Joelene Roughsey-Rock Cod Story



Joelene Roughsey, born 1982 speaks Lardil language and is from Mount Isa.

Artist Statement:

“The moon is a totem that adjoins the Rainbow Serpent totem and represents the Country it belongs to, Lingalee meaning Spring Point. Part of that Country is where the moon story came from: A stranger from the west came to Mornington Island when there was a big corroboree. He was very bony and started begging for some tucker, but they wouldn’t share. He was telling the men to dance faster and harder and the more they danced, the higher the dust rose. They could not see him eating their food. The stranger ran away with the food and ate it all, he became very fat. The men were angry at him for stealing their food, they tracked him down and speared him and cut him all over. His spirit moved in a big circle around part of the island, then went underground at Lingalee, a spring was made where he went underground. The path he took formed the main water courses. The new moon is the hungry stranger, the full moon is when he is fat from eating all that tucker, and the quarters are when he is chopped up.”

“Bardathurr is the name for the rock cod. Dibirdibi is the name given to the rock cod who thrashed about cutting out channels, with his fins, he traversed the land thus carving the Wellesley Islands off from one another where once it had been possible to walk between them.”