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Charlie Tjaruru Tarawa Tjungurrayi, 1974

Wanatjalnga 1974 by Charlie Tjaruru (Tarawa) Tjungurrayi. - click to view larger image

During the Dreaming a woman called Walinngi travelled alone toward the Gordon Hills in Western Australia from far to the west. In the claypan and hill country near Wanatjalnga, she tracked a small bird to its nest, a hole in the ground into which it disappeared.

Walinngi made a wana (digging stick), cutting the wood and removing the bark. The discarded bark formed the rocky hill of Wanatjalnga. Walinngi killed and ate the bird, then climbed the hill and saw emus heading towards Pakupurunya. The hole in the ground is now a claypan where water gathers and is named Malpuntarrinya, after the bird.

Discussion questions

This is a story about a woman's journey in the Dreaming. As she travelled, she tracked birds.

Can you see small bird tracks?

Can you see emu tracks?

Circles can represent many things in Western Desert art, including a fire, a waterhole or a hill.

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