Oral histories are shared by Wiradjuri elder, Bob Glanville, about post-contact circuits of movements in the Cootamundra, Gundagai and Tumut regions




Wagga Wagga Art Gallery

Saturday 6 May – Sunday 16 July, 2017

Curated by Joni Taylor, New Landscapes Institute




Transcript and Wiradjuri translation of audio featured in

Lines of Movement – A Wiradjuri History’

installation by The Wired Lab (Sarah Last & David Burraston)


Interview with Wiradjuri Elder Bob Glanville, 10th April 2017, Cootamundra, NSW

Translated into Wiradjuri language and edited by Peter Beath with assistance from Jordan Beath

Transcribed by Amber Beath
Audio spoken by Peter Beath in Wiradjuri language







Traveling on Country = Waygiwinya Ngurambang-dya


Many people think that the Wiradjuri people didn’t have any sense of permanency anywhere or belong to just one spot. They had to move from one place to another, there was no buildings or houses and stopping there because they had to hunt for food. In the summer people would live near the mountains, then in winter they would head out towards the flat country. From Tumut, Brungle and Tumbarumba down to Cootamundra.


Mayiny-galang winhanganha Wiradjuri mayiny wiray nginhagu ngumbaay ngurang-gu. Bala-guliya darralanganha. Wiray wamarra gilguuma-galang bu mabinya yadhang waygiwinya barrawidya-gu dhangaang-gu bala-ginbayanhi. Yiraybang-dha mayiny murunginyi baldya-dha ngurambang-dya yandu waygiwinyi-gu gudal-gu ngurambang-gu yandu ngurumbi yanhanhi. Tumut-dhi, Brungle-dhi bu Tumbarumba-dyi Gudhamangdhuray-gu ngurambang-gu.


My Family came to Cootamundra a long time ago. My grandmother and mother travelled to Gundagai from Brungle to get provisions. When they got back to Brungle my grandmother found that some children had been taken away. My mum was reasonably fair in comparison to the other kids up there. My grandmother quickly realised it would have been quite likely that my mum would have been taken too. She decided to move away from Brungle and move down to where Cootamundra country. She had some sort of familiarity of the area as it was her father’s country.


Miyagandhi yanhanhi Gudhamangdhuray-gu ngurambang-gu nguwanda. Gunhinarrungdhi bu gunhidhi yanhanhi Brungle-dhi Gundagai-gu maldhadha dhangaang.Yandu birrabuwawanhi-ngiinybula, Gunhinarrungdhi garraywayi gundyan-galang nunhamayi galbaa galingabangbur. Gunhidhi-gu burraburra yulany marra ngunhiyali muriguwal. Galingabangbur-guwal budhang yulany-dhuray. Gunhinarrungdhi winhanganhi gundyan-galang nunhamalgirri ngunhiyali buraay. Gunhinarrungdhi yirbamanhi Brungle bu yanhanhi-gu Gudhamangdhuray-gu ngurambang-gu, ngunhiyali Babiin-gu ngurambang-gu.


They were too frightened to walk down the raods so they walked cross country from Brungle down to Coota. It is a long walk on foot. They had to carry all the food, water and clothing they could. I imagine it would have taken them weeks to get here. When they got here, they settled on what people call the “Blacks Camp” which is out on the road toward Junee. My grandmother was happy and fortunate enough to get a housekeeping position with one of the prominent families here in Coota, the Conkey family as a housekeeper and Nanny to the Conkey boys.


Bala-ngiinybula giyarinya bu gulabiyi yanhambilagi murruway-dya. Yanhambilanhi-ngiinybula ganywal wuurrawin madhanmadhu Gudhamangdhuray-gu. Winhanganhadhu waygiwiny-ngiinybula yiradhugalangbang. Yandu mabinyi-ngiinybula Gudhamangdhuray-dya widyanhi-ngiinybula Budhang-Ngurang-dha murruwaydya Junee-gu. Gunhinarrungdhi, bala-wiiny gadhaang bu mugarrmarra. Maldhanhi-wiiny ganhambali-gu Conkey-gu miyagan-gu. Wawiyi-wiiny nganhanyguliya-gu bu walamanha-yalinyi Conkey biranbula.


My Grandmother did not get back to Brungle often. I can remember, when I was a young bloke, her and my grandfather and mum and us kids would pile in the old sulky, you know the old Sulky’s with the swing underneath, and head off to Brungle for the weekend. We would camp overnight at Gundagai and then head up and spend the weekend at Brungle. That stopped after a while but I don’t know why.


Gunhinarrungdhi wiray biyaga ngulungganha-gu Brungle-gu. Winhanganha-dhu, yandu baladhu birranydyang, Gunhinarrungdhi bu Ngabundhi bu Gunhi bu galingabangbur-yanhinyaguna yanhanhi-gu Brungle-gu yarraman-dhuradhu. Barrawinyi-yanhigunha-dha Gundagai-dya yandu yanhadhanha. Guwayu bangal-galang mabinyi-yanhigunha yanhanha-gu Brungle-gu. Wiray winhanganhadhu minyang-gu.


One of the matriarchs up there was Mini Freeman, now Mini, she lived out west out towards Cowra. Her father was my grandmothers brother. When her mother died her father was frightened that the police would take his baby away. My grandmother heard about it and so she travelled to pick her up, brought her back and cared for Mini until she was a young woman. Mini ended up at Brungle and married a man called Freeman, and that’s how we got related to all the Freemans. My grandmothers sister Bertha, married an Aboriginal man called Bob Bell. He was very dark, I remember him quite clearly. They lived down at Yass and that’s how we related to the Bells from Yass.


Mini Freeman bala ngumbaay mudyigaang Brungle-la. Guwiiny yanhanhi-dhi Cowra-dhi. Mini-gu Babiin bala Gunhinarrungdhi gambang. Yandu Mini-gu gunhi balunhi, guwiiny Babiin bala darrambiyi gundyan-galang nunhamalgirri gudha-nguguwala. Gunhinarrungdhi yanhanhi mugagi Mini bu walamanha-yalinyi-ngin. Guwayu, Mini yanhanhi-gu Brungle-gu bu wurrugangu Freeman miyagan-gu mubal-dhuradhu. Miyagandhi yandhul wurrugangu Freeman miyagan-gu. Gunhinarrungdhi miimi, Bertha, wurrugangu Bob Bell-gu mubal-dhuradhu. Yulany-gula budhangbang. Winhangay-gunha-nhadhu guwiiny walanbang. Bertha bu Bob widyanhi-dya Yass-dha bu miyagandhi yandhul wurrugangu Bell miyagan-gu Yass-dhi.






My Grandmother’s brother, Eric, took me into the bush and taught me about the birds and animals. He taught me how to catch a rabbits and snakes and cook them over the coals of the fire. The snake tasted was terrible, but we were scared to tell him we didn’t like it. We ate the backstrap and legs of goannas. We had to be carefull because you could get sick if you at the wrong part. Eric taught me how to bed down for the night and make a bed in the soil. My grandmother would take my sisters out and talk to them about womens business. Near the high hill overlooking Cootamundra.


Gunhinarrungdhigu gambang, Eric, yalmambiyi-nhal gulbangidyal budyaan-galang-gu bu balugan-galang-gu bu madhanmadhu-ra. Guwiiny yalmambiyi-nhal marrung-gubarramali bu wadhagung-galang bu gadi-galang bu giwarra nginhaguliya wiiny-dya. Gadi ngadhayi gadyag. Bala-yanhigunha giyarinyi bu wiray yarra-ngin. Dhayi-yanhigunha gugaa birra bu gugaa bayu. Bilingayi-yanhigunha, gugaa marramarra-ndhu nanharaa yandhu ngindhu dharra wiraydhulu mulan. Mamaba Eric yalmambiyi-nhal marramali burral-la manhang-dya. Gunhinarrungdhi yanhanhigu madhanmadhu-gu bu yalmambiyi-gu ngayirr gulbangidyal-gu miimi-bulangumbaay-gu. Nhinhala bindari, dyiraany birrabang Gudhamangdhuray ngurambang.


In Cootamundra, the low parts of town were a swamp a long time ago. From the foot of the hills to the ‘Stock Dam’. The Stock Dam was a Travelling Stock Reserve in the middle of town. We kids learned to swim there. I have some good memories there. When it rained, the dam would flood right down toward Southee School. I would paddle canoes across the water.


Wunhudhabul mulan-gu Gudhamungdhuray-gu gungalman nguwanda. Buyuma-dhi bilabang-gu balugan-gu mayi Gibir-dhuradhu. Bilabang-gu balugan-gu mulan-gu “Waygiwinya Balugan Murruwaygalang-gu” ngurang-dya. Ngiyanhigunha, galingabangbur, yalbilinyi bambigi nganha. Ngadhu Marang ngayinygalangdhuray nganha-gu bilabang-gu. Yandu yurung buwagayi, balayanhi guwunggan-dhuray gugin Southee School. Baalmanhi-dhu muriin-dhi galing-dya.






My grandmother told me many stories when I was a young boy. One story I remember is the story of Mirriyula. Mirriyula is a bad spirit. He was so ugly he couldn’t get a wife and never had children. Mirriyula decided to pinch a child and train him up to be his shadow. Mirriyula would come out in the dark of the night to look for a child to take to become his apprentice. He would go sneaking off in the middle of the night to go looking for a child to steal. He would listen for the heartbeat of children. All the children would be scared, we would all go to sleep with our hand on our hearts and try to get to sleep as quickly as we could.


Gunhinarrungdhi yayi-nhal giilang-galang yandu baladhu biran. Giilang ngumbaay winhangaygunhanha-dhu giilang-gu Mirriyula-gu. Mirriyula, bala-wiiny bagiiny. Bala-wiiny gadyag ngaagi guwiiny yinaamubang bu wiray galingabangbur. Mirriyula ginbayanhi nunhamali buraay-ngumbaay bu yalmambirra-ngin ngayirr gulba-ngidyal. Mirriyula dilbanhi yanydyibul dambulbang ngaabungaanha-gu galingabangbur-gu. Guwiiny wudha-garbinya-gu balgal-gu giiny-gu. Giyarinya-yanhi-gunha bu ngabinyi-yanhi-gunha yuragi.


I have a story from my childhood trips to Brungle. Me and two other boys

wanted to see what was up to top of Muudyang. The elders took boys up there as part of initiation of becoming a man. So it was not permitted. We decided we would tell our elders we’ve gone rabbiting. It took us all day to get up there and it got dark. We decided to bed down for the night. We heard lots of strange noises and got frightened. As soon as it was daylight we came down the hill as fast as we could back to the elders. The elders scolded us until we were sorry.


Ngadhu giilang-dhuray yandu yanhanhi-dhu-gu Brungle-gu. Mudyi-bula bu Ngadhu ginbayanhi galiyagi Muudyang. Mudyigang yalmambiyi biran-galang bu burbandhiganha-ngin-guliya-la Muudyang-dya. Wiray yanha-mambinya-gu Muudyang-gu. Yayi-yanhi-gunha mudyigang yanhanha-yanhi-gunha barrawinya-gu wadhagung-gu. Galiya-garrima-nha-yanhi-gunha bu ngurung yanhanhi. Mayi-yanhigunha burral-galang yandu winhangayi gaban balgal-galang bala-yanhi-gunha gadhiiray. Yandu yiramiilan yanhanhi, bunbanha-yanhi-gunha-gu mudyigang-gu. Naabarra-guliya-yanhi-nya-gunha bu bala-yanhi-gunha ngarrarr-madilinya.





+       Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander visitors are advised that this work contains the voice of a person who has died.