Thelma Dundan (Dunjan) Judson
76 x 121 cm: acrylic on canvas
Jaramarra is a waterhole located kayili (north) of the Percival Lakes region in Western Australia’s Great Sandy Desert. Jaramarra forms part of Ngarga’s ngurra (home Country, camp), and lies just west of the site where she was born.
Jaramarra is home to an ancestral rainmaking jila (snake) of the same name. Close by is Wirnpa soak, where Wirnpa, one of the most powerful of the jila men, and the last to travel the desert, continues to live today. The Western Desert term jila is used interchangeably to describe springs considered to be ‘living’ waters and snakes, both of which play a central role in Martu culture and Jukurrpa (Dreaming). During the pujiman (traditional, desert dwelling) period, knowledge of water sources was critical for survival, and today Martu Country is still defined in terms of the location of water sources. Of the many permanent springs in Martu Country, very few are ‘living waters’; waters inhabited by jila. Before they became snakes, these beings were men who made rain, formed the land and introduced cultural practices like ceremonies and ritual songs. Some of the men travelled the desert together, visiting one another, but they all ended their journeys at their chosen spring alone, transformed into a snake. These important springs are named after their jila inhabitant, guarding their waters.
Martumili Artists warns visitors that our website includes images and artworks of Artists who have passed away which may cause distress to some Indigenous people.
Martumili Artists acknowledges the Nyiyaparli and Martu people as the Traditional Owners of the land we live and work on. We also acknowledge the Traditional Owners throughout our country and our Elders; past, present and emerging.