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My great grandfather Hezekiel, Running Man

Beth Mbitjana Inkamala
Terracotta and Underglazes
49 x 26 Ø cm
Hermannsburg Potters


Tjimia nukanhaka kaarta, Hezekiel Malbunka-nha, Ntaria-nga Telegraph Station-urna arrtjanaka, relha ilanga etnanha ilitjika, etna Carl Strehlow-aka tangitjala nitjika. Strehlow-anha minta naka. Thunga paka etna erinha Adelaide-urna kngitjina. Hezakiel-anha mpupala intaka, kamerramala kwatja ntjuka, kurunga town-urna arrtjanaka. Etna-ntama telegraph yairnaka, relha arrpunha-urna. Era arlta nyintala kaaralhaka, kurunga Hezekiel-anha Mission-urna arrtjanhalpuka. Era etnanha ilaka, etna kala lhitjika. Pot-akarlaka, nurna arama Carl Strehlow-anha tjaiyaka-erramanga. Relha Ntaria-rinya ntjaarrala ‘goodbye’ ilama, lhitjinala. Etna Hezekiel-anha ntangkaka, Strehlow-lela lhitjika, Horseshoe Bend-urna. Hezekiel-anha Strehlow-alela buggy-aka ntjika. Tjina tharrama. Etna lhapalhaka arna pulya-urna, kurunga pmara parta kngarra-karta-urna. Inpura kunha. Mules – four etna yirnaka – cart Strehlow-akarta erinha kngaka. Arlta nhanhala wumpia inthurra. Mpalha kuta naka. Carl Strehlow-anha minta-inthurra-erramanga, era thaltja inthurra naka. Kurunga etna Horseshoe Bend-aka irrpuka. Pmara nhanhala era iluka. Station ekuranga kuta etna ntulka ekurakwia ingkairnaka. Trailer kuka ekuranha itnaama kuta. Kurunga Strehlow-aka nua pa wurra train-aka ntjika, Oodnaatta-nga Adelaide-urna lhitjika. Hezekiel-anha pmara-urna pitjalpumala, tjina ekuranha yia ltaarrpa nhanha ilaka, ‘Tjina kngarra nuka, Carl Strehlow-anha, mpupala iluka. Yinga ltaarrpa inthurra wulhama. Yinga ilpangkama nthaakinha ilirna lhapalhaka, ilanga inthurra, mpalha kuta namalanga, Horseshoe Bend ekura-urna. Kurunga era yarraka. Mia nukanhala – Mildred-ala – yia nhanha yinganha ilaka. Kaamurna nuka tharrala yia nhanha ilaka-ntema. Hezekiel-anha naka arranga etnakanha naka. Carl Strehlow-anha Hezekiel tharra tjina kngarra naka. My great-grandfather, Hezekiel Malbunka, ran from the mission in Hermannsburg to Telegraph Station to get help for Carl Strehlow. Strehlow was sick, he needed help to get somewhere, Adelaide maybe. Hezekiel slept halfway, woke up to get water, and ran to Alice Springs to get the telegraph people to call for help. After one day, Hezekiel ran back to the mission and told them to go. On the pot you can see Carl Strehlow leaving, they’re saying goodbye to him at Hermannsburg mission before he’s going off travelling. They waited for Hezekiel to go with Strehlow on the trip to Horseshoe Bend. Hezekiel rode with Strehlow because he was his best friend. They travelled across really sandy riverbeds and rough stone plains . Parta mapa (really stony)! The load was really heavy. They pulled Carl Strehlow in a cart with four mules and the heat was really hot. It was burning. Carl Strehlow was getting sicker and sicker, weaker and weaker. Finally, they got to Horseshoe Bend and he died there. There’s a little cross for him there, just outside Horseshoe Bend, and his little trailer is still there. Strehlow’s wife and son got a lift on the train from Oodnadatta back to Adelaide. Hezekiel came back to his family and told them it was bad news. ‘My best friend Carl Strehlow didn’t make it. It’s a really sad day for me. I remember him and me together on this big, long, hot journey to Horseshoe Bend, to say goodbye’. I heard this story from my Mum Mildred and my Uncles Ralph and Rodney telling me about this Carl Strehlow and Hezekiel, how they were best friends. Hezekiel was their Grandfather.

Desert Mob is presented annually in Mparntwe | Alice Springs on Arrernte Country.

On behalf of Desart’s staff and art centre members, the Executive Committee humbly and respectfully acknowledge the Arrernte Apmereke Artweye (Traditional Owners) and Kwertengerle (Traditional Managers) of Mparntwe.


Desart respectfully advises Aboriginal readers that this website may contain names, images and artworks of people who have passed away.