EXHIBITON // Gatjpu!

Gatjpu! is what we Yolŋu call out when we are going hunting. We are calling out to the spirits of this place to recognise us and be generous to us. It is a wish or a hope or a plea or a prayer. We blow air through our lips to make a loud noise to get their attention. We can add what our particular request is. Gatjpu! Ŋuykal! “ Please! Give us a Kingfish!”

When we go out hunting we don’t go with a pessimistic mind. Every time we go we are positive that today is going to be the day! The day that we load up! On mudcrabs or mullet or yabbies or honey or crayfish or stingray or turtle eggs. Whatever it is, we ask for it, and we usually receive.

If we are with someone who wants to go hunting that doesn’t come from there they will be invisible to the spirits and so they will not receive anything. To help them light up on the spirit’s radar we wipe them with the sweat from our own body so they will suddenly be seen and can be gifted with something good.

Gatjpu! is a wish sent in to the heavens. We tell the land what we need so that they can help us get it. If we are from that placewe know that they know us and our family lineage which connects us to that estate. They know the family that we are hunting for.

Gatjpu! is the wish at the start of a perfect day which ends with happy people stretched out for a snooze on a colourful mat surrounded by empty shellfish shells under a whistling Casuarina tree with the sound of gentle lapping waves and full bellies all around.

 Arian Djambatj Pearson

Gatjpuya mayali ŋunhi ŋanapu ŋuli yolŋuyu gawayun ga ŋaŋthun ŋaḻapaḻmina ŋanapuŋguna ga wäŋa ŋunhi wetjgu marrŋanapu yurru dhaŋaŋkuma gapuwuy wo diltjipuy ŋatha. Dhurrwarayu ŋanapu ŋuli rirrkay ḏupthun ‘’bbburr’’ bitjanŋanapu ŋuli marr waya ŋuli ŋäma ŋanapuna ŋuli gatjpu. Gatjpu! Ŋuykal! Bitjan ŋuli gawayun.

Ŋunhi ŋanapu ŋuli wakiryunayi marrtji yaka ŋanapu ŋuliŋayaŋumiriw marrtji. Marr yuwalkthu ŋayaŋuyu ŋanapu ŋulimarrtji ga yuwalkthu gatjpuyu ŋunhi ŋanapu yurru ŋathami yanaroŋiyi gurruṯumiwaya. Ŋunhiŋu gatjpuyu ŋanapu ŋuli roŋiyiwäŋayi Djinydjalma, Guya, Maḏi, Guku, Maranydjalk wo Miyapunu mapu, nhaku ŋunhi ŋanapu ŋuli gatjpuyun ŋanapuŋuli marrama wetj ŋunhi.

Ŋunhi ŋayi yolŋu gumurr yuṯa ŋuli malthun balayi wäŋayi, ŋanyana ŋuli ŋamuma wäŋayu bala buyŋuna wekama ŋulanhäya. Buŋanmama ŋanapu ŋuli ŋunhiyi yolŋuna marr ŋanya yurru yäka ŋamumu wäŋayu ga wekama ŋula nha mala, ga marryurru ŋalapalmiyu ga wäŋayu yurru dharaŋan nhäma.

Gatjpuya wetj djiwarrŋu waya ŋuli ŋanapuŋgu wekamaŋaḻapaḻmiyu, ŋaŋthun ŋanapu ŋuli wäŋana marr yurru ŋanapunaguŋgayun ŋunhiku marranhawu nhaku ŋanapu ŋuli waŋa. Ga ŋunhi ŋanapu marŋgi ŋunhiku wäŋawu ŋayi ŋuli ŋunhi wäŋaŋanapuŋgu marr ŋamathi bala wekamana ŋanapuna ŋuli, bilimarŋgina ŋanapu buŋgangu ŋunhiyi wäŋa.

Gatjpuya wetj ŋunhi ŋanapu ŋuli ŋaŋthun ŋathilyun ŋaḻapaḻminamarr yurru ŋanapu yaka dharbark roŋiyi wäŋayi gurruṯumiwaya. Ga dharwayuna ŋuli ŋanapuŋgu waḻu milmitjpayina ŋanapu ŋulirrambaŋina luka ŋathaya ŋoyŋu djomulaŋu gayanthaŋu ga ŋorraya ŋäma gapu ŋayi ŋuli dhalirryun ḏolpuna ŋathayu.

Translated by Natasha Bulmirri Yunupiŋu





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