Kalawan (Goanna)

Thommo has painted four kalawan. The fine cross hatching Thommo has used is painted with  a manyilk (a brush made from whittled sedge grass) and has been borrowed from ceremonial painting. We use the name “kalawan” for many kinds of goanna, who live in water, stone country or woodland. The are three kinds of goanna that live in water, we call them “burarr”( Merten’s Water Monitor), “durrbu” and the small one we call “djerlih”. And the stone country goanna we call “bongka”. And there is “djanay” and another one, “bikku” (a bit smaller, same size as djerlih) that live in the woodlands. But the true “kalawan” (Gould’s Sand Goana) we see on floodplains, woodland and on trees. In the old days we used to go to billabongs and see kalawan standing up on his hind legs. Sometimes we would go bush, and we would see him on a tree. And the old people would take dogs with them, the dogs would smell kalawan and the old people would catch him. But now we don’t see him. We don’t see him on the trees, we don’t see him crawl along the ground – never. The Cane Toad came, poisoned him, finished him off that kalawan.

Nawu Kalawan ngarringeybun nawern nawu kukku kayo dja nawu kuwarde kayo dja kore manberrk kayo.Nawu kukku kayo nakka kunngey bokenh bu ngarringeybun burarr dja durrbu dja nayahwurd nakka djerlih.Dja nawu kuwarde kayo nakka bongka ngarringeybun.dja nawu manberrk kayo nakka djanay dja nabuyika bikku.Dja nawu kalawan duninjh nakka kore kabbal manberrk dja kore kundulk ngarrinan kabarndi. Kalawan, nawu korroko kabbal ngarrirey, ngarrinani, dolkkani di, Yika manberrk ngarrirey, ngarrinani kore kundulk barndi. Dja korroko duruk birrikebkani, nomi nawu kalawan, birribuni. Dja bu bolkkime, minj karrinan nawu kalawan – larrk. minj karrinan kabarndi kore kundulk, minj karrinan kawake kore kurorre – djal larrk. Namekke kordbolbok nawu kangeyo cane toad kumwam, bom, kukyakwong nawu kalawan. Dja kadjaldi burarr nawu kukku kubowinjku kayo. Nawu bongka dja bikku minj ngarringun kunubewu dabborrabbolk bu korroko birringuni nawu bikku dja bongka, Nawu bongka dja bikku minj ngarringun kunubewu dabborrabbolk bu korroko birringuni nawu bikku dja bongka,