Janganpa Jukurrpa (common brush-tail possum [Trichosurus
vulpecula] Dreaming) travels all over Warlpiri country.
‘Janganpa’ are nocturnal animals that often nest in the hollows
of white gum trees (‘wapunungka’). This story comes from a big
hill called Mawurrji, west of Yuendumu and north of Pikilyi
(Vaughan Springs). A group of ‘janganpa’ ancestors resided
there. Every night they would go out in search of food. Their
hunting trips took them to Wirlki and Wanapirdi, where they
found ‘pamapardu’ (flying ants). They journeyed on to
Ngarlkirdipini looking for water. A Nampijinpa women was
living at Mawurrji with her two daughters. She gave her
daughters in marriage to a Jupurrurla ‘janganpa’ but later
decided to run away with them. The Jupurrurla angrily pursued
the woman. He tracked them to Mawurrji where he killed them
with a stone axe. Their bodies are now rocks at this place.
Warlpiri people perform a young men’s initiation ceremony,
which involves the Janganpa Jukurrpa. The Janganpa Jukurrpa
belongs to Jakamarra/Jupurrurla men and
Nakamarra/Napurrurla women. In Warlpiri paintings
traditional iconography is used to represent this Jukurrpa.
‘Janganpa’ tracks are oteen represented as ‘E’ shaped figures
and concentric circles are used to depict the trees in which the
‘janganpa’ live, and also the sites at Mawurrji.