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A spearing at Yuendumu

Warlpiri Drawings: Remembering the Future

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A spearing at Yuendumu

That's the one we're worried about now. The government is trying to take away our law.

Biddy Nungarrayi Tims, 2013.

'A spearing at Yuendumu', 1953-54, by Larry Jungarrayi,  Hooker Creek.
'A spearing at Yuendumu', 1953-54, by Larry Jungarrayi, Hooker Creek. Meggitt Collection, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies.

Straightforward description of a mesmerising drawing

This is Meggitt’s description of Larry Jungarrayi’s mesmerising drawing of a spearing he witnessed at Yuendumu in the early 1950s:

You have a black man drawn with a spear entering his belly. He’s falling onto red sand. There’s a black creek with black trees in the background but the killer is not depicted. All you see is the spear-thrower of the killer and the reason for that is that the killer was Larry’s father and he thought it would be indelicate to draw his own father in the act of spearing somebody. But that’s a straightforward depiction of a scene that Larry saw occur. That’s the first time anyone had done that for me.

Mervyn Meggitt, 1965

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