Description: Children's love and obsession with playing string games land them into trouble with their parents.

The story of Wameyal told by Eric Babia, Mabuiag from State Library of Queensland on Vimeo.

Storyteller: Eric Babia
Translator: Dimple Bani
Language: Kala Lagaw Ya
Dialect: Mabuiag
Island: Mabuiag

Translation and transcript

Kaypa kulay thonarnu, moegi lag nuy Pulu seenu, naygay dagamunu nuy senuubi goegayth miyar, senuubi laganu Pulu.
A long time ago, there was a village situated on the northern side of a small island named Pulu.

Moekazil si, garka kazil a poekaykazil. Thana si wameyaw sagul iinu nuy, sagul iinu kedha, wameyaw sagul seenu.
The children there, little boys and girls always went about playing a string game called wameyal.

Thana mura goeygaynu senaabi sagul tharadh, ngoedhe nge thana ngoedhe nge ubiginga kedha seenu nuy sagul wanan.
They played that game a lot.  It was everyday now that they played and this caused concern for their parents because it's as if they didn't want to stop.

Thanamun apual a, apual a thathil si ya umadhin thanamunka kedha, kedha wanaw, pamoeyka sagul tharimidhin senuubi wameyaw sagul.
The mothers and fathers began to speak to their children not to continue with that string game.

Thanamun kursaypagayginga, thana matha sagul tharadh pamoeyka.
The children took no notice of their parents; they kept on playing that game.

Daparngu pudhaydhinkoey kula seenu thanamunya gimna pudhaydhin moekaziya.
Then without warning, a big stone dropped from the sky and fell on the children.

Senuubi gidha wa, seenu nuy senuubi gidha ngoedhe kedha nge, nuy moekazi ngoedhe nidh nuyn ya ngoedhe seenu kedha, kedha zapungu kay nibeka meyaythalay a, moekazil setha, kursaypagimiw nithamun apuaw thathika.
The moral of the story is that if you do not listen to your parents, something will happen to you.

Senuubi kula si kayibaw goeygayka nuy seenu koey kula matha meka, nuy seenu naygay dagamunu si pulunu.
A big stone can still be seen today on the northern side of the island of Pulu.

Thank you

Demonstration of wameyal

Iinu ngath aymayk dhangal iinu
This is a dugong I am making.

lak kay kuykaymi kuykungu
I will begin again,

lak dhangal seenu ngath nuyn aymayk dhangal seenu,
this is a dugong I am making

nidh nuyn gasaman lak kidhikidh
when you play the strings one way, you will catch the dugong

noe wardagamka nidh nuyn kaliya adhayka mani.
and if you go the other way, you will miss it.

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