There are many different environments within the Coorong region, from scrub, swamp, to the vast ocean. Let’s explore the Coorong together and learn some Tanganekald ruminyeri (Tanganekald).
Parts of the Coorong
Tanganekald ruminyeri has words to describe general parts of the Coorong area and Coorong lagoon itself. Let's have a look! Which parts of the Coorong have you been to?
|tenggi||Coorong shore on landward side|
|pandalapi||lagoon of the Coorong|
|paringari||shore of the Coorong lagoon|
|natuniyuru||sandhills of coast|
|omanang||head of the Coorong|
Deadly work! Here are some more words to describe Tanganekald ruwi 'country'.
|tatiari||mallee desert to the north|
|keinyarangali||grass tree scrub country|
The ocean is a huge part of life in the Coorong region. Let's look at some ocean specific words now.
|yaluwar||ocean, specifically the Southern Ocean|
|yilgi||saltwater; the sea|
|morinyeri||belonging to the seashore (e.g. water flowing down the beach, birds, etc)|
|ngamataro||shore food. This applies to birds, shells, and fish to be had on the beach|
The sky is home to the taldarawei 'sun' which is crucial for life on earth. The night sky and its constellations acts as a compass and serve as seasonal markers. It is also home to important ancestral beings.
There is a Tanganekald superstition that if you face the taldarawei 'sun' and stretch, you give your life away and will die soon.
The Ngawiri is the stingray, which has two sharks following it. Throughout the night the Ngawiri may turn and swim through the sky.
Yuki is another name for a canoe. The Ancestral being Ngurunderi throws his canoe up into the sky and it becomes the Yuki, the Milky Way.
|Mantjingga||Pleiades; Seven Sisters|
The Songline featuring the Mantjingga describes this constellation as a group of 7 or 8 girls and a single boy. The boy went with the girls to look for a firestick, as his fire had gone out.
|Lawari Kark||Vega, the principal star in the constellation Lyra|
The Lawari Kark, is the brightest karanta 'star' in the constellation of Lyra. This is an important constellation to the Tanganekald people as the constellation is the mallee hen. Its appearance in the winter sky symbolises the beginning of lukuru wuli 'mallee egg' laying season, which means that this yummy food is available soon and it is time to look for ngawandi 'mound/nest' of the mallee hen.
|Waiyungari||the planet Mars; Ancestral Being|
There is an important songline associated with Waiyungari, an Ancestral being. He was a red narambi 'youth' undergoing initiation. He stole two women during a time when it is forbidden to fraternise. It is said, when the planet Mars is at its brightest (end of August to November), men's longing for women is enhanced.
The kaianggel is a weapon used by Ngurunderi, an Ancestral being. The kaianggel was used to defeat and kill Peremperemi, who was a stranger armed with a lashed on hooked spear.
Water is the giver of life for the Coorong region. Various water supplies such as springs and creeks flow in various location.
|munkuli||fresh water of the Murray river|
|parenguki||any fresh water|
|tiwur||fast moving flood water or tide as of The Needles on the Coorong|
|yilgi||salt water; the sea|
As seasons come and go, Tanganekald ruminyeri reflects the seasonal shift. Have a look outside, what kind of weather do you see around?
|turtangal||lightning; forked lightning|
Fantastic work! Let's use some of the words for country in some sentences.
|Yauwi parenguki? Nganam?||Where is fresh water? Is it nearby?|
yauwi means ‘where’, parenguki means ‘fresh water’ and nganam means ‘nearby’.
|Ngun keinyarangali-ungai ngopal.||We will go to the grass tree.|
ngun means 'we all', keinyarangali means 'grass tree country', the ending -ungai means 'to' and ngopal means 'will go'.
|Meiminar torawun lukuru wuli tatiari-angk||The women are collecting mallee hen egg in the mallee desert.|
meimini means 'woman' and the ending -ar means 'more than two', so meiminar means 'women', torawun means 'collecting', lukuru wuli means 'mallee hen egg', tatiari means 'mallee desert' and the ending -angk means 'in, at, on'.
|Mantawu nandjuritj puntun.||The storm is coming this way.|
mantawu means 'storm', nandjuritj means 'this way' and puntun means 'coming'.