[aka Darling, Darling River Language, Kula]

Classification: Pama-Nyungan


critically endangered


Wantaali -- Porcupine

This is the story of Wantaali, the Porcupine, as told by Jack Johnson in 1971, and narrated by Andrew Sloane. Jack was a right-through speaker of Paakantyi, the language of the Aboriginal people of far western New South Wales. He is Andrew's great-great-great-uncle. The drawings are by Amanda King. The full script: Wantaali palkarana ngiingkayika. -- Porcupines live among the roots. Piipuru thayiyika. -- They eat ants. Tharlanyangka mingkari ngipayika, -- They put their tongue in the hole, ngantamaru tharlanyana piipuru-umpala, -- and pull it back, with ants on it, thuna kungkarungka -- then swallow them. Porcupine was once a man long ago. Kaantinya ... -- Long ago ... He didn't have any friends because he didn't like anyone else. Nguri-mathirathu -- He got fat. The people hated Wantaali. He never went hunting or helped with anything. He said nasty things. Ngurta nhintatya, ngapa nguri. -- You are skinny, I am fat. Wantaali had many enemies who wanted to spear him. Wathityu. -

Robert Lindsay