Description: Wawa, a creature with supernatural powers, helps a man with his catch of mating turtles. Things go horribly wrong when the man betrays Wawa.
Storyteller: Walter Waria
Translation: Leonora Adidi
Language: Kala Lagaw Ya
Translation and transcription
Ina ngaw koesim thathiw umayzi yadayl,
This story was told by my adopted father.
inaabi gidha, Wawa.
The story of Wawa.
Urpun goeyga, nuy wapi zilmaydhin, nuy gathiya soenir,
One day, a man went fishing, he was wading in the shallows
nuydh soelal imadhin, gathaw wanayzinga.
when he came upon mating turtles beached upon the shallows.
Nuy mina koey sigal nungu goegaythngu,
He was very far from this village
nuy mabayg gig nubeka ipuydhayka.
No one was around to help him.
Nuy si walmiyar, mabaygka,
He was calling out to people
mabayga nagay nubeka ipuydhayka,
looking for people to help him
but there was no one around.
Nuy kay koey wakaya poeybay,
He was calling at the top of his voice
nungu poeybay mura thonarnu ina,
He was saying this,
“kawki adhiya, adhiw niyayzinga, waruya sarurya ipal, warurya sarurya oy, koey baw I, koey baw o”.
Sena nungu poeybay mura thonarnu matha kedha adhiw kunaka nika nubeka, nuy poeybay, mabaygaw adhayginga,
He kept calling out but no one came out.
senaabi kaliya nuydh karimidhin koey nur,
Then he heard a deep rumbling sound
nungu wakaynthamam kedha padal gawguy meka.
He thought it was a hill shaking.
Ngapa adhadhin nubeka sewa markay,
Appeared before him was a markay
koey markay nuy, koey guridhalnga.
a big markay, a supernatural creature, with a humped back.
Nuy ngapa adhadhin nubeka ipuydhayka.
He came out to help him.
Nuy nubeka mulaydhin, ngath soewlal imawman ipal,
He told the markay, I have found these mating turtles
ngay mabayga nageka ngayka ipuydhayka.
I am looking for people to help me.
Nuy lak poeybaydhin
He called again
“kawki adhiw niyayzinga, warariya, sawrariya ipal, warariya, sawrariya o, koey baw o”.
Nuy seenu koey markay nubeka yapoeybaydhin,
The big markay asked him
sepal soewlal milagnu, warul milagnu,
where are the turtles
nuydh nubeka danthayadhin.
He showed him where they were lying.
Palay koezi uzarewmadhin kaymel muluka,
down to the shallow lagoon
nuydh warul milaga imadhin, soewlal,
where he had seen the mating turtles
nuy nubeka mulaydhin,
The markay said to him
“soewlal kawa ngaw guridha wanar gima, ni lak gima thanur”.
Put the turtles on my back, he sit on it as well
Palay madhin kadaka, waaru wanadhin.
They put the turtle on his back.
Nuy nubeka mulaydhin,
They said to him
“nidh amay aymar,” senuubi koey markay, amay aymar.
“Make an amay, earth oven ” said the big markay.
Nidh noe pugayk noe, ina waaru, ngoena walmanekay,
When you have finished cutting up the turtles, awake me.
ngath kay mamuy kulay kulka wanik, waruw kulka.
But first I will drink the blood of the turtle.
Wa nuydh amay aymadhin.
He then made the amay.
Ngapa ipika waaru pugan,
He cut up the female turtle
nuydh nuyn ngulayg paladhin.
and he told the markay.
Senuubi koey markay ngapa uzaraydhin,
The big markay came over
nuydh kulka wanidhin,
he drank the blood
nuydh akural purthadhin wagel kayne nuydh amay aradhin uniya waaru.
he ate the guts before he put the turtle in the amay.
Nuy waaru aradhin, nuy kay mikiya ngoenapudaydhin, nuy puyiw kuyku apa thanuraydhin.
After he put the turtle in the amay, he rested under a tree.
Nuydh wagel garka waaru nge pugan, nuydh lak senaabi za aymadhin.
Before he cut up the male turtle, the markay repeated what he had said before.
Ngoena walmar a ngoena ngulaygpalar,
Wake me and let me know
ngath kay lak sena kulka wanik
I will drink the blood
a ngath lak akural purthayk,
I will eat the guts
wagel kayne nidh garka waaru arayk amay muyi.
Before you put the male turtle in the earth oven.
Nuydh senaabi zapul aymadhin,
He repeated what he did before
markay kulkan wanaydhin, akuran purthaydhin.
the markay drank the blood and ate the guts.
Nuy markay nubeka mulaydhin,
The markay said to him
“ngay apiya yunayk,
I will take a nap
ina aydayl noe giyasik noe,
when the food is cooked
Nuy markay, koey markay apiya yunan, matha thawpay thonarka
The big markay went to sleep for a short time
nubiya para adhan, nuyn parathayar.
He started to snore.
Iinu nuy wawa* wakaynthami,
He thought to himself
iinu parathayayk, ngath ina ipika waaru pamayk,
he is snoring, I will take the female turtle
ngath mayka goegaythka ngaw ipika a kazika,
I will take it back to the village for my wife and child.
thanamun aydun poeybayk.
so they can eat it.
Nuydh senaabi za aymadhin.
He proceeded to do it.
Nuydh madhin, koey markay apiya iyar, nyudh ipika waaru
While the big markay was sleeping he took the female turtle
Adhaka madhin soewlal ngu, thabay tharadhin uzaraydhin
out and hoisted it on his shoulders.
Paypakidh, nungu goegaythka,
He returned to his village
kaypa nuydh nungu ipi a kazil aydun poeybadhin.
to feed his wife and child.
Kaypun noe nuy noe markay noe kadaka miyaydhin noe, nuydh lumadhin.
Meanwhile, the markay awoke and looked for him.
Garka geygeyadh miyaydhin kaypun, thoersimaygasidhin.
Wawa became very angry.
Kasa kedha nuydh matha purthadhin, nuydh sena garka waaru purthan,
But he ate the male turtle anyway
senaabi kaliya nuydh mura nungu bupaw uruyl ngapa miyaydhin,
he called the other creatures from the bush to him
nubeka thanamunka mulaydhin,
he said to them
“ngalpa napaypa inaabi goegaythka, nuydh ngawngu mina waaru manu”.
“We will go to the village, he has taken the prime turtle from me.”
Nuy noe kaypaypa, nuy siki ulamay, nuyn lumar nuy seenu wawa milagnu miyar.
He went looking for him to see where he lived.
Ngapa wa, nuydh nuyn imadhin.
He then found him.
Nuydh mithonara imadhin noe, nuydh nubeka inuubi ya mulaydhin,
As soon as he found him, he said to him “umay umay muli paymuliya, ngoelmunka matha mithaka may”.
Nuy wawa tharthayi thanamunka umay thayan.
Wawa threw a dog over to them.
Nuydh umay noe thayadhin nuy, koey markay, nuy nubiya
The man tossed the dog over to them, the big markay Wawa
gizul klak miyar, kimus, nuy kimusu nan thayadhin,
had a kimus, a sharp spear
nuydh kimus* umay thayan kuniya thanamunka, nungu bupaw uruyka.
Then he threw the dog to his creatures of the bush.
Bupaw uruyn nuyn mura purthan.
The creatures ate every morsel of the dog.
Nuy markay lak walmizi, koey markay “burum muli muli
paymuliya, ngoelmunka matha mithaka may”.
The big markay chanted again “burum muli muli
paymuliya, ngoelmunka matha mithaka may”.
Wawa*, nuy mizi a nungungu burum adhaka mani, thanamunka thayan,
He took his pig and tossed it to them.
burum lak ay kimusu nanthi, wagel kayne nuydh thanamunka thayan.
The kimus pierced the pig, then he threw it to them.
Thana umay, umay purthadhin, matha kedha thana puka purthadhin,
They devoured the pig as they had devoured the dog
thanamun dhibaw gasamaygimga, mamuy dhibaginga.
They were still hungry
Nuy koey markay lak poeybaydhin nubeka,
The big markay chanted to him again “kazi muli muli, paymuli ya, ngoelmunka matha mithaka may.”
Setha nungu markiyaw poeybayl, nuydh Wawa* senaabi ya karimin, nuy nungu ipika tharthayaydhin, palay matha nagay sagul tharewmadhin kedhamayka palmun matha urpun ipiyay kaazi.
When they heard him chanting, they looked at each other, they only had one daughter.
Wawa* nuy wara dagamuka uzaraydhin, goegaytha, wara dagamuka uzaraydhin
He walked all over to the other side of the village
a ipi wara dagamuka uzaraydhin, kazi yuday,
his wife went the other side, pleading for a child
palay umew mar kedha ina ngalbayn matha urpun kaazi,
they said, we only have one child
ngalbaynka inub markayka mayka lawnga.
We will not give it to this markay
Mura mabaygal palay umewmar,
They pleaded with everyone
thanamun ya mura matha kedha,
everyone replied to them
“ni ngapa warulayg mima, ninu ngoelmun poeybayginga miyadh”.
You came here with a turtle and you did not share it among us.
Palay lak ngapa kuniya, palmun kaazi madhin,
They returned home and took their child
palmun ipiyay kaazi , palay nan warkidh mayin abadhin.
their daughter, and wept over her.
Palay nan thayadhin noe, nubeka markayka, wagel kayne senuubi za maymiyaydhin, palay noe ngapa kuniya tidewmadhin, palay imadhin,
When they returned, they saw
a matha kedha palay karimidhin, nuy markay matha poeybay,
and they heard the markay chanting
“kazi muli muli pay muli ya, ngoelmunka matha mithaka, may e”.
Nuy thuma thuma poeybay, palay nubeka nan ipiyay kaazi thayadhin.
He kept on chanting, they tossed their daughter to him.
Nungu kimasuw angayginga nge miyar, palay nan thayadhin, nungu markay getha pudhaydhin.
He did not have the kimus instead he caught her in his arms.
Ngoedhe kedha palay noe, nuydh sena markay nan gima gethan gasamdhin noe,
He reached up to catch her
nungu nanu mathamayginga,
he did not kill her
nungu nanu klakaw pagayginga a kimasuw nanthayginga miyar nabiya, nuydh nan madhin.
He did not pierce with a spear or his kimus
Thana ngapa midhi dagamungu, milagaz ngapa danamaydhin,
They returned to where they had come from
thana nan lak sipa kuniya madhin, thanamunya kaymel mayka.
and took her with them.
Thana noe miyaydhin noe, thana karimidhin kedha sena markiyal a matha kedha sena bupaw uruyl nawul muray, na nuy naw iinu,
They could hear the markay and the bush creatures singing,
“kazi muli muli paymuli ya,ngoelmunka matha mithaka may e”.
Ina gidhaw kuth.
This is the end of the story.
Ngay lak koeyma eso mura nithamunka.
I thank you all very much.
Ngay lak apasin ngaw thathika.
I pay my respects to my father
Nuydh ngoena koesimdhin.
He raised me
Inaabi gidha lak nubeka kuniya umayk, matha kedha kazil a
Retelling his story again, for our children and their children.
Words in red* Storyteller error with character names.
Wawa is name of the creature not the man.
Kimus is the name of the spear.
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