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Camel Lady

Warakurna: All the stories got into our minds and eyes


Camel Lady

WARNING: Visitors should be aware that this website includes images and names of deceased people that may cause sadness or distress to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.


She [Robyn Davidson] was a good woman. She had a dream about a kind man who would help her find her way, then she met my father [Mr Eddie] near Wingellina. He knew that country and he helped her. When she wrote her book, Tracks, my father was in there.

Jean Inyalanka Burke

An acrylic painting on canvas showing a person leading two camels, against a predominantly yellow background. A small animal is runing alongside the person.
Camel Lady, 2011, Jean Inyalanka Burke, acrylic on canvas, 765 x 1016 x 33 mm. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program by Wayne and Vicki McGeoch.

When Jean Inyalanka Burke's mother died, Burke and her father, Mr Eddie, walked westward to Mount Margaret mission and then to Warburton mission. In 1978 Mr Eddie helped Robyn Davidson, a young woman travelling through the desert with camels.

Jean Inyalanka Burke portrait.
Photo: Edwina Circuitt.

Jean Inyalanka Burke
1945–2012

Jean Inyalanka Burke was a multi-talented artist and storyteller, who had a major influence on the dynamic art scene at Warakurna with her acclaimed three-dimensional works in purnu (wood) and tjanpi (woven fibre). Her paintings built upon this background and extended her storytelling prowess.

Burke was born at a waterhole site known as Arnumarapirti, near Irrunytju (Wingellina). As a child she travelled with her family to the mission settlement of Ernabella, in South Australia. She attended school at Warburton mission.

Warakurna was Burke's husband's country.

View other works by Jean Inyalanka Burke

The Camel Lady and Warakurna history paintings collection highlight

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