Margaret Nangala Gallagher - Yankirri Jukurrpa (Emu Dreaming) - 1141/19ny

Regular price $800.00

Artist: Margaret Nangala Gallagher 

Title:  Yankirri Jukurrpa (Emu Dreaming)

Cat No: 1141/19ny

Size: 107 x 46 cm

Acrylic on Canvas, Stretched

Story:

This painting depicts a ‘yankirri Jukurrpa’ (emu [Dromaius novaehollandiae] Dreaming) from a place called Ngarlikurlangu, approximately 50kms north of Yuendumu. The ‘kirda’ (owners) of this Dreaming are Nangala/Nampijinpa women and Jangala/Jampijinpa men. 

This Jukurrpa tells the story of a ‘yankirri’ (emu) and a ‘wardilyka’ (bush turkey [Ardeotis australis]). ‘Yankirri’ lived at a soakage to the west called Warnirripanu (or Walangkamirirri), while ‘wardilyka’ lived at a soakage to the east called Parirri.  The emu and bush turkey used to go around the country picking ‘yakajirri’ (bush raisins [Solanum centrale]) and mashing them into ‘kapurdu’ (fruit balls) to save in their nests for later. However, they were jealous of each other; the emu thought that the bush turkey was picking the best and juiciest ‘yakajirri’, and was leaving him with only the sour ‘yakajirri’.

The emu went to the bush turkey’s nest to the east while the bush turkey was out hunting and smashed up the ‘kapurdu’ that the bush turkey had saved there. When the bush turkey returned, he found his smashed ‘yakajirri’ balls and realized that the emu had destroyed them. He went to the west to confront the emu and when he found him, they got into a big fight. The bush turkey eventually flew away to the north, leaving behind the smashed ‘yakajirri’ balls.

This practice of making ‘kapurdu’ (fruit balls) is a traditional Warlpiri method of storing ‘yakajirri’; in the old days, people used to dry the ‘yakajirri’, grind them up with a rock in a coolamon, mix them with water and form balls from them, and cover the ‘kapurdu’ with red ochre so they would keep.

Today at Ngarlikirlangu we can see round, red rocks which are the ‘kapurdu’ that the emu smashed up. There is also a dance for this ‘yankirri’ (emu) Jukurrpa that is performed during mens’ initiation ceremonies. A number of other Jukurrpa are also located at Ngarlikirlangu, including ‘wardilyka Jukurrpa’ (bush turkey Dreaming), ‘yardijiinypa Jukurrpa’ (meat ant Dreaming), and ‘pirntina Jukurrpa’ (woma or Ramsay’s python [Aspidites ramsayi] Dreaming). Lots of ‘yakajirri’ grow around the Ngarlikirlangu area today.

In contemporary Warlpiri paintings, traditional iconography can be used to represent the Jukurrpa, associated sites, and other elements. ‘Yankirri’ are usually represented by arrow-like shapes depicting their ‘wirliya’ (footprints) as they walk around.

Biography:

Margaret Nangala Gallagher was born in 1967 in Alice Springs Hospital, the closest hospital to Yuendumu, a remote Aboriginal community 290 km from Alice Springs in the NT of Australia. She is the daughter of Pauline Napangardi Gallagher, an artist who has been painting with Warlukurlangu Artists since 2005. Margaret attended the local Yuendumu School but shortly after moved to Nyirripi with her family. Margaret still lives in Nyirripi, an Aboriginal community 160 kms west of Yuendumu. She is single and has one sister and three brothers. Margaret has been painting with Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, since 2007. Warlukurlangu Artists is an Aboriginal owned and governed art centre located in Yuendumu, and has been providing the residents of Nyirripi with materials to paint since 2005. She paints with her mother and learnt to paint watching her mother and other people in the community painting. She particularly enjoys painting with her mother as it is an opportunity for her and her mother to share their Jukurrpa stories, Dreamings passed down to her by her father and mother and their parents before them for millennia. Margaret paints her Yankirri Jakurrpa (Emu Dreaming) from her father’s side and this Jukurrpa story belongs to Jangala/Jampijinpa men and Nangala/Nampijinpa women. When Margaret is not painting she is studying at Batchelor College in Alice Springs as well as working at the Women’s Centre in Nyirripi.


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