Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory, Australia

July 7-21, 2006

 

 

You start burn him in Banggerreng (knock 'em down storm season), then proper in Yegge (cooler but still humid season).

Wurrgang (cold weather season)...he won't burn much.

But when that an-rebel (stringy bark) and that an-djalen (Darwin wooly butt) finish flowering in Gurrung (hot dry weather season)

that fire can travel day and night, all week. You got to be careful, that's important.

Then after, when the first storms come, in Gunumeleng (pre-monsoon storm season), you can burn him again.

Good story that one. That's the old law.

.........................................................--Nipper Kapirigi, Bodmari clan.

 

 

 

Cathedral termite mound: "The same engineering feat in human terms would be a skyscraper nearly 2 km high that covers eight city blocks, built by a million blindfolded workers."

 

 

 

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Horse Dreaming: Earlier the previous afternoon, we passed a remarkable stretch of eucalyptus forest where the tree trunks were mostly a light orange color with very smooth bark. This area had been burned recently so the shrubs and smaller trees where charcoal black. The light was too harsh in the midday sun, so we vowed to get up before dawn the following day and return to photograph this amazing forest. We were back there at first light, walking through the burnt grass in a smoky sunrise glow, and somehow Liza and I wandered far apart as we ventured into the forest. As I was looking through the lens, framing a photograph, I heard a loud swoosh sound nearby. Startled, I swung around, but didn't see anything. Then there was this clop, clop, clop behind me. This time when I turned around, there was a large black wild stallion snorting and prancing back and forth in front of me, moving closer with each pass. I had no idea horses could be threatening, but I got it right away: this was his territory and I was an unwelcome intruder. With a touch of adrenaline spreading through my extremities, I slowly backed away. After a time, my nemesis seemed satisfied and disappeared back into the magic forest. As I walked away, it seemed like some sort of strange dreaming vision, that was now fading back into the subconscious. When I caught up with Liza, she knew what that sound had meant and was relieved to see me again (unharmed)...

 

 

 

 

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Dingo's and kangaroos, wary but common in the eucalypt and pandanus woodlands.

 

 

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Magpie geese and Australian Darter at Mardugul Billabong, one of hundreds of wetlands isolated in the dry season.

 

 

Sound recordings:

Kakadu birds (5:21)

Conversation with park ranger (13:19)

 

 

 

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Total Croc Length = 7 x length from eyes to nose.

 

 

My Grandpa teach me. That painting is true. Fish, python, goose, all painting there.

Grandpa say 'You see painting, fish...you got to eat. Mullet...you got to eat. Lily, turtle, all same. They for you.

Fish...he listen. He say 'Oh, somebody there.' Him frightened, too many Toyota. Make me worry too.

This story is important. It won't change, it is law. It is like this earth, it won't move.

Ground and rock...he can't move. Cave...he never move. No-one can shift that cave, because it dream. It story, it law.

This story...this is true story.

...................-Bill Neidjie, Bunitje clan.

 

 

The first people arrived in Northern Australia some 60,000 years ago, journeying across the Timor Sea from Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, marking the beginning of the world's longest continuous cultural history. At Kakadu, there are over 5,000 rock art sites. Pictographs at Ubirr and Nourlangie depict animals that have been extinct for thousands of years. Archeological evidence indicates some shelters were continuously used for 20,000 years.

 

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Look see

this good one, that painting.

Give you all that feeling of life,

all that big story.

................................................-Bill Neidjie, Bunitj clan

 

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In dreaming painting, use special paint, ochre, blood.

Come back with that feeling.

Ceremony painting is not for everyone to see.

Top business, you can't see it.

Go through your body and give you knowledge,

dreaming you might dream, good one.

........... ..................................-Bill Neidjie, Bunitj clan.

 

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KKDreamtime in our swag, under the glow of the southern cross and the Milky Way.

 

 

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Auckland, New Zealand (plane) ► Brisbane, Australia (plane) ► Darwin (car) ► Mary River (car) ► Kakadu National Park (car) ► Wauchope (car) ► Katherine