Mid-North Coast: Birrugan - Southern Cross story (in the Yarning Circle)
Father gave us the land
Baabagu ngurraang ngiyaanya wajaarr
in the Dreamtime.
Every part of the earth is sacred.
Marraalgundi julu-gurray yarrang jaagi
We are a part of the earth
and the earth is a part of us.
Ngiyaa yaarri julu marraalgundi marraal julu ngiyambandi
Ngaya yaam gunganbu garlaway barri nyaagaygu gala wunaa dawaarra
I am a friends and I belong, I have come back to see you but don’t be angry.
Yaamagay nganyundi barramarrany gunganbubiin gala wunaa ngalgirra
This is my family and friends but don’t harm us
Yaam nganyundi wajaarr nginundi wajaarr
This is your land and this is my land
There for lets be friends
Bigaa yaalga yaarri juumbu
Smoke take away the evil
Darruy maani yaarri juumbu
Smoke bring back the good
Birrugan is the Southern Cross.
Birrugan is the Southern Cross.
Up in the north
of Gumbaynggirr territory,
right to the northern part
of Gumbaynggirr territory,
up near Grafton,
there's the Clarence River.
Birrugan and Mindi lived in the north.
They got along really well.
Birrugan hunted kangaroos and wallabies.
Their eyes were closed
and they were easy to catch.
Mindi owned the yam fields
and he used to get lots of yams.
One day, Mindi was only
bringing back a few.
Birrugan and Mindi argued about
not sharing. They had a big fight.
So the next day when Birrugan
went out to his hunting ground
where the kangaroos and pademelons
and wallabies were
Mindi followed him out,
sneaked out behind him
and after Birrugan had killed a couple,
he left and Mindi stayed there
and done some magic on his kangaroos
He went, "Yoo, yoo, yoo!"
and opened up the kangaroos'
and wallabies' eyes.
So the next day when Birrugan went out
they saw him coming
so it was hard for him to catch.
So he went back in
and he talked to Mindi
and they had the biggest argument
about... He knew Mindi had done it.
So the next day when Mindi went out
to his yam fields,
Birrugan sneaked behind him
and after Mindi left, Birrugan put lots
of rocks on top of his yam fields
and built a peak called
the Glenugie Peak
and it's up near Grafton, up near
Coffs Harbour, Glenugie Peak.
So when Mindi went out the next day
and saw them, he come back,
and him and Birrugan
had the biggest fight,
they were fighting, fighting, fighting,
Mindi started running down
the Clarence River.
Birrugan caught him
at a place called Tyndale
and struck him
and he fell into the water.
And when he fell into the water,
Birrugan went "Muniimba",
"Turn to rock".
A relative saw what happened
and run back down south
and they challenged Gumbaynggirr people
for a war.
So this fight, this war, was happening
at a place called South West Rocks
in the...they call it Arakoon
but to Gumbaynggirr people
So the battle was going on down there
and Birrugan was still up north
but Gumbaynggirr people
were getting smashed down there, right?
So they sent for Birrugan to come,
because he was... (SUCKS IN BREATH)...
you know, powerful and tall
and muscular, a warrior.
Anyway, he started walking down
to come down for the battle.
He walked along the beach.
He saw two sisters on the sand
at the beach getting pipis.
He left them, then he come down
to Valla where we are now,
to his favourite boomerang tree
and made boomerangs and spears
Before he left,
these people down south sent six
clever people up to try and kill him
before he can get down there,
the ngaluunggirr .
They come in the forms of snakes
and all these ants, to try and get him
but Birrugan killed them.
One got up the tree
and let a spear come down
and hit Birrugan right on the shoulder
and all the blood went all over Birrugan
so he pulled the spear out
and smashed it and he killed him
and then went across the creek
to his mother's camp
where Gawnggan was camping.
He put magay on their camp and told
his mother, "If that magay falls
"then you know I've fallen in battle."
Then he left her
and went across the creek
and then he painted up again
and then he went to a place
down near Nambucca Heads,
just south side of Nambucca Heads.
He cut a canoe there,
put it in the Nambucca River,
went across to a place up near
Macksville called Gumma
and he went across there,
then he went down into the battle
and when he got into the battle,
he started smashing the enemy, eh,
smash, smash, smash!
The old people down there
were so scared
that one of the clever people
from down there went into a cave
and called on the ancestors
to give him the power, the knowledge,
to kill Birrugan.
Birrugan had been hit in the shoulder.
And then he went back down
"He's got a weak spot.
Aim for his shoulder."
They threw the spear up
and one went down and hit Birrugan.
When Birrugan fell, the magay fell,
made a big hole in the ground.
His mother knew that he had fallen
so she painted all herself up
like a brolga.
And she went across the creek
and she went back down into the battle
and she saw that they were trying
to keep Birrugan alive.
But Birrugan passed away.
When she got there, she looked at
the enemy and said, "Balawunga."
Balawunga is a tea-tree,
Balawungala is "turn to tea-tree".
So she turned all the enemy
They buried Birrugan and put
all these rocks on top of him
and built a tomb.
So when they finished building the tomb
she turned herself into a brolga
and danced around his tomb.
Every year the old people used to say
that Gawnggan used to come back
and dance around the tomb.
And all them tea-tree are still there
and his tomb is still down there too.
And then the two sisters come down
and got Birrugan out of the tomb
and went down south
to a place called Seals Rock.
They went across to the island
and they made a ladder
out of myrtle tree
and ascended into the sky,
the three of them,
and the two sisters became
the two pointer stars
and Birrugan became the Southern Cross.
So when we look up at the sky,
and we look at the Southern Cross,
we look at Birrugan and the two sisters.