Ngalyipi Jukurrpa – Snake Vine Dreaming – Purturlu



The country associated with this ‘ngalyipi Jukurrpa’
(snakevine [Tinospora smilacina] Dreaming) is located at
Purturlu (Mt. Theo), north of Yuendumu. The ‘kirda’ (owners)
of this Dreaming are Napanangka/Napangardi women and
Japanangka/Japangardi men. The ‘kurdungurlu’ (custodians)
for this Dreaming are Nangala/Nakamarra women and
Jangala/Jakamarra men.
‘Ngalyipi’ (snakevine) is a green creeper that climbs up the
trunks and branches of trees and shrubs. The plant is found
on sandy spinifex plains and sandhills. ‘Ngalyipi’ is
frequently depicted in paintings due to its many uses and its
great ceremonial importance. The vine can be used as a
shoulder strap to carry ‘parraja’ (coolamons) and ‘ngami’
(water carriers). The plant also has medicinal uses; its
vines are used as tourniquets, and its leaves and vines are
used as bandages for wounds. Warlpiri sometimes also
chew the leaves to treat severe colds. ‘Ngalyipi’ stems can
be pounded between stones and tied around the forehead to
cure headaches. In men’s initiation, ‘ngalyipi’ is used to tie
the ‘witi’ (ceremonial poles) to the shins of the dancing
initiates, and to tie ‘yukurruyukurru’ (dancing boards) to
dancers’ bodies. The initiation ceremonies associated with
the ‘ngalyipi’ Dreaming at Purturlu are for the sons and
grandsons of Japanangka and Japangardi men. Napanangka
and Napangardi women dance at these ceremonies, and
then look away and block their ears when the men dance.
This ‘witi’ ceremony is performed at night under the stars.
In Warlpiri paintings, traditional iconography is used to
represent the Jukurrpa and other elements. In many
pain􀆟ngs of this Jukurrpa, sinuous lines are used to
represent the ‘ngalyipi’ (snake vine). Straight lines are used
to represent the ‘witi’ (ceremonial poles) and ‘karlangu’
(digging sticks).

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Additional information

Weight 1 kg
Dimensions 31 × 31 × 6 cm

Ingrid Napangardi Williams


Acrylics on Stretched Canvas


Central Desert



Warlukurlangu Artists