Makkakkurr (Pelican)

In the dry season, especially around the Kunwinjku season of Kurrung (the hot dry months around August and September), many makkakurr (pelicans) fly into Gunbalanya from the ocean, following the country they know so well. They congregate around the billabong, standing around the sandy banks or diving down to catch fish in the water. They can be seen hunting as a team, encircling an area and driving the fish into the middle to be caught. In the past, people used to hunt pelican, but this is not done any more. The old people would herd them into enclosed areas, like the base of Mandjaworlbidji (the “Big Waterfall” in Gunbalanya) and kill them with sticks. They would then cook them in ground ovens.
In 1916 Paddy Cahill (the founder of the Oenpelli cattle station) documented hundreds of pelicans “stealing” all the fish from the billabong during the dry season.

Ngalbu makkakkurr ngalka ngalkimuk mayhmayh ngalbu ngalengman kadjalngun djenj. Makkakkurr kamdolkkan kamre kurrulabeh bu djarreh bu ngalengman kabolkrohrokme yiman karrinan bu Kurrung wanjh birriwern karrbennan kondah kore manlabbarlkimuk, kabirrini kore kukadjid yika kabirrikolung kore kukku kabirribun djenj kabirringun.Mayh yerrih bu ngarringun bu korrokoni dja bolkkime nuk larrk. Dabborrabbolk birrirey birridabkeyi kore kurrubbe yiman kayime Mandjaworlbidji ( Big Waterfall ) wanjh birribuni kundulk birrimangi birrikerribuni wanjh birringuni.Dja bolkkime larrk minj karribun ngalbu makkakkurr.