Kalawan (Goanna)

We use the name “kalawan” for many different goanna species. But the true kalawan (Gould’s Sand Monitor, Veranus Gouldii) we see on floodplains, in woodlands 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 kalawan are rare, due to the expansion of poisonous cane toads into Arnhem Land. But Burarr (Merten’s Water Monitor) is still there, living in the freshwater streams.

Nawu Kalawan ngarringeybun nawern nawu kukku kayo dja nawu kuwarde kayo dja kore manberrk kayo. 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. Namekke kordbolbok nawu kangeyo cane toad kumwam, bom, kukyakwong nawu kalawan. Dja kadjaldi burarr nawu kukku kubowinjku kayo.