Lekira Napurrurla Oldfield - Karnta Jukurrpa (Womens Dreaming) - 3625/23

Regular price $980.00

Artist: Lekira Napurrurla Oldfield

Title: Karnta Jukurrpa (Womens Dreaming)

Cat No:  3625/23

Size: 30 x 30 cm

Acrylic on Canvas, Stretched with Certificate of Authenticity


This painting depicts Nakamarra and Napurrurla women hunting for bush foods. The ‘kirda’ (owners) for this story are Nakamarra/Napurrurla women and Jakamarra/Jupurrurla men. Yumurrpa and Wapurtali are two major Dreaming sites owned by the Nakamarra/Jakamarra and Napurrurla/Jupurrurla subsections; these sites are also associated with bush food Dreamings. Yumurrpa is a major waterhole to the northwest of Yuendumu and a ‘yarla’ (bush potato [Ipomea costata]) Dreaming site. The area north of Wapurtali/Yintaramurru (Mt. Singleton) is a ‘wanakiji’ (bush tomato [Solanum chippendalei]) Dreaming site.

Warlpiri women hunt for a number of different bush foods at different times of the year. These include ‘ngarlkirdi’ (witchetty grubs [Endoxyla leucomochla larvae]), ‘yunkaranyi’ (honey ants [Camponotus inflatus]), ‘jintiparnta’ and ‘purlantarri’ (desert truffle [Elderia arenivaga]), ‘yuparli’ (bush bananas [Marsdenia australis]), ‘janmarda’ (bush onions [Cyperus bulbosus]), ‘pirlala’ (bush beans [Acacia coriacea seeds]), ‘ngarlajiyi’ (bush carrots [Vigna lanceolata]), ‘wayipi’ (small bush carrots [Boerhavia diffusa]), and ‘yakajirri’ (bush raisins [Solanum centrale]). Women traditionally dug for these foods using wooden ‘karlangu’ (digging sticks). The end of the digging sticks were charred and ground on a stone surface to create a bevelled edge. Today many Warlpiri women use crowbars (also called ‘karlangu’) to dig for bush foods. Collected bush foods are traditionally carried in ‘parraja’ (coolamons), which can be carried with a strap made from the ‘ngalyipi’ (snake vine [Tinospora smilacina]).

In Warlpiri paintings, traditional iconography is used to represent the Jukurrpa and other elements. Concentric circles are often used to represent the bush foods that the women have collected, while straight lines can be used to depict the ‘karlangu’ (digging sticks). Sinuous lines are often used to represent the ‘ngalyipi’ (snake vine).


Lekira Napurrurla Oldfield-Egan was born in 1993 in Alice Springs Hospital, the closest hospital to Yuendumu, a remote Aboriginal community 290 km north-west of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory of Australia. Lekira attended the local school and shortly after leaving school she began painting with Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation. She met and married Zachius Japanangka Williams, who also paints with the Art Centre. They have one daughter, Rishanta Williams. Lekira was influenced by her grandmother Eva Nungarrayi Oldfield (Dec), a well-known artist who painted with Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, an Aboriginal owned and governed Art Centre located in Yuendumu. They would come together to the Art Centre and paint. Lekira paints her parent’s Jukurrpa, stories which relate directly to her land, its features and the plants and animals that inhabit it. She particularly likes painting her Karnta Jukurrpa (Women’s Dreaming). The custodians for this story are the Nakamarra/Napurrurla women and Jakamarra/Jupurrurla Men. Lekira uses traditional iconography but with an unrestricted palette to develop a modern interpretation of her traditional culture. When Lekira is not painting, she likes to sit around and listen to music with her family and friends.

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