Ngarlu Jukurrpa – Love Story



Ngarlu is country belonging to the Anmatjerre language group south-east of Yuendumu. Ngarlu literally means red rock. The Jukurrpa of this place tells of a Jungarrayi man, named Lilipinti travelling west to another country for Kuridji, men’s ceremonial business. Jungarrayi, Japaljarri, Jupurrula and Jampijinpa men were travelling east to Kurpurrulu On his travels he saw a Napngardi woman, who is his mother-in-law according to the Aboriginal skin system and forbidden to him. Lintyipilinti watched the woman from where he sat whilst she was urinating. He was so impressed with what he saw that he decided to woo her. His imprint has been left in the rocks, which reminds the people of his thinking. Whilst he was sitting at Yumurruluwanu he spun some Wirriji (hair string) and sung a love song. Jungarrayi was wearing jinjila (ceremonial adornment) around his arms and neck to look attractive to her. He had weapons and a ngami (water carrier). Lilipintifi fell in love with her however, and when he arrived back home to Ngarlu he couldn¹t stop thinking about her. A Jurlpu (bird) carried these loves songs over to the Napangardi. The Jurlpu flew back with the Napangardi on his wings, to join with the Jungarrayi at Ngarlu. The women of Ngarlu gossiped about this wrong-skin love union. These women turned into Miinypa, native fuschia flowers, which are prevalent at Ngarlu today. When Lilipinti and his Napangardi made love, his penis broke off in side of her and they both turned to stone. There is a rockhole at Ngarlu which shows the place of their love-making. They are seen in the rocks at Ngarlu, a long water hole with a broken boulder reminds the people of this union. Wapunungku, a big tree was crying, that tree is still there today. The kirda (owners) for this Jukurrpa are Japaljarri and Jungarrayi men and Napaljarri and Nungarrayi women.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Additional information

Weight 1 kg
Dimensions 60 × 9 × 9 cm

Etching Sugar lift painting aquatint on two plates


Samson Martin

Image Size


Paper Size


Edition Size



Basil Hall Editions Darwin, NT


Basil Hall




Central Desert