Benuk (Bush Turkey)

Benuk (Bush Turkey) is a bird which lives in the forest and on the flood plain, which we eat. In the old days, the Old People didn’t give us any bush turkey to eat though. They used to tell us we don’t eat this bird, it’s taboo because it’s part of the Mardayin ceremony. There is a Bush Turkey Dreaming site to the west of Gunbalanya, where the Two Dogs came from. The place is called Benukkadjang, which means Bush Turkey Dreaming. The Two Dogs came over eastward from there, looking for water. They found some water and drank it, and they named the place Duruk Benengadbom, which means “two dogs dug a well”.

Benuk ngalka mayh yerrih bu ngarringun benuk karrinan kore manberrk kawake dja kabbal warridj. Korroko nawu dabborrabbolk minj ngandiwoyinj ngalbu benuk bu ngarringuyinj. Ngandimarneyimi ngahli mayh benuk minj ngurringun ngaldjamun. Benuk kakarrekan ceremony manbu Mardayin. Nawu benuk kadjangdi kore Karrikad kore duruk bokenh benemdolkkang benemwam kunred kabolkngeyo Benukkadjang. Duruk bokenh benemdolkkang benemwam Koyek benehboyawani kuku wanjh benebongalkeng kuku benebonguneng benebolkngeykurrmeng Duruk Benengadbom kabolkngeyo.

(Text: Andrew Manakgu)