In living water there is a quiet snake. Sometimes he rises up, but we sing him down. Sometimes he can travel and bring rain.
Jarran Jan Billycan, Broome, 2007
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Ngarralja Tommy May, Mangkaja Arts, acrylic on linen, 76.4 x 51 cm
When Ngarralja was a little boy, his family came to Jitirr, where they found an old man who had died under a tree.
This was Dolly Snell's father, Lawalawa, who was the main boss for Kurtal jila. His family had left him with water and food, but when the family returned, the coolamon was still full of water beside him. Ngarralja started to cry when he saw Lawalawa lying there, but his mother told him, 'Don't cry! Old man's spirit will get stuck here. When you get long way, then you can cry for him'.
Mayapu Elsie Thomas, Ngurra Artists, acrylic on linen, 61 x 77.4 cm
Kurrkumalu, that's where a dog bit me. He bit me when I was eating meat. Dog name Larntiny, bushman dog. From there we used to walk until we came to the Canning Stock Road.
Childhood memories of home in the bush are embedded in contemporary paintings of Country. For Mayapu, Kurrkumalu is forever associated with the memory of being bitten by Larntiny, a family dingo who wanted the meat she was eating.
Lampu, Kurninarra, Kartalapuru, Kujuwarri, 2007
Kuji Rosie Goodjie,Ngurra Artists, acrylic on linen, 76 x 53.5 cm
A big mob of people walked from Kujuwarri through to Lampu and travelled further on. People used to walk around here but not anymore.
These waters lie at the northern end of the stock route: Kujuwarri is Well 46; Kartalapuru is Well 47; Kurninarra lies between wells 47 and 48; and Lampu is Well 49.
Lipuru, Kukapanyu, Wajaparni, 2007
Kuji Rosie Goodjie, Ngurra Artists, acrylic on linen, 77 x 54 cm
This painting represents Well 37 (Lipuru), Well 38 (Wajaparni) and Well 39 (Kukapanyu).
Nyangkarni Penny K-Lyons, Mangkaja Arts, acrylic on canvas, 88.5 x 89 cm
This painting depicts Nyilnigil, a big water in Nyangkarni's Country, which is surrounded by white trees called tinjil-pa.
Nyangkarni was the last of the desert people to travel north from her homeland in the jila Country to the Fitzroy Valley. Her sister, Taku Rosie Tarco, and brother, Kurrapa Peter Skipper ( Jukuna Mona Chuguna's husband), had left the desert before her. Nyangkarni had been kidnapped by a man who had killed her grandmother and taken her as his wife. She cleverly led him north to the stations where her family were living, stopping to drink and hunt at various waters along the way.