us in which to live.  The Creator gave everyone a place to live.  Why were they in our country, living precariously in a place they did not belong?  Moreover, why would our ancestors be so hospitable to these strangers?  Why not?  They were thirty three travellers merely passing through, who did not represent a threat to our way of life at the time of their passing and for years to come.  Could anyone foresee that, 109 years later, dams on the Umatilla River would prevent fish passage and that our tribe would have to work for years to return water to the riverbed and reintroduce salmon to the Umatilla River after an absence of 70 years?    Did anyone envision that, 152 years later, the richest salmon fishery in the West, the magnificent Celilo Falls, would be submerged under the backwaters of the Dalles Dam?  That Lewis and Clark were unfamiliar with the anadromous fish teeming in the rivers – fresh, with just as many spawned out lying dead – is not important.  What is important is our modern challenge to protect water flows and salmon habitat and restore salmon runs not to 1950’s pre-dam levels, but to the levels Lewis and Clark indubitably witnessed.

From ‘Our People have always been here’ by Roberta Connor, in ‘Lewis and Clark through Indian eyes’ ed Alvin M Josephy, Jr.  2006 Random House.  Roberta Connor – Sisaawipam – is Cayuse, Umatilla and Nez Perce in heritage and a member of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.

Connor’s essay illustrates the generous hospitality of the first nation people of the Umatilla area, a hospitality that echoes that of indigenous Australians towards europeans at contact – see for example Charles Sturt and aboriginal hospitality

Cecil Poole

Gough Whitlam

Alan Kohler included this list of achievements of the Whitlam Government in his weekly letter.  We republish it with gratitude.

Here are the things the Whitlam Government did in two years and nine months:

1. ended Conscription,

2. withdrew Australian troops from Vietnam,

3. implemented Equal Pay for Women,

4. launched an Inquiry into Education and the Funding of Government and Non-government Schools on a Needs Basis,

5. established a separate ministry responsible for Aboriginal Affairs,

6. established the single Department of Defence,

7. withdrew support for apartheid–South Africa,

8. granted independence to Papua New Guinea,

9. abolished Tertiary Education Fees,

10. established the Tertiary Education Assistance Scheme (TEAS),

11. increased pensions,

12. established Medibank,

13. established controls on Foreign Ownership of Australian resources,

14. passed the Family Law Act establishing No-Fault Divorce,

15. passed a series of laws banning Racial and Sexual Discrimination,

16. extended Maternity Leave and Benefits for Single Mothers,

17. introduced One-Vote-One-Value to democratize the electoral system,

18. implemented wide-ranging reforms of the ALP’s organization,

19. initiated Australia’s first Federal Legislation on Human Rights, the Environment and Heritage,

20. established the Legal Aid Office,

21. established the National Film and Television School,

22. launched construction of National Gallery of Australia,

23. established the Australian Development Assistance Agency,

24. reopened the Australian Embassy in Peking after 24 years,

25. established the Prices Justification Tribunal,

26. revalued the Australian Dollar,

27. cut tariffs across the board,

28. established the Trade Practices Commission,

29. established the Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service,

30. established the Law Reform Commission,

31. established the Australian Film Commission,

32. established the Australia Council,

33. established the Australian Heritage Commission,

34. established the Consumer Affairs Commission,

35. established the Technical and Further Education Commission,

36. implemented a national employment and training program,

37. created Telecom and Australia Post to replace the Postmaster-General’s Department,

38. devised the Order of Australia Honors System to replace the British Honors system,

39. abolished appeals to the Privy Council,

40. changed the National Anthem to ‘Advance Australia Fair’ (confirmed at 1977 Referendum),

41. instituted Aboriginal Land Rights, and

42. sewered most of Sydney (and Melbourne and other capital cities). (Hard to believe, isn’t it, that Sydney wasn’t even sewered 40 years ago?)

VALE E.G.Whitlam

Look at our next MDFF on 1 November for a Warlpiri perspective on Gough (and Margaret) Whitlam.

Poetry Sunday 26 October 2014

THEY HAVE WORK’S by Lionel Fogarty

Job’s we need every were

But too who

Jobs hurting the land hurt us

Jobs helping our families make our pride

Working for pay then in pain doesn’t work.

Being on time for a planed job runs out of time.

Is the money important more than the work?

Is the work more important than the money?

We ask how long is the work before it stops,

Super pay small pay what the different a Job a Job ok

Company take on then sack on

Bossiest favour this and that

How come we not in charge

The finger hands legs move to work

But sometimes the body sits.

The Job of life is one big Job without pay,

But pay helps keep away the rent rates.

Many papers as to fill out before work is given in full production.

Drunks do not need jobs

Smokers do not need jobs

Jobs needs are everywhere, hard just to get a Job.

What about ones who can work but have not the right skills.

They left behind and made sad end up in parks of shit livings,

Having it out on the one’s who have a Job leave us blind lame and tired.

Blacks to our future give Jobs give work,

Most don’t want to work short of times

We all are top worker when given the open to be our own management.

Is work for community or sutures?

Is work for their word or our firewood’s?

Jobs are not everywhere as poor is everywhere?

Feels good to have good Job.

But feels bad to have done too a Job they have the works


MDFF 25 October 2014

Our Dispatch today was first published on 24 July 2011.  Still the racist Intervention continues with white Australia’s complicity, arrogantly paternalistic at best, genocidal at worst.  

Ché amigos,

I know most of us don’t have 10 minutes to spare these days. If you do, please watch this (if you haven’t, just watch 3:20-3:50):

You will now have gained an insight into how “Consultations” by the Australian authorities in their “Engagement Process” with Indigenous Australians are done.

And now something to cheer you up, do yourself a favour, indulge me with another 25 minutes of your life, listen to Rosalie Kunoth-Monks:

She says it so much better than I ever could. She is living it, I’m co-existing it.  speaking words of wisdom …. There will be an answer the answer is blowing in the wind

The answer is right there for everyone to hear. Rosalie Kunoth-Monks and people like her have the answer. They speak the words of wisdom, from the heart.

If only they’d ask the right questions, if only they’d listen to the answers!

Los padres que no saben escuchar, los hijos que no quieren hablar…(the fathers that don’t know how to listen, the sons that don’t want to talk) Escucha me ….. listen to me




Shirt Fronting Putin

By Quentin Cockburn

This is Australia’s message to the rest of the world, if we don’t like you we’ll bloody well let you know!!  We like to be like that ‘up front’, robust democratic and free.  Jeez free spirited allright, that’s why we’re increasing the powers of ASIO to ensure that even this fragment of bilge-water shall be assessed, scrutinized and deciphered so that we can feel safe..  We need to ensure that all of us are looked into to keep us “safe”, and there’ll be no secrets.  Unless you’re  in government cos we’d rather not tell you what we’re really doing about education, poverty, migration, defense spending, research, anything of a national, strategic or community interest, to ensure that all of you are safe, and a little bit like Team Australia, ready to shirt front any pommy, lefty libertarian who may question our right to do so. They can just bugger off…

Now I like what were doing to education, and this bloke in the university of NSW seems to be on the right track. He’s one of our longest serving academics.  He’s described our contemporary education as not following the principles of the Judeo Christian ethos.  He’s fucken spot on there, though I draw the line at four b’s.  He’s been there for almost fifty years, and you’ve gotta admit he has a grouse sense of humour.  Some lefty got his nose outta joint cos he jokes about abos, wogs, chingas, lezzo’s and poofters, and witch doctors, (that’s what all thinking dark skinned people must be) and he quite correctly says, that’s just a ‘play on words’, a harmless jape, for his other colleagues.  And who might they be? They are the front bench good ol blokes like himself, a little conservative but jeez, can they crack a good joke!  And the surprise is that after all these lefty decades of equality, social egality, and race discrimination you’d think they’d get over it.  Who are they?, the minorities, or anyone who aint a white middle aged male.

So I’m glad that on the official level, in cabinet they stand together strong and united in their principles. That’s what we need in politics “Principles”.  And I’ve heard they’ve just appointed another old bloke to the top job in the gallery sector.  Good on em, as sheilas, needn’t bother, they should be at home and have a laugh with us. And for those other people, well they’re not real Australians anyway. And you know why? Cos they can’t take a joke..

But I reckon Vladimir and Tony have a sneaking regard for each other, it’s a bit like that time Ablett ran through Dipper in the first few minutes of the grand final in 89. They’re really good mates, or the time Mathews cracked Moore’s’ jaw, in fifteen places, or when a whole NZ rugby team, got pissed as maggots and buggerised a mate at a party. They’re all good mates, and if you don’t like it and can’t take a joke, and you’re too thin skinned and keep banging on about all the excellent institutions that are all run by nice old fellas like ourselves and you can get over being rogered by Father Flaherty, or being stolen off your mum and dad, and you’re pissed off about your uncle being cooked in the back of a divvy van.. Get OVER IT!!!

We’ve done the enquires!!

Had the Royal Commissions!!

Elected Dick Warburton to solve the carbon issue, and if you still think that complaining is worthwhile you can just bugger off!!  And we hate scientists Too!!  And thinkers… And big picture people, and visionaries, and leaners….

Your very own crumpet!

Crumpets are a superb vehicle with which to transport butter to the tummy”.  mmmm.  however E.H. Ruddock M.D. finds “. . . crumpets are very indigestible’. (Essentials of Diet, London 1879)

But confusion reigns – is it a pikelet or is it a crumpet?  Florence White, writing in 1932 claims ‘a pikelet is only the Yorkshire term for crumpet’, and again ‘In Derbyshire and Yorkshire pikelets mean crumpets, the ones with the holes.’  However that doyen of English cooking (and baking), Elizabeth David says “It is the confining of batter in rings or hoops and the consequent slow cooking necessitated which makes English crumpets distinctive from pikelets and other yeast raised griddles cakes or pancakes”.  (English Bread and Yeast Cookery, London 1977)

I’ve always liked crumpet.  Hot.  Lots of butter, wonderful honey and licking of fingers.  And until now I’ve never known how to make them.  Ms David provided me with the answer.  And I am prepared to share it with you, on the proviso that I get first dibs on any you make.  She starts with her search for the answer for she admits “my own efforts (at making crumpets) certainly came in the category of ‘very bad ones'”

In 1937 Walter Banfield wrote “Provided suitable flour is used, these honeycomb, labyrinthine structures are fairly simple to make.  The idea that crumpets are difficult is not uncommon because if flour unsuitable for the process is used grotesque, unfair creations result.  That is one either makes good crumpets or very bad ones.”

Ms David again: “. . . using a batter very similar to the muffin dough but much more liquid – note: the first is a dough, the second a batter – and adding at the stirring down stage, a little extra warm water in which a small quantity of bicarbonate of soda has been dissolved, the mixture works out just about right.”

Now for the recipe.

Ingredients: Flour (preferably half and half strong plain and ordinary household) 450 g, yeast 15g, milk and wage mixed 550 to 575g, salt 1 teaspoon, sugar 1 tablespoon, oil 2 table spoons.  For the second mixing: bicarbonate of soda 1/2 teaspoon, warm water 150g.  For greasing the griddle and rings, a scrap of butter.

Method: Warm the flour in an earthenware bowl in a low oven for 5 minutes.  Warm the oil, milk, water and sugar to blood heat.  Use a little of this to cream the yeast.

Mix the salt with the warmed flour, stir in the yeast, pour in the liquid, stir the batter very well and vigorously (Walter Bamfield instructs “attack the batter with vivacious turbulence”) until it is smooth and elastic.  Cover the bowl and leave the batter to rise at room temperature until the whole surface is a mass of bubbles and the mixture looks as if it were about to break.  This will take 1.5 to 2 hours.

Forestall the natural falling of the batter by beating it down yourself with a wooden spoon.

Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in the warm water and stir it into the batter.  Cover the bowl and leave the batter to recover, for about 30 minutes.  This time put it in a rather warmer place, unless you need to delay the cooking of the crumpets, in which case use cold water for dissolving the bicarb and remove the bowl to a cool place.

To cook the crumpets, grease the griddle very lightly, and have the rings ready (modern crumpet rings are 100mm diameter and 12 mm deep) also very lightly greased.

Put four rings on the griddle, pour enough batter into each to come almost to the top.  Let them cook very gently until the top surfaces have formed a skin, which will take 7 to 10 minutes.  By this time there should also be a mass of tiny holes.  If the holes haven’t appeared, the batter is too thick.  Add more warm water or milk before cooking the next batch.

Once the crumpets have set it is easy to slip the rings off, and flip the crumpets over.  They will need only 3 minutes more cooking; crumpets are supposed to be rather pallid and flabby looking but very holly on the top surface, pale gold and smooth on the underside.

Keep the cooked strumpets (bloody auto correct!) crumpets warm in a folded cloth while the rest are cooked.

The quantities given will make eight to ten crumpets. . . . Personally I find crumpets edible only when freshly cooked, warm and soaked in plenty of butter.

Elizabeth David – a woman after my own heart (attack).  From her English Bread and Yeast Cookery London 1979 (Reprinted 2010)

Enjoy your crumpets ‘soaked in plenty of butter’ and with the best honey.


Cecil Poole.


More Crumpetstrassen

The following correspondence appeared in our in box. We have been unable to track the author down.
I am indeed familiar with the term ‘ crumpetstrassen’, and spent a lot of time failing to finish jobs because the Kings Road, Chelsea was, in the sixties, cluttered with young bra-less women wearing dizzying high heels and the briefest of skirts. Sometimes it was tres difficile to enter shops due to the rigid disorder of ones tight-fitting hipster jeans.

The pavement outside Harrods in Knightsbridge was another excellent  bit of strasse. Directly across the road was an auction room whose name escapes me in Montpelier St.. Having concluded ones affairs one casually crossed the road and took up station to better observe the parade.

We had, from time to time, truck with both Aspreys the Jewellers and Purdeys, the gun people. The sorts of people who frequented this top end area didn’t give a tinker’s curse about fashion, had a chauffeur and were as rich as Croesus. A lot of them were noticeably eccentric. One day, whilst I was waiting for something to be fixed, one of the terribly well spoken chaps at Purdeys was nice enough to remove from it’s case and show me a priceless, wholly hand made twelve bore shotgun. It was like a piece of jewellery, and beautifully engraved…

“Done a bit of shooting, I bet?’ said a voice from behind me. I turned and there was this nondescript character behind me with a huge toothy smile and a friendly hand on my shoulder.

“I’m sorry?’ I stammered, a bit taken aback, and unsure.

The terribly well spoken chap smiled and said nothing.

The toothy man recognized my accent immediately and became instantly convinced that he’d shot with me last year in France.

‘I was over there for the Show with Fitzgerald  only six months ago. Go every year you know. J’know ‘im? Keeps a good table…’

At that moment, the terribly well spoken young man eased the shotgun from my grip ( just in case I went berserk and donged the toothy one on the noggin.)

It was all becoming a bit uncomfortable. The young man dextrously made his excuses to the teeth, touched the side of his nose knowingly to the Teeth and ushered me into another room, but not before the teeth muttered; ‘Nuff said!’ pressed a card in my pocket and an invitation to dinner.

He turned out to be one of the Queen’s looney relatives with decidedly odd habits and the well mannered young man apologized.He also insisted he take back Toothy’s card. and then,finally things got back to normal. Apparently, if I had refused to return the card, there were two plain clothes officers on the premises who would have persuaded me to change my mind.

I couldn’t ever after, enter Purdeys without some member of staff enquiring as to how the latest bloody Queen’s garden party went.

I.M.N. O’Scent.


Poetry Sunday 19 October 2014

Poetry Editor, Ira Maine, presents two poems today.

I would make the point at the outset here that it is not my intention, even for a second, to compare these poems (in any competitive sense) with each other.  It is an acknowledged fact that the primary function of great poetry is to throw light on ‘…the unexamined life..’.

Of equal importance is the realization that poetry is amongst our society’s greatest achievements.  It is my own belief that if  ‘… all art aspires to the condition of music…’ then poetry represents the written word’s highest aspiration.  It is, at it’s finest, the music of dreams.

Besides, it’s a poet’s job, don’t you think, to demonstrate to those who come after, that our civilisation wasn’t entirely a waste of time?.

The first poem is one by the Australian Kate Lilley, who won the Grace Leven Prize for ‘Versary’ in 2002 and was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Prize  at about the same time.

DRESS CIRCLE. by Kate Lilley

Melodramas are made for mothers.
The daughter thinks that one day
She’ll graduate and take the lead.
Your right hand, little amanuensis,
Eyeing off the competition.
Because I kept your secrets
I thought you were mine to keep.
Now I’m off the hook and at a loss.
Tra la la la la triangle
What’ll I do without you?


Here’s a woman having raised her child, who has stood behind her in everything, and now is standing behind her growing child, as she studies, working her way towards  university.

They had shared everything, whispered so many secrets over cups of tea to the point where they formed an impossible to break bond… a bond, that if broken, was irreplaceable…yet..

‘…I thought you were mine to keep…’

A terrible sense of loss, knowing that what she wanted was impossible …’

‘…Now I’m off the hook and at a loss…’

The responsibility is gone now, the child no longer dependent, the mother no longer absolutely necessary…

And she remembers a jingle, one of those little tunes she sang to her daughter years ago. She is not trying to recapture the past, only trying to deal with her sense of loss, and remember. The lines, typical of a dandling song, are now heartbreaking;

‘…Tra la la la la triangle

What’ll I do without you?…


Seamus Heaney now;


What she remembers
Is his glistening back
In the bath, his small boots
In the ring of boots at her feet.

Hands in her voided lap,
She hears a daughter welcomed.
It’s as if he kicked when lifted
And slipped her soapy hold.

Once soap would ease off
The wedding ring
That’s bedded forever now
In her clapping hand.


Heaney makes the years slide past with soap and wedding rings…

‘..It’s as if he kicked when lifted
And slipped her soapy hold…’

Her son has slipped away from her, grown up and now married, but she has her own memories of him, the bath, the tiny boots and somewhere in there, the dandling song.

It is in the nature of Nature to encourage a fierce bond between mother and child.  Without this bond children find great difficulty in taking their place in society.  Nature demands everything from a mother in order that this might be achieved.  This bonding is like no other and is precisely the reason why mothers are so devastated when any or all of their children leave home.

And both mothers, in both poems remember how helpless the child was then and how much  they felt driven to love and protect it.  This responsibility, this unconditional love, this astonishing closeness, is surely a great part of what mothers remember and mourn forever it’s loss.


MDFF 18 October 2014

Our Dispatch today was first published on 23 July 2011.  Still the racist Intervention continues with white Australia’s complicity, the deliberate destruction of language is ongoing.  Blame the victim – again, and again.

Bonjour mes amies,

Recently in the Australian, Helen Hughes, Sara Hudson and Mark Hughes from the Centre for Independent (?!) Studies blamed Aboriginal land rights and communal ownership for “remote indigenous poverty and dysfunction.” Economic prosperity for Aboriginal people, they argued, could be achieved only by establishing private property rights… The same sentiment I recall reading in a paper by Noel Pearson… something like “it’s the communal nature of Aboriginal society that is holding it back…”

Whose dysfunction? Back from what?

North of Yuendumu there is a place called Ngalikirlangu which means “belongs to you and me”

Apologies to the traditional owners of Ngalikirlangu for any errors and liberties in my rendering of this jukurrpa.

Around Ngalikirlangu there are scattered dark red granite boulders.

The yankirri (Emu) collected lots of yakajirri (Solanum Centrale) berries and made them into pirdijirri (round flat cakes).

He was accumulating a large quantity of cakes. He was the Kerry Packer of Central Australia.

Or if he was a she, the Gina Rinehart of Central Australia.

The emu was absent discussing a large contract to supply pirdijirri to a Chinese Consortium. The entrepreneurial Emu was also discussing the signing of a long term lease over Ngalikirlangu to the Commonwealth (incidentally Commonwealth in Warlpiri is Ngalipakurlangu – belonging to us all). The Commonwealth was offering to install some caves that some of the marlu  (kangaroos) and others could then rent from  Darwin run NT Yujuku . The Commonwealth would pay lease rent to the yankirri . The emu had arranged for the proceeds from the cakes to be deposited in the Gringotts Bank. The Commonwealth proposed to pay for the lease rental by raiding the emu’s bank account. The Commonwealth representative, Macklinavelia, had had herself appointed the manager of the Gringotts Bank.

During yankirri’s absense a wardilyka (Bush Turkey) flew into his camp and broke and scattered all the cakes, and flew away. They look like scattered granite boulders but we know that they were, are and always will be, smashed pirdijirri. They are timeless.

…If you look with your eyes, do you know what you will find? Open your mind!…


That bloody turkey! Quick, call Yuendumu Police 89-564004! Have that turkey arrested for destroying private property! Take him to court, put him in gaol with all the other Warlpiri men that are already there. We can’t tolerate that kind of behaviour!

Far-off reaction:

Those turkeys (every single one of them) continue to misbehave. We need to Intervene. Why don’t we put up blue signs wherever turkeys live “NO CAKE SMASHING NO PORNOGRAPHY” . We are going to need extra police and Ginger Bread Men and an army of cake inspectors, it is all for their own good! They have a Gap that we need to close (should we ask them about this? Nah!)

Warlpiri reaction:

That bloody emu! What a ngayarrka. He has so many pirdijirri , why doesn’t he share them? Serves him right! Good job!

Many a time I have mentioned that beautiful German word Weltanschauung.

A world view is not better or worse than any other, it is different, that’s all. It is the epitome of arrogance to think that we have a right to force our value judgements and Weltanschauung on others.

Who do you think you are, running ‘round leaving scars:

The ever expanding Global Economy and military battles and conflicts over yakajirri  are not humanity’s crowning achievements, the ever evolving cultural and linguistic diversity is

…Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery,

None but ourselves can free our mind…

A bientot,


Bonus PS-

Suggest you Google Pangur Bán:

“…I and Pangur Bán my cat

‘Tis a like task we are at

Hunting mice is his delight

Hunting words I sit all night…”

So a new word heard on the telly: Schadenfreudegasm

This in relation to the Murdoch circus.

Check this out! (a tumour named Rupert):