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My Father's Donkeys

Warakurna: All the stories got into our minds and eyes


My Father's Donkeys

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These white men, travellers, not from here. They saw this donkey with long ears, it was staring at them and they got frightened. They shot my father’s donkeys – they thought it was a mamu [devil]. We were looking round for those donkeys and we found them wiyarringu [dead].

Jean Inyalanka Burke

An acrylic painting on canvas showing two people, three donkeys and a vehicle. One of the people is aiming a firearm at the donkeys.
My Father's Donkeys, 2011, Jean Inyalanka Burke, acrylic on canvas, 762 x 1012 x 32 mm. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program by Wayne and Vicki McGeoch.
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.

When her mother died, Burke and her father, Mr Eddie, walked westward to Mount Margaret mission and then to Warburton Mission, where she attended school. Warakurna was Burke's husband's country.

View other works by Jean Inyalanka Burke

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