The generic gloss (non-Arandic & non-scientific) term for these brightly-coloured and drop-dead gorgeous (as food and on the eye) monitor lizards is Sand Goanna. Not very helpful when the landscape is dominated by rock and and lots ... biggest mobs in fact ... of red sand.
I've been very interested in cuckoos generally—and Channel-billed Cuckoos in particular—for a few years, especially in relation to the knowledge that Aboriginal language groups here in the Northern Territory and beyond have about them. I'd love to hear any information that groups outside of the areas discussed in the post may have—feel free to drop me a line or post a comment.
This Word of the Day is another from the Kaytetye to English Dictionary, about which I wrote a short piece back when it was released in 2012. Nthwenharre n. [Kaytetye] Small white fluffy clouds that gather together before it rains. Usually seen in winter. Also referred to as mataye nthwenharre.
This Word of the Day is from the Kaytetye to English Dictionary, about which I wrote a short piece back when it was released in 2012. Awelhe n. [Kaytetye] Soft dirt on the inside edge of a dug-out soakage. You have to wet this dirt to stop it from falling in.
If the death adder bites you on the leg it holds on for good and you die, the snake as well.
In Pitjantjatjara country we know that the local name for Rhipidura leucophrys is tjintir-tjintirpa. Even if you’re unfamiliar with the scientific name, if you’re musically inclined and have an ear for Australian bird songs, you might recognise tjintir-tjintirpa as an onomatopoeic rendition of the ratcheting call of the Willie Wagtail.
Here I present the abstracts from the ethnoornithology session at the 38th annual Society of Ethnobiology meeting at the University of California Santa Barbara campus last week titled "What Do Birds Tell Us? How Ethno-ornithology Opens Doors to Understanding Relationships with Others."
For Kaytetye speakers, the main difference between their ethnospecies is size and frequency: arlewatyerre is smaller and common while aremaye is big and less common - five of the former and one of the latter were obtained on this day.
Arandic languages have a spelling system which takes a lot of getting used to – but the introduction to the dictionary is a real winner. It explains the system, demonstrates how sounds are made, gives respellings that will help English speakers, and even fuzzy spelling search clues. One thing I really like is the cross reference to words that sound similar arerre ‘collarbone’ and ararre ‘white bread’ are cross-referenced to help you distinguish between them.
To my mind this Income Quarantining is a bit like the old days when they used to put Aboriginal people under the “dog license", where they had to grovel to the government for permission to do all kinds of things. People need to stand up and say “No, this is not right for Australia. What kind of country are we living in?”