• Seaman chiropractic mural wall

The mural depicts the majestic Pondi Murray River Cod, two versions of Wuldi the eagle, Nori the pelican, and of course cheeky Waatji Pulyeri the blue wren.

We, Ryan and Lynley Seaman, are excited to share with our community, a Ngarrindjeri story of our beloved Murray River and the birds that live along it.
We are deeply grateful to Shane Karpany for sharing this story with us, and for bringing elements of it to life on the wall of our clinic. Shane is a wonderful storyteller and we feel privileged to have been able to share his enthusiasm, connection and joy in First Nations stories. Shane’s art is beautiful in its detail and in its simplicity.
Thank you must also be given to Jarrod Loxton who worked tirelessly and generously in making this amazing mural happen. He is a humble, no-fuss kind of guy, but was instrumental in making this artwork come to life. What a talent. The seed of this project began in a 40-minute chat in the aisle of a hardware store many years ago!
We also have Country Arts SA to thank for funding the artists for the mural. We received many letters of support when submitting our grant proposal, and we thank those organisations.
Getting a project like this also takes generous support from our local community.
The Official Opening would not have been possible without the support of:

  • Loxcare
  • Rotary Loxton
  • Kochs Foodland
  • The Country Bakehouse
  • Loxton Waikerie Council
  • Sharon Casey

The story of Waatji Pulyeri

When discussing what first nations story related to the Murray River could be told in the mural, Shane immediately told us of the story of Waattji Pulyeri, the blue wren. The origins of the story are Ngarrindjeri, and is told in detail by Uncle Barney Lindsay in the book “Ngarrindjeri Dreaming Stories” with paintings by Jacob Stengle.

Shane retold the story to us, and it went something like this:

It begins a long time ago when all the river birds were happy and getting on together. One day the birds started commenting on their own best features.  Muldari the magpie thought his feathers were really pretty, Turtitauwithe white cockatoo thought his shiny feathers were superior, Kierdi the blue heron thought his legs were long and beautiful and Wanyi the mountain duck thought his eyes were so colourful.  All the birds joined in, and soon there was an argument about who had the best feathers, legs, beaks and song.

All the yelling woke up old Koruldambi, the owl. After hearing what the argument was about, he said the great creator had made them all different anyway, but they could have a competition as to who could fly the highest.

Wuldi eagle Jarrod

Muldari the magpie took off first and soared up towards the clouds, going flat and straight. Daldauwi the crow also flew like Muldari. Yoldi the cormorant circled and twisted higher than both Muldari and Daldauwi before coming down. Turtitauwi the white cockatoo and all the parrots didn’t fly much higher than the trees, then Kungari the swan flew very high.

Waatji Pulyeri was watching and thought all the birds were doing all the hard work, but he had a plan. He snuck behind a bush near to where the birds were taking off and waited until there was just Wuldi the eagle and Nori the pelican left. The eagle flew higher and higher, catching an air pocket way up high. When he landed again, all the birds cheered as Wuldi had flown the highest.

Nori the pelican said I will show you and took off with his huge flapping wings.  Little Waatji Pulyeri the blue wren, snuck in under Nori’s wings, holding on to Nori’s feathers with his beak, and caught a free ride.

Nori flew higher than Wuldi the eagle and thought I am the winner. Just then Waatji Pulyeri darted up into the air from under Nori’s wings, and declared he was the highest and was the winner!

Nori chased him down to the ground. Waatji Pulyeri declared he was the winner to the other birds and they all cheered. Nori then told them what Waatji Pulyeri had done, cheating his way to a free ride. The other birds were angry and they chased the blue wren away, pecking at him and telling him they didn’t want him around.

Little Waatji Pulyeri hid in a bush, and to this day, that is where the blue wren lives.  He stays in the bush because he is frightened of the other birds, and only flies up to look around and then darts back to the safety of the bush.