Wathaurong: The Three Sisters
Maeewan nyanbo meerreeyoo, gelanyee kooleek wainga knettuk getyaweel, benganak merridjig. Bengonak-a geermnyook bengoordeganak ba benganak koonyaba gayoopanyoon –goopma – getyaweel ba goopmala babab-getyaweel boorndawan.
Kooeemoyl yerram ngamadyeeyt wada-ik bengordeeganak dja bengook koonyaba gooli. Bengook nooleem gooli nyanayeet-yanooneet-ik kooleek wairnga-knettuk. Tarne-gooli ba moonda-goorrk karee-tanang kooleek – wairnga-knettuk nyala ngarrwa ngamadyeeyt. Matnyoo wanga ngamadyeeytnhuk dyeerta bengook bana – gamyeban-ik ba yeeng-ik kooleek – wairnga-knettuk bengordeegook workeem-barra.
Kooleek-wairnga-knettuk nyoolam, nyala geermnyook, keela-ik nyoolam warrabil-wadjen. Tarne-gooli ba moonda-goorrk nyanee-ik kea ngamadjeeyt yanee-yoo ba yoorreetyarrapmeelee-nyala.
Matnyoo wanga ngamadyeeyt-nhuk dyeerta ba nyanee peelm kooleek-wairngaknettuk ba mootyaka kooleek-wairnga-knettuk dyeeyeewod dya. Ngamadyeet yoorreetyarrapmeelee bengordeegook dja-iyu kooleek-wairnga-knettuk.
Tarne-gooli ba moonda-goorrk kea-ik kanyool gooli dharrawa ngamadyeet. Namela-ik kamababa ngamadyeet, bana-ik ba goopma-ik kooleek-wairngaknettuk wooloom. Tarne-gooli ba moonda-goorrk deteth-goopma-ik keetjarra weenay goopma kooleek-wairnga-knettuk. Nyanee-ik getme benganak keela deerdabeel karreengalabeel-nhuk-Bundjil ba keea weenya.
Keea warrabil-wadjen getme kooleek-wairnga-knettuk nyoolam. Kooleekwairnga-knettuk tyeelpa-ik ba thoorn manal borrela-ik bengordeeganak woorroo-o goonalomba-nyal nyala kea nyoolam ba gonarra-nyala-goopma tarne-gooli ba moonda-goorrk Bundjil ngarreemeelee-ik moorroop- nyereeka ba wangala-ik kooleek-wairnga-knettuk kooleek banyool.
Translated by Uncle David Tournier
Long time before today, there were three sisters, they were very good. They helped their parents – they were good gatherers and always helped with caring for the children.
One day a stranger came to their country; he was not a good man. He was a sorcerer; he wanted the three sisters. The Elders told the three sisters to ignore the stranger. This made the stranger very angry, so he used his magic to sing the three sisters to do his bidding.
The behaviour of the three sisters changed, they became very nasty. They would not help anyone, they spoke very nastily to everyone. So the Elders decided to tell the stranger to go away and never return.
The stranger became angry and decided to steal the three sisters and take them back to his country. The stranger headed back to his country with the three Sisters.
The Elders sent the young warriors after him. They caught up with him, speared him and brought the three sisters back.
The Elders held a meeting to discuss what to do with the girls. It was decided that they would speak to the Great Creator (Bundjil), and tell him what had happened.
He told them that the three sisters were bad. So the three sisters were beaten and hot coals were put in their mouths, to remind them not to speak badly and to always obey their parents, then Bundjil performed a magic spell and transformed the three sisters into three hills.
The three hills can still be seen today, although one hill is being excavated for red scoria!
Re-told by Uncle David Tournier
The sounds of Wathaurong
a as in cart
ee as in feet
oo as in look
o as in pot
e as in egg
p as in pig
t as in tea
rt tongue is curled back and released into ‘t’
t made with tongue touching the back of the teeth
ty (yt) combination of ‘t’ and ‘y’
k as in kick
m as in milk
n as in noise
rn tongue is curled backwards and released into ‘n’
nh ‘n’ made with tongue touching back of teeth
ny (yn) combination of ‘n’ and ‘y’
ng as in sing
l as in look
rl tongue is curled backwards and released into ‘l’
rr as in road
y as in you
w as in water