Manimunak (Magpie Goose)

Here in Gunbalanya there is a big billabong. In the wet season it overflows and fills the floodplain. Then we see the grasses growing tall, and manimunak (magpie geese) come and make nests from modjdje (spike rushes) and mankurladj (water chestnuts). This is where they lay their eggs. These are also the plants which manimunak eat. We collect the eggs and eat them in the wet season, and also hunt magpie geese for their meat. Magpie geese are important animals for us Bininj (Aboriginal people), and can be found on floodplains in many clan countries. In Gunbalanya there is a Magpie Goose Dreaming site on the top of Arrkuluk Hill.

Kondah Kunbarllanjnja kakabbalyo mankabbalkimuk. Bu kudjewk kayimerran mandjewk nakimuk kadjakdung wanjh kabbal kabokurrme kabobarlke manbu kukku. Wanjh karrinan kundalk karralkkimukmen wanjh darnkih wirllarrk kamhre ngalbu ngalbadjan manimunak kare kundalk moddje dja mankuladj karradjke karedmarnbun red wirllarrkkenh. Kaluk bu darnkih wirllarrk ngalbu ngalbadjan kayerrkan kore red [nest] wanjh kawirllarrkngukdeng nawern wirllarrk wanjh kawirllarrkkabun kani kore red kawirllarrkkabun. Manimunak kangun barrdjungka mankuladj moddje. Manimunak ngarringun ngalburrk dja wirllarrk. Manimunak kani kore kubolkwern kunred kore kabbal kakabbalyo mankuladj dja moddje kadalkdi. Manimunak ngalka ngalkuken mayh ngadberre nawu bininj ngad ngarrikukburlerri dja mak nawu birrikukbele. Konhda kore Kunbarllanjnja (Oenpelli) manimunak kadjangdi kaddum Arrkkuluk kahwarderri Manimunak Djang.

Manimunak (magpie geese, Anseranas semipalmata) nest on the ground during Kudjewk, the monsoon season. They are distinctive looking birds with the males having a large bump on the top of their heads. Flocks can be seen overhead flying in v-configurations and honking as they search for sites to nest. The eggs are sought after as food, as are the geese. Traditionally the geese were hunted with sticks. Hunters would approach the flock from different sides and then scare the birds. The stick would be thrown as the disturbed birds flew into the air.

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