Storytracking Origins of Ancestors

Storytracking

Storytracking Origins of Ancestors

Storytracking

Texts, Stories, and Histories in Central Australia
$69.00
Paperback 12/02/1998 ISBN13: 9780195115888 ISBN10: 0195115880 Storytracking is a work of theory and application. It is both a study of history and culture and the academic issues accompanying the interpretation and observation of other peoples. Sam Gill writes about Central Australia, but, more importantly, he writes about the business of trying to live responsibly and decisively in a postmodern world faced with irreconcilable diversity and complexity, with undeniable ambiguity and uncertainty.
Storytracking includes engaging accounts of many of the colorful figures involved in the nineteenth-century development of Central Australia, and it is an argument for a multiperspectival theory of history. It presents descriptions of an important aboriginal culture--the Arrernte--and it critically examines ethnography. It exposes the colonialist underbelly of all modern academic culture study, yet it embraces the situation as one of creative potential outlining an interactivist epistemology with which to negotiate the classical alternatives of objectivism and subjectivism. Gill presents an examination of the emergent academic study of religion focused on two exemplary scholars--Mircea Eliade and Jonathan Smith--offering a play theory of religion as the basis for innovative critical discussions of text, comparison, interpretation, the definition of religion, academic writing style, and the role of "the other."
Based on painstakingly detailed research, Gill exposes disturbing and confounding dimensions of the modern world, particularly academia. Yet, beyond the pessimism that often characterizes postmodernity, he charts an optimistic and creative course framed in the terms of play.

Cover for 9780195115888


Storytracking the Accounts of the
Origin of Ancestors and Human Beings

Spencer was interested in accounting for Arrernte beliefs in the origin of the ancestors and human beings. These concerns corresponded with his periodization of the primal era into stages that accounted for cosmic origins, ancestral and totem origins, and human origins. The following texts and comparisons demonstrate how Spencer accounted for these origins in Native Tribes of Central Australia (London: Macmillan, 1899), pp. 387-89. The text in the first column below is the account as published in Native Tribes. The second columns is from Volume I, pp. 39-40, of Francis Gillen's Journal. The date for this entry is not stated but must be 1896 or before because Volume II is dated 1896. The third column is from Volume III, pp. 616-17, of Gillen's Journal. This account is dated June 5, 1897. The texts are complete and can be read separately by reading down the each specific column.

Spencer & Gillen
Origin of Alcheringa Ancestors (1899)

[1]We have hitherto spoken of the Alcheringa in general terms, using the word to denote the whole period during which the mythical ancestors of the present Arunta tribe existed. [2]In reality the traditions of the tribe recognise four more or less distinct periods in the Alcheringa. [3]During the first of these men and women were created; in the second the rite of circumcision by means of a stone knife, in place of a fire- stick, was introduced; in the third the rite of Ariltha or sub- incision was introduced, and in the fourth the present organisation and marriage system of the tribe were established. [4]The second and third periods are, however, by no means sharply defined, and to a certain extent they are contemporaneous, or rather they overlap one another.

[5]We may speak of these periods as the early, the middle (comprising the second and third), and the later Alcheringa.

[6]The earliest tradition with which we are acquainted is as follows. [7]In the early Alcheringa the country was covered with salt water (Kwatcha alia). [8]This was gradually withdrawn towards the north by the people of that country who always wanted to get it and to keep it for themselves. ([Footnote:] [9]Though it is scarcely credible that there can be any tradition relating to a time so far past, yet it is a remarkable coincidence that this tradition reflects what geological evidence shows to have been the case, so far as the existence of a great inland sea is concerned.) [10]At last they succeeded in doing so, and the salt water has remained with them ever since. [11]At this time there dwelt in the Alkira aldorla, that is the western sky, two beings of whom it is said that they were Ungambikula, a word which means "out of nothing," or "self-existing." [12]From their elevated dwelling-place they could see, far away to the east, a number of Inapertwa creatures

([Footnote:] [13]In the Report of the Horn Expedition, vol. iv., p. 184, this word was written Inaperlwa, and translated "Echidna," or "Native Porcupine." [14]The spelling and explanation now given are the correct ones.)[12 cont.], that is rudimentary human beings or incomplete men, whom it was their mission to make into men and women.

[15]In those days there were no men and women, and the Inapertwa were of various shapes and dwelt in groups along by the shores of the salt water.

[16]They had no distinct limbs or organs of sight, hearing or smell, and did not eat food, and presented the appearance of human beings all doubled up into a rounded mass in which just the outline of the different parts of the body could be vaguely seen.























[17]Coming down from their home in the western sky, armed with their Lalira or great stone knives, the Ungambikula took hold of the inapertwa, one after the other. [18]First of all the arms were released, then the fingers were added by making four clefts at the end of each arm; then legs and toes were added in the same way. [19]The figure could now stand, and after this the nose was added and the nostrils bored with the fingers. [20]A cut with the knife made the mouth, which was pulled open several times to make it flexible. [21]A slit on each side separated the upper and lower eye-lids, hidden behind which the eyes were already present, another stroke or two completed the body, and thus, out of the Inapertwa, men and women were formed.































[22]These Inapertwa creatures were in reality stages in the transformation of various animals and plants into human beings, and thus they were naturally, when made into human beings, intimately associated with the particular animal or plant, as the case may be, of which they were the transformations--in other words, each individual of necessity belonged to a totem the name of which was of course that of the animal or plant of which he or she was a transformation. [23]This tradition of the Ungambikula only refers to a certain number of totems, or rather to a certain number of local groups of individuals belonging to particular totems; in the case of others such as, for example, the Udnirringita or witchetty grub totem, there is no tradition relating to the Inapertwa stage. [24]The Ungambikula made into men Inapertwa who belonged to the following totems:--Akakia or plum tree, Inguitchika or grass seed, Echunpa or large lizard, Erliwatchera or small lizard, Atninpirichira or Alexandra parakeet, and Untania or small rat. [25]In the case of all except the first they also performed the rite of Lartna or circumcision by means of a fire-stick.

[26]The same tradition relates that, after having performed their mission, the Ungambikula transformed themselves into little lizards called Amunga-quiniaquinia, a word derived from amunga a fly and quiniaquinia to snap up quickly. [27]There is no reason given for this, and in no other tradition do we meet with either the Ungambikula or the special kind of lizard into which they changed.

Traditions of Origin
Francis Gillen's Journal, vol I












































[1]In the long long ago ancestors





























































of the present race lived in the form of a giant species of porcupine called Inaapwerta which had no limbs or organs of sight smell or hearing and did not eat food. [2]This animal incapable of motion presented the appearance of a man whose legs and arms were doubled up and grown into the shoulders a slight outline of human limbs were visible. [3]A spirit man called Allkappera [perhaps Ullakupera, a little hawk that gives its name to a totem, in NT Spencer substitutes Ungambikulla--western sky, Allkuppera--from east] came from the east (iknurra) & seeing these strange creatures felt a great pity for them & on examination discovered that with the aid of his magic knife he could release from the curious mass of flesh the faintly outlined legs & arms & give these creatures the same shape as himself. [4]Taking up one of the Inaapwerta he quickly released the arms adding fingers by making four divisions at the end of the arm, the legs were now released & toes added in like manner.



[5]The figure could now stand erect. [6]The nose was formed and the nostrils bored with the finger one stroke of the knife added the mouth which was pulled open several times to make flexible. [7]Eyes were formed by the simple process of incision another stroke or two of the magic knife provided the new being with genital organs. [8]The Ullakupera continued his operations until all the Inaapwerta were converted into living images of himself both sexes were created with equal rapidity. [9]Having finished his task the spirit called all the men and women together endowed them with the gift of speech and informed the men that the women were made for their use with a view to increase their numbers the men however before taking wives must undergo the operation of Lartna (circumcision) and Arreelta (subincision). [10]These operations were performed on them at once the men and women assembled were then divided into four castes Bultharra Coomarra Panunga & Puroola & instructed in the marriage laws which are observed at the present time. [11]The men were instructed to hide from the women while recovering from the effects of the qualifying operation.

Francis Gillen's Journal, 1897
[1]Amunga-quinyirquinya Flycatching lizard
[2]Earliest alchiringa










































[3]In the early days of the Alcherina this country was all covered with salt water qualch [Kwatcha] alia which has gradually withdrawn to the north Yerira by the people of that country who always wanted to get it & keep it in their own country to which it is now confined.












[4]At this period there dwelt in the Western Alkirra (sky or heavens) two men who were Ungambikulla that is out of nothing or enough in themselves


[5]they could see from their elevated position Inaapertwa creatures



(vide Horn vol [iv] Anthrop page 185 where the term is printed Inaapwerta & erronously translated as meaning Echidna aculeata [i.e., a porcupine like creature] its real meaning is rudimentary [the term "rudimentary" is written above the term "incomplete" which is crossed through] men - partly men - or men unable to walk) dwelling on the shores of the salt water but they were afraid to go to them owing to the water.






















































































































































[6]The Inaapertwa dwelt in various places & when the water was withdrawn the Amung quinyirquinya [fly catching lizards] came down and made with their knives [i.e., by circumcision] some groups into Ulpmirka [word "men" crossed out and replaced by "Ulpmirka" i.e., by means of circumcision groups were made into men or Ulpmerka (Gillen's Ulpmirka)] and some into Arakurta [young men between circumcision and subincision], but they did not perform Ariltha [subincision]. [7]At Quiurnpa they formed a group whom they made into Ulpmirka only & this is how the Ulpmirka of that place originated [written between lines "then they originated in two other places in the ???"] [8]They intended to return and make Arakurta of them but they were annoyed with Oruncha devils who dwelt at a big quartz Blow called Atnuraquina near Temple Bar & who killed and eat a lot of Echunpa [large lizarad] & Entinaichara[?] men & women whom the Amunga quinyirquinya had made from Inaapertwa [9]There these Oruncha also eat up a lot of Atnin piriechara[?] (Alexandra parakeet) & Untaina (small rat) people whom the Amunga made out of Inaapertwa creatures [10]- two Achumpa [perhaps Echunpa] men brothers escaped in this way one [above the space following word "the El???"] was with his wife was away down south [word "upon" marked out] when the Oruncha made their raid & upon returning he saw their heads & being frightened placed his lubra in the center of his ilpilla (large bunch Eagle hawks feathers worn in Uleara[girdle made of human hair] above hips) & thus carried her about concealed from view [11]he looked about for his brother & presently found his head which he spoke to & from his brother at once arose again saying the oruncha killed us all but they threw away my head [12]they will come again take care of yourself [13]then he pointed to the track they had taken & the men arming themselves with an Urumpirra (large spear made of one piece of wood & used at close quarters only) each - heavy & strong - took up positions one on the west the other on the eastern side of the gap [14](Stone arose to mark exact spots where they stood) & when the oruncha appeared again they rushed out and killed them all with their Urumpirra [15]they fell close together near the mouth of the gap (Simpsons) & this accounts for the great jumble of boulders at that spot - [16]The Okilea[?] sat down altogether & the Walia[?] journeyed away to Aurnpira[?] south west of Goydors[?] Springs Erldunda[?] where he sat down altogether --- PS [17]It was the Amunga quinyirquinya who made the Ulpmirka [boy before circumcision, also group of men during Alcheringa that were not circumcised] totem. [18]later on it will be shown that the Ulakupera [little hawk] who followed operated upon some of these Ulpmirka groups & they became Arakurta [referring to circumcised boys before subincision?] only those Ulpmerka who were in the first instance operated upon by Amunga [lizards] to & thus made Arakurta by the Ullakupera are now designated as the latter totem -- [19]Having accomplished their mission these men of the heavens turned themselves into little lizards of two species both called Amunga-quinyirquaiya from Amunga (a fly)

Francis J. Gillen's Traditions of Origin of the Race

Gillen published an account of Arrernte origins (based on his journal account in column 2 above) in the Horn expedition report, "Notes on some Manners and Customs of the Aborigines of the McDonnell Ranges belonging to the Arunta Tribe," Report on the Work of the Horn Scientific Expedition to Central Australia (Part IV- Anthropology) edited by Baldwin Spencer (London: Dulau and Co., 1896), pp. 184-85. It is to this report that Spencer refers in his account published in Native Tribes (column 1 above) and to which Gillen refers in his 1897 journal account (column 3 above). The account as published follows.

Ages ago ancestors of the present race lived in the form of a great species of porcupine (Echnida aculeata) called Inapwerla [since Gilled did not cross his "t"s, it is likely that Inaperla is a misreading of his cursive and should have been Inapwerta], which had no limbs or organs of sight, smell, or hearing, and which did not eat food. This animal, incapable of motion, presented the appearance of a man whose legs and arms were so shrunken and "doubled up" that mere indications of limbs were visible. A spirit man called Alkappera came from the east (iknurra) who, seeing these strange creatures, felt a great pity for them and,on examination, discovered that, with the aid of his magic knife, he could, by releasing from the curious mass of flesh the faintly outlined legs and arms, give these creatures the same shape as himself. Taking up one of the Inapwerla he quickly released the arms, adding fingers by making four clefts at the end of the arm; the legs were then released and toes added in like manner. The figure could now stand erect, the nose was formed and the nostrils bored with the finger; one stroke of the knife added the mouth, which was pulled open several times to make it flexible; eyes were formed by the simple process of incision and another stroke or two of the magic knife provided the new being with genital organs. The Alkappera continued his operations until all the Inapwerla were converted into living images of himself. In this way both sexes were created with equal rapidity. Having finished his task the spirit called all the men and women together, endowed them with the gift of speech, and informed the men that the women were made for their use, with a view of increasing their numbers. It was ordained that the men, before taking wives, must undergo the ordeals of circumcision and subincision, and that they must hide from the women during recovery; these operations being performed on them at once. The men and women assembled were then divided into four classes, Pultarra, Kumarra, Panunga and Purula, and were instructed in the marriage laws, which are observed at the present time.

Summary of the Comparison of "Origin of Alcheringa Ancestors"
in Spencer and Gillen, Native Tribes (1899)
with Gillen's field journal sources:
"Traditions of Origin" (1894) &"
Amunga-quinyirquinya Flycatching lizard" (1897)

[Line numbers on left correspond with the account in Native Tribes]

1 Alcheringa denotes period when mythical ancestors existed.

Comment: Gillen's journals use statements such as "In the long long ago..." and "In the early days of the Alcheringa..."

2-5 "In reality the traditions of the tribe recognise four more or less distinct eras in the Alcheringa. ..."

Comment: An important perspective that guided Spencer's editorial work, though it is unsupported in the journals and field notes of both Gillen and Spencer. It is Spencer's interpretation that these stories can be made more sensible if arranged into a chronology of four periods. Having established this principal, he directs his attention in the "early wanderings" foremost to finding a story of creation.

6 "The earliest tradition with which we are acquainted is as follows."

7 "In the early Alcheringa the country was covered with salt water (Kwatcha alia)."

Gillen 1897 [3] "In the early days of the Alcheringa this country was all covered with salt water qualch alia ..."

8 "This was gradually withdrawn toward the north by the people of that country who always wanted to get it and to keep it for themselves."

Gillen 1897 [3] " ... which had gradually withdrawn to the north Yerira by the people of that country who always wanted to get it & keep it in their own country to which it is now confined."

9 Footnote: Spencer's comment

10 Spencer's embellishment extending Gillen 1897 [3]

11 "At this time there dwelt in the Alkira aldorla, that is the western sky, two beings of whom it is said that they were Ungambikula, a word which means "out of nothing," or "self-existing."

Gillen 1897 [4] "At this period there dwelt in the Western Alkerra (sky or heavens) two men who were Ungambikula that is out of nothing or enough in themselves"

Comment: Spencer's editing leaves this sentence very close to his source in Gillen. However, whereas Gillen clearly has these figures identified as lizards--Gillen's sentences [1], the title of the section, and [6] where he refers again to these beings as lizards--Spencer never identifies them as such. Spencer's omission thus allows the term Ungambikulla to take the form of a proper noun rather than an adjective as it is in Gillen.

12 "From their elevated dwelling-place they could see, far away to the east, a number of Inapertwa creatures, that is rudimentary human beings or incomplete men, whom it was their mission to make into men and women."

Gillen 1897 [5] "they could see from their elevated position Inapertwa creatures ... dwelling on the shores of the salt water but they were afraid to go to them owing to the water."

Comment: whereas Gillen's account has the lizards afraid to go to these creatures because of the waters, Spencer gives the figures the mission to make the Inapertwa into men and women.

13-14Spencer follows Gillen in including this correction of the rendering of the term Inapertwa here even to the placement of the comment in the middle of the same sentence.

15 "In these days there were no men and women, and the Inapertwa were of various shapes and dwelt in groups along by the shores of the salt water."

Spencer follows Gillen 1897 [5] quoted above, but adds that men and women did not then exist and that the Inapertwa were of various shapes, neither point supported by Gillen.

16 "They [the Inapertwa] had no distinct limbs or organs of sight, hearing or smell, and did not eat food, and presented the appearance of human beings all doubled up into a rounded mass in which just the outline of the different parts of the body could be vaguely seen."

Comment: At this point Spencer abandons Gillen's 1897 account of the lizards and draws on Gillen's first journal (1895?) in an account he titled "Traditions of Origin." Perhaps Spencer in seeing Gillen's note of the erroneous rendering of Inapertwa looked up this earlier account and found elements of it to his liking. It is also notable that in Gillen 1895 the Inapertwa were transformed by a being called Allkappera, perhaps a little hawk, and came from the east (not specifed as the sky). Clearly Gillen's two accounts are not two versions of the same story.

Gillen 1895 [1] "In the long long ago ancestors of the present race lived in the form of a giant species of porcupine called Inaapwerta which had no limbs or organs of sight smell or hearing and did not eat food."

17 "Coming down from their home in the western sky, armed with their Lalira or stone knives, the Ungambikula took hold of the inapertwa, one after the other."

Comment: Spencer draws upon Gillen's lizard story for the "coming down" and perhaps from Gillen 1895 [4] for "took hold." Gillen 1895 [4] "Taking up one of the Inaaperwerta ..."

18 "First of all the arms were released, then the fingers were added by making four clefts at the end of each arm; then legs and toes were added in the same way."

Comment: Here Spencer shifts fully from Gillen's 1897 lizard story which centers on the initiatory operations of circumcision and subincision to Gillen's 1895 story "Traditions of Origin." The shift is from a story that makes the uninitiated into the initiated, that is, adult males, into a story of the creation of human beings, men and women, from embryo-like creatures. Gillen 1895 [4] "Taking up one of the Inaapwerta he quickly released the arms adding fingers by making four divisions at the end of the arm, the legs were now released & toes added in like manner."

19 "The figures could now stand, and after this the nose was added and the nostrils bored with the fingers."

Comment: Taken directly from Gillen 1895 [5] & [6].

20 "A cut with the knife made the mouth, which was pulled open several times to make it flexible."

Comment: Taken directly from Gillen 1895 [7].

21 "A slit on each side separated the upper and lower eye-lids, hidden behind which the eyes were already present, another stroke or two completed the body, and thus, out of the Inapertwa, men and women were formed."

Comment: Spencer takes the origin of eyes directly from Gillen 1895 [7], but, interestingly, elects to exclude the creation of genetalia. Gillen 1895 [7] "Eyes were formed by the simple process of incision another stroke or two of the magic knife provided the new beings with genital organs." Importantly, Spencer ignores Gillen's account [9] through [11] of the origin of circumcision and subincision, "castes," and the decorum between men and women. It appears that these would distract from Spencer's interest in presenting a story of human creation. This intent is seen in his following sentences in which he generalizes the story as representative of all totem origins.

22 "These Inaapertwa creatures were in reality stages in the transformation of various animals and plants into human beings, and thus they were naturally, when made into human beings, intimately associated with the particular animal or plant, as the case may be, of which they were the transformations--in other words, each individual of necessity belonged to a totem the name of which was of course that of the animal or plant of which he or she was a transformation."

Comment: Spencer's interpretation.

23 "This tradition of the Ungambikula only refers to a certain number of totems, or rather to a certain number of local groups of individuals belonging to particular totems; in the case of others such as, for examaple, the Udnirringita or witchetty grub totem, there is no tradition relating to the inapertwa stage."

24-25Spencer enumerates some of the totems groups followed by a rather unconnected statement about circumcision being performed with stone knives. Then Spencer picks up the mission he gave to these two sky beings who are now referred to as "the Ungambikulla" and describes what happened to them when they completed their mission.

26 "The same tradition relates that, after having performed their mission, the Ungambikula transformed themselves into little lizards called Amunga-quiniaquinia, a word derived from amunga a fly and quiniaquinia to snap up quickly."

This sentence is obviously based in Gillen 1897, but Spencer's understanding of the term Ungambikulla portrays sky beings with the proper names "Ungambikulla" acting throughout the story who, in the end, turn into lizards. Gillen's 1897 story is about lizards who are described as ungambikulla. Spencer's inclusion of the lizards here, his shift back to Gillen 1897, presents a confusion that Spencer himself seemed puzzled by as suggested in the next sentence.

27 "There is no reason given for this, and in no other tradition do we meet with either the Ungambikula or the special kind of lizard into which they changed."

General Comment: Note that Spencer ignores much in Gillen's account of the Flycatching Lizards, indeed everything after sentence [5]. He connects the beginning of this story that is about making adult men of a totem by means of circumcision and subincision with a fragment collected several years earlier by Gillen (and I suspect that this particular fragment may hae significant Christian influence based on a comparison of it with accounts in C. Strehlow's work) and construes it as a story of human origins, i.e., a story of the earliest period when, obviously, Gillen's 1897 story would more certainly fit the middle period, as Spencer defines it, if left as Gillen presents it.

In all of Gillen's journals these two stories are the only evidence Spencer can draw upon to document what he has defined as the earliest period, the period of creation.

The effect of Spencer's account, pp. 387-9, is to give the Arunta a period of creation, an earliest period. Peculiarly Spencer even confounds this with his conclusion about the lizards. In fact the only field data Spencer had in 1898 on which to establish his early period was Gillen's 1895 account. Spencer's motivations to find a human creation story of the earliest period seem clear in that he does not include the circumcision and subincision elements from either of his field sources, Gillen 1895 [9] and Gillen 1897 [6]. And he skews the knife cutting actions of the lizard story, which are clearly related to circumcision and subincision, to the actions of creating humans from rudimentary forms.

The term inaapertwa is key. While in Gillen's 1895 account the term refers to rudimentary forms, in Gillen's 1897 journal it simply refers to those who have not been initiated.

Gillen's 1897 journal account concludes with the creation of the pile of stones at Simpson's Gap which is common in the totem stories.

Spencer's interpretive statements [22-25] confound his purpose though in some senses they may be more connected with his sources. Here he acknowledges that the account he has given is not a generalized human creation story, but a representative of the genre of so-called totem ancestor stories--that is, stories that tell how the ancestors make the humans in their lineage.

The effect of presenting the story as general human creation is that in doing so, ungambikulla (which is but an adjective for any and all these ancestral figures who simply jumped up of themselves) becomes a proper noun referring to creator sky gods, a kind of figure otherwise completely absent from Aboriginal thought and religion. And, importantly, a figure sought after by missionaries and turn-of-the century students of religion.

It is significant that within the first forty pages of Gillen's first notebook, he includes a passage on "Spiritual Beings" and "Traditions of Origins." It would be expected that Gillen would inquire about these aspects of Arrernte life, though this was before Frazer and Spencer would be dictating his research agenda.

Notably, Spencer uses the same technique as does Eliade (or really vice versa). What they do is to creatively construct an illustrative example intermingled with their own comments fairly clear: Eliade presented an example of center with an earth-sky connection to support his understanding of religion; Spencer needed an example of "early wanderings" that would show first creations to support his morphological typology. Neither necessarily hides his motivations. Both, through a process of selection, organization, omission, conflation, and most especially subtle contextualization, construct documents that are construed by others as primary texts or that accurately reflect primary texts. Both texts when compared to their sources are found to be different in fundamental ways from their sources. The major difference is that Eliade cites his source, Spencer does not.

The texts from Gillen's journal for other sections of the tjilpa ancestral journey stories follow.

Achilpa Wanderings
Francis Gillen - Journal, Volume III, p. 349
November 12, 1896

[In margin this passage is described as "Central path of Achilpa"]

Before they came to Imanda they were at a place W. of Finke. They stopped at or close to Imanda a long time & made there a large ocknannakilla & also performed Engwurra. Then they came in to Ooramuina & made an Ocknannakilla & also Engwurra there. Came on to a plain between Emily & Jesse Gaps & crossed the Range at a depression east of the Emily Gap and travelled in from there to near Emily Soakage. Carried Nurtunja with them. Passed on to head of the Range & made Engwurra at Arapera - on to Alan's Creek where the water runs out & then to the Western Spur of the Stangways & stopped there--finding there another mob of Achilpa.

Wanderings of Achilpa (E)
Francis Gillen - Journal, Volume III, p. 353
November 18, 1896

A mob of Achilpa men in the Alcheringa "stood up" near Wilyunpa [?] on the Finke. They started north carrying a Nurtunja & [words "finally sat down" crossed out] stayed at Therierita where they made an ocknannaikilla [?]. This mob composed of Bultharra & Pananja men.

[there is a three line note on "Opossum Women" but a line connects the Achilpa wonderings story with the material following the Opossum Women note, as direct continuity]

They met a man who came from the salt water country north & all day eat witchetty near Paddy's hole--no ocknannakilla only at-narbita-- him they smelt & slew & a stone in Paddy's Creek called Achilpa Ithuka remains unto this day as the representation of the man-- Then they walked on to Irri-mi-wurra. Up to this time they had been eating Unjeamba & when they could not get water had drunk their own blood. They had also driven the mosquitos away before them. Here they tumbled down and [?] up Ulpmerka eating plums & went away north to the salt water country. [in left margin "After becoming Ulpmerka established an ocknannakilla at Stirlings Creek amongst the Kytische.]

Previously to becoming Ulpmerka they had been practising the rite of circumcision with stone on boys.

Achilpa Wanderings
Francis Gillen, Journal, Volume III, p. 355
November 18, 1896

Came from S. W. of Oodnadatta & then via Erldunda to Palmer R. & so up to Illamurta & on from there N.

[here there are short entries on "Okrumcha & Okirra" and on "Unjeamba woman & Nurtunga"]

Western Wandering of Achilpa
Francis Gillen, Journal, Volume III, p. 355
November 18, 1896

Achilpa of Urrapitchera [?] near Boggy Water hole on Finke. This mob had a double nurtunja & split up into two mobs which marched north along parallel lines not far from one another each carrying a nurtunja.

Wandering of Achilpa
Francis Gillen - Journal, Volume III, p. 421
November 26, 1896

Chilpertwa starting from below Wilyunpa carried a nurtunja & walked north forming ocknannakilla as they went at various places. (These men passed by but did not see the two lubras mentioned above) They met a man who came from the salt water in the N. & who all day long eat witchetty at Paddy's hole & was called atuarbitta (vulva follower). Smelt him & killed him & a stone in Paddy's Creek at Achilpa itulka represents the black fellow killed. Then having performed this righteous act they walked on to irri-mi-wurra. During this time they had been performing arilta on boys & eating unjeamba & driving away the mosquitos before them & when unable to get water drank their own blood. At Irri-mi-wurra they tumbled down & jumped up Ulpmerka & went away N. to the salt water country. During this march they eat plums & formed an ocknannililla at Stirlings Creek.

Wanderings of Achilpa Eastern mob
Francis Gillen - Journal III, p. 492
After April 17, 1897 and before May 15, 1897

Column I

Supposed to have started from a place named Okarra somewhere in the vicinity of Wilyunpa [east of Charlotte Waters] east of the Finke where they stood up first travelled to Therierila where they made Engwura & established Oknanackan [?] & left some men thence to Atnymechoala a few miles east of Loves Creek thence to Achilpa ilthaka (meaning where the Achilpa cut man into pieces near Arltunga[)] at this spot they met a man of the Achilpa totem who came from the salt water & who was en route for Therierila all along his line of roads he had been ravishing women & he was possessed of an immense penis (all [?] [?]) which stretched out from his body with this he swept the women down & having connection with them split them open and they died. This man smelled offensively he was aluarbila (i.e., smelling like a foul female organ) the Achilpa killed him & cut him up into little pieces a large stone arose at the spot & remains unto this day as a representation of the man - the Achilpa throughout their journey were driving large mobs of mosquitoes before them - they lived on Unjeamba [hakea flower] & when they were thirsty drank their own blood leaving Achilpailthunka they travelled past Irrimiwarra [between this line and the following is "Unchiperawartna without seeing the two [?] lubras of opossum who sat down here"] & camped at Kalearahunimma [?] which is situated a little to the north of Wumeckes [?] depot before they arrived at the camp they smelled Akakia men & when they got into the Creek they saw them some were men & some boys here they boxed up with the Akakia [plum tree men] after which they went into the ground like the Arunlarinya [?] do at the present day & arose again changed into Ulpmirka [above line is written "the nurtunja [?] remained in ground"] feeding upon plums & carrying in their hand ilyabara bushes they started again taking with them all the Ulpmirka whom they found at Kalearatunimma [?] & camped at a place called Unarlaonunga [?] where they made quabara Undattha they then proceeded to Erlua in the Strangeways Ranges & from thence to Orarla north w of the Strangeways where they made Quabara Undattha & left two Ulpmirka thence to Arrarapuncha [?] where they met the mob of Ulpmirka from Quiurnpa [?] under Kukartcha [?] who carried a large Nurtunja the parties boxed together & made Quabara Undattha & left two men & then proceeded together to Urangunja where they found two lubras of Urpura (magpie) totem who had a big Nurtunja & who showed their quapara Undattha to the Ulpmirka [uninitiated men] - the Ulpmirka camped here some time making Quabara Undalttha which they did not show to the lubras who were covered with Culchea & ochmchalunaina [?] & alpite [?] leaving here they proceeded to Ilpalilla big Hue[?] E of Ryans well & camped thence to Ilchaartwanynga[?] where they made great Altherla [subincision?] but no quabara Undattha, here a number of large stoned standing on end arose & still stand to mark the spot where the Ulpmirka danced these stones are called Ulpmirka atnimma[?] i.e., the standing Ulpmirka - leaving here they journeyed on to a place called Alawalla somewhere N E of Central Mt. Stuart where they went into the ground & came out again at Incharulinga[?] Sterling Creek where they established Oknannakilla & left man from here they journeyed on to the salt water country Allia - the Ulpmirka went into the ground at Alawalla because the plums fell off the trees in such great numbers that they covered the whole country like a flood & moved along the ground like a flood this frightened the Ulpmirka.

[here follows Columns II from Gillen's notebooks, pp. 495-503]