Kurdukadji Story- Emu Story (Jeremiah Garlngarr version)
This dreamtime story comes from country east of Oenpelli called Gumaderr, near Mamadawerre; the site of the outstation belongs to the Djalama clan. There, lived an old lady who cared for many of her grandchildren. One day she got very sore, swollen feet. She stuck a sharp stick into her feet to get the pus out, and as she did so the pus got in the eye of a wak (crow), turning the crows eye white. Once her feet were better she went out to collect karrabarda (long yam). While she was away the children saw and speared a big korlobarr (red kangaroo). They cut it up and cooked it in a traditional camp “oven”, using coals and hot rocks. They ate it all, not leaving anything for the old lady. Upon realising this, the children became scared, knowing they’d been disrespectful, so they ran away. The old lady returned to find only the carcass remains of the korlobarr, and the hot rocks from the oven. The old lady was so hungry she ate the hot rocks, and in doing she got a large lump in her chest and she turned into kurdukadji the emu. She now uses her hard chest to hit green plum trees, and knock the fruit to the ground where she can easily reach them. Jeremiah has depicted the old lady as kurdukadji with the digging stick and dilly bag she would have used to collect the karrabarrda. Around her are wak wak (crows).