Land Rights News Central Australia: Land Rights News (September 2010)

Published: September, 2010

Tale of Two Gypsys

There are just some camels that work their way to legendary status.

Take the case of Gypsy. Gypsy from Nyirrpi and Gypsy from Tjukurla are two camels (recently confirmed when they were simultaneously seen miles from each other ) who have woven themselves into the fabrics of their communities so deeply that the Nyirrpi Gypsy is immortalised in graffiti art that adorns the community after the visit of a graffiti artist.

Uncannily both Gypsys just love cool drink. Linguists Inga Kraal and  Lizzie Ellis  were travelling near Tjukurla with a car load of Ngaanyatjarra women near the WA border several months ago when Gypsy (the Tjukurla one)  was spotted. Everyone frantically piled out of the car and all the bottles of cool drink were collected to give to the camel who likes it straight out of  the bottle and fast.

After the cool drink ran out, bottles of water were offered to Gypsy who promptly trashed them on the ground undrunk. By popular demand a trip had to be made back to the community to get more cool drink.

The Tjukurla Gypsy is said to have followed a family when they moved to Tjukurla from Docker River.

The Nyirrpi Gypsy  is also extremely fond of cool drink and guzzling from the bottle for an instant sugar hit. But Niyrrpi Gypsy has got a dark side. She is known to take intense dislikes to certain people and some years ago broke a teacher’s collar bone and threw an elderly linguist to the ground. Despite these bouts of temper, she is fondly regarded around the community by some and seen frequently except when forcibly exiled for extremely bad behaviour.