Ngapa Jukurrpa – Water Dreaming – Puyurru



The site depicted in this painting is Puyurru, west of Yuendumu.
In the usually dry creek beds are ‘mulju’ (soakages), or
naturally occurring wells. The ‘kirda’ (owners) for this site are
Nangala/Nampijinpa women and Jangala/Jampijinpa men. Two
Jangala men, rainmakers, sang the rain, unleashing a giant
storm. The storm travelled across the country from the east to
the west, initially travelling with a ‘pamapardu Jukurrpa’
(termite Dreaming) from Warntungurru to Warlura, a
waterhole 8 miles east of Yuendumu. At Warlura, a gecko called
Yumariyumari blew the storm on to Lapurrukurra and Wilpiri.
Bolts of lightning shot out at Wirnpa (also called
Mardinymardinypa) and at Kanaralji. At this point the
Dreaming track also includes the ‘kurdukurdu mangkurdu
Jukurrpa’ (children of the clouds Dreaming). The water
Dreaming built hills at Ngamangama using baby clouds and also
stuck long pointy clouds into the ground at Jukajuka, where
they can s􀆟ll be seen today as rock formations.
The termite Dreaming eventually continued west to Nyirripi, a
community approximately 160 km west of Yuendumu. The
water Dreaming then travelled from the south over Mikanji, a
watercourse with soakages northwest of Yuendumu. At Mikanji,
the storm was picked up by a ‘kirrkarlanji’ (brown falcon [Falco
berigora]) and taken farther north. At Puyurru, the falcon dug
up a giant ‘warnayarra’ (rainbow serpent). The serpent carried
water with it to create another large lake, Jillyiumpa, close to an
outsta􀆟on in this country. The ‘kirda’ (owners) of this story are
Jangala men and Nangala women. After stopping at Puyurru,
the water Dreaming travelled on through other locations
including Yalyarilalku, Mikilyparnta, Katalpi, Lungkardajarra,
Jirawarnpa, Kamira, Yurrunjuku, and Jikaya before moving on
into Gurindji country to the north.
In contemporary Warlpiri paintings, traditional iconography is
used to represent the ‘Jukurrpa’ (Dreaming). Short dashes are
o􀅌en used to represent ‘mangkurdu’ (cumulus & stratocumulus
clouds), and longer, flowing lines represent ‘ngawarra’ (flood
waters). Small circles are used to depict ‘mulju’ (soakages) and
river bed.

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Additional information

Weight 1 kg
Dimensions 31 × 31 × 6 cm

Watson Jangala Robertson


Acrylics on Stretched Canvas


Central Desert



Warlukurlangu Artists