A World of Relationships
Itineraries, Dreams, and Events in the Australian Western Desert
University of Toronto Press 2005
About Balgo Hills and Yagga Yagga Outstation. Text extracts are
quoted in italics.
Copyright Paul Mackett 2006
(1) Acknowledgments (page ix)
Bye Bye Napangarti
Patricia Lee Napangarti
Butja Butja Napangarti
Larry Loddi Tjupurrula
Jimmy Flatnose Tjampitjin
Thomas Galova Tjapangarti
Mark Moora Tjapangarti
John Lee Tjakamarra
Among these people, many elders (men and women both) passed
away during the 1990s. It is to these elders and their kin that I dedicate
this book. Since Aboriginal Law forbids the use of the names of the
deceased for an indeterminate period after their deaths, many of the
names listed above will not appear elsewhere in this book. Where I
recount the experiences and the stories told to me, the tellers will be
designated only by their subsections.
(2) Yagga Yagga 1987 - 1988 (pages 105 - 106)
In 1987-8, about thirty people lived at Yagga Yagga. This is certainly
a larger number of people than the traditional 'band' would have had;
although, in the period of traditional nomadism, it possibly could rep-
resent the annual gathering of families around a major source of water
at the end of the dry season. The Yagga Yagga outstation is also a good
example of how a large residential group can comprise men and
women derived from different local groups. Below is a list of the vari-
ous camps of the outstation (numbered from 1 to 10), and their mem-
bers. Two men, brothers-in-law and the main protagonists of the
outstation, have already been mentioned in the previous chapter:
Moora Tjapangarti, a Kukatja / Ngarti, then in his forties and Sunfly
Tjampitjin, a prominent Law man, a Kukatja / Pintupi / Warlpiri from
Murungpa (Alec Ross Range), then in his sixties. Tjapangarti's father,
Wanmall Tjapamamgka, who died at the old mission, was from
Mungkayi (Stansmore Range). Among Wanmall's children (he had
two wives), four were living at Yagga Yagga with their old mother.
Tjampitjin's father, Marrakurru Tjangala, was from the Lake Mackay
1. Sunfly Tjampitjin (a ritual leader), his second wife, Bye Bye Napangarti
(Wanmall's daughter), about twenty years his junior, and two
of their five children. Napangarti's ancestral connections were all in
the Mungkayi area.
2. Moora Tjapangarti, his wife Nampitjin, and their three children,
Nampitjin was Walmatjari. She was conceived near Billiluna; her
mother's country was Paruku (Lake Gregory), and her father came
from around the Canning Stock Route.
3. Galova Tjapangarti, Moora's elder brother, his wife, Nungurrayi,
and their eight children. A prominent Law man, Galova was also
the first chairman of Yagga Yagga, a position he held for a number
of years. He claimed affiliations to Yunpu (from his mother), Lintapurru
(from his father), and Piparr. His wife came from the Canning
Stock Route region.
4. Jimmy Flatnose Tjampitjin (a ritual leader), his wife Njamme
Napangarti (Wanmall's daughter), and their eight children. Jimmy
Tjampitjin was one of the main custodians for Piparr. He had also a
number of children from a previous marriage, some of whom came
to live at Yagga Yagga in the 1990s. Njamme Napangarti's conception
site was Kunakurlu, forty kilometres south of Yagga Yagga.
5. Yundu Tjampitjin, Sunfly's brother, and his partner, Balba Napangarti.
Balba was from Yunpu, in Kakatja / Wangkatjunga country;
Yundu came from the Lake Mackay area. Balba was Sunfly's first
wife; she was childless. As for Yundu, he was first married to
another of Wanmall's daughters, Linda Napangarti. They had a
child together before she decided to leave him for Jimmy Flatnose's
brother (who died in the early 1980s).
6. Bandji Napurrula, Wanmall's wife (Moora, Galova, and Bye Bye's
mother), then the oldest inhabitant of Yagga Yagga. Yunpu was one
of her main ancestral connections.
7. Sunfly's brother, Sam Tjampitjin, a widower (he had no children).
8. Moora's mother-in-law, Elsie Nungurrayi, and her two husbands.
Quite an unusual situation, this woman was living with her two
husbands: an elderly man, father of her children, and a younger
husband. Her first husband, Kanarri Tjangala, was Walmatjari.
They had lived at Fitzroy crossing for a number of years. Tjangala
accepted his wife's second union, but according to the Law he
could have opposed it if he had wished to.
9. Nanyuma Napurrula, the younger sister of Bandji, and her second
husband, Bob Dingle (his mother was Sunfly's sister). She was
Kukatja / Wangkatjunga, claiming affiliations with Yunpu and
Mungkayi; he was Kukatja / Pintupi, from the Lake Mackay area.
Both were very active in ritual matters. They had one daughter
together, and other children from their first unions.
10. Mutji Tjangala, his wife, and their six boys. Mutji's wife was
Nungurrayi's half-sister (camp 3). Born near the Canning Stock Route,
Mutji also had close connections with the country south of
Mungkayi towards Lake Mackay. His wife and her half-sister had
lost their parents quite young. They had not maintained real ties
with their own country near the Canning Stock Route, and so they
strongly identified with the countries of their respective husbands.