By Fiona Doyle
Using photos, commonly encouraged artwork and language phrases, Fiona Doyle invitations us into the guts of Cape York's Wikwaya country.
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Additional resources for Whispers of This Wik Woman
Knowing that no one else was around for Grandad to be having a conversation with, Nana was curious to find out more about the situation. She heard the words ‘Look out! He gonna jump right over. Look out, he gonna jump right over’. To this day, Nana does not understand what that meant. When she opened her eyes to have a look, she could see the ghost of a man known only as Old Jardine looking in the direction of Grandfather and saying something to him. She screamed as loudly as she could, and his ghost disappeared, leaving Grandad angry and frustrated.
I’m not a criminal or stupid,’ Nana said, as she pulled herself free from the grip of the policeman. Nana remembers that as she was whipping her opponent she could hear the words ‘can ah, can muk woon ah’. These were words from the Wikmunkan language that Nana grew up with. They meant ‘that’s enough, just leave it now’ and after looking around she realised they were spoken by a white policeman who was on duty. He had served in Aurukun years before and obviously had learnt the language. He had recognised Nana and decided to communicate the best way he knew.
She wondered as she swung around, drawn to the voice. Two intense black eyes glistened with tears as dark, wrinkly hands were held out towards her. 26 ‘I’m your father too,’ he repeated (this time in English) as he introduced himself to her. ‘Aah,’ she thought to herself, a relative of my father’s people … my people. Dick and Nyrlotte Kelinda had given up their daughter to Uluchngoon, whose Anglo name was Roy George, a Mbaiwum man from Iunthun which is the country on the south-western side of Sudley cattle station, about sixty kilometres inland from Napranum.
Whispers of This Wik Woman by Fiona Doyle