MABEL JULI Wirroongoon
Natural Ochres on Canvas
80 x 100 cm
Lalanggarrany doo Darndal (The Crocodile and the turtle) Mabel Juli
In this work Mabel Juli has brought together two very significantNgarranggarni (Dreaming) stories from Darrajayin. As well as the physical proximity of parts of country in which these two stories take place, their central characters, namely Garnkiny the Moon and Lalanggarrany the Crocodile, are also both of Joowoorrooskin, making them Mabel’s classificatory brothers. Like Garnkiny,the Lalanggarrany doo Darndalstory strongly concerns the obligations laid down by kinship laws as the Crocodile’s maternal grandmother goes to great lengths to carry out her proper responsibility towards him, despite the deceiptful and disrespectful actions of Ant and Lizard. In this version told to Alana Hunt in 2013, Mabel is careful to detail the family relationships between the characters.
Lalanggarrany was a wonderful tall dancer who was preparing to dance with his brother. The Smelly Ant tricked the Bat into believing the Crocodile had been insulting him behind his back. Bat told the people to light a big fire so he could see where thatLalanggarrany was dancing with his brother. When he foundLalanggarrany, Bat speared him in the thigh, killing him.
Lalanggarrany’s maternal grandmother Darndal (Turtle) was very sad, she carried Lalanggarrany in a coolamon with the help of Crocodile’s maternal grandfather the Waving Lizard, ofJoongoorra skin. They were looking for water and after a long journey stopped in the shade of a large nyarndoo tree at a place called Merrewoon, while Darndal started to dig. Joongoorra was a greedy one, he pretended to cry, “Oh my thamanyji, wiyiri, wiyiri, wiyiri.” But as he cried he secretly ate the fat of the Crocodile from his wound. After digging for a long time, water started coming out of the ground like a tap. The greedy Lizard,Joongoorra,turned to stone. You can still see that stone inDarrajayin Country today. Darndal covered Lalangarrany and herself in gum from the tree they were camped under andLalanggarrany came back to life and dived straight into that water. Darndal followed her grandson into the water, and they lived there together.